Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to Mill (Routledge by Frederick Rosen

By Frederick Rosen

This e-book provides a brand new interpretation of the primary of application in ethical and political concept in accordance with the writings of the classical utilitarians. The writings of Adam Smith, William Paley and Jeremy Bentham also are thought of.

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He has no conception of measuring utility. Furthermore, Hume, in his view, is more concerned with motive and character than with the rightness and wrongness of actions and their measurement (Mackie 1980: 151–4; see Harrison 1981: 19–20, 87–8). Geoffrey Sayre-McCord also wants to distinguish between contemporary utilitarianism and that of Hume by first denying that Hume’s employment of utility is compatible with versions of act, rule, or motive utilitarianism currently in vogue (Sayre-McCord 2001: 483).

He first wrote: It is needless to push our researches so far as to ask, why we have humanity or a fellow-feeling with others. It is sufficient, that this is experienced to be a principle in human nature. We must stop somewhere in our examination of causes; and there are, in every science, some general principles, beyond which we cannot hope to find any principle more general. 17n) Had Hume’s note ended here, one might ascribe to human beings a fellowfeeling or sense of humanity that was itself the foundation of human well-being.

Mounce, for example, distinguishes between the ‘naturalism’ of Hume (taken supposedly from Hutcheson) and the ‘rationalism’ he ascribes to both deontological views (linked with Kant) and the utilitarianism of Bentham (Mounce 1999: 77ff). Mounce omits to consider the very first word and subsequent paragraph of Bentham’s IPML where Bentham invoked ‘nature’ and noted the way nature, placing humans ‘under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure’ determines what they do and what they ought to do (Bentham 1996: 11).

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