The most important classical utilitarians are Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). Bentham and Mill were both important theorists and social reformers. Their theory has had a major impact both on philosophical work in moral theory and on approaches to economic, political, and social policy.

Who came up with rule and act utilitarianism?

Jeremy Bentham

1. Precursors to the Classical Approach. Though the first systematic account of utilitarianism was developed by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), the core insight motivating the theory occurred much earlier. That insight is that morally appropriate behavior will not harm others, but instead increase happiness or ‘utility.

Who is the father of act utilitarianism?

utilitarianism, in normative ethics, a tradition stemming from the late 18th- and 19th-century English philosophers and economists Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill according to which an action (or type of action) is right if it tends to promote happiness or pleasure and wrong if it tends to produce unhappiness or …

Is John Stuart Mill a rule utilitarian?

To summarize the essential points: Mill can be characterized as an act utilitarian in regard to the theory of objective rightness, but as a rule utilitarian in regard to the theory of moral obligation.

What did John Stuart Mill believe?

He believed in a moral theory called utilitarianism—that actions that lead to people’s happiness are right and that those that lead to suffering are wrong. Among economists, he’s best-known for his 1848 work, Principles of Political Economy, which became a leading economic textbook for decades after its publication.

What is Bentham theory of utilitarianism?

Utilitarianism means the doctrine, expounded by Jeremy Bentham, that the moral and political rightness of an action is determined by its utility, defined as its contribution to the greatest good of the greatest number.

What is John Stuart Mill best known for?

His most important works include System of Logic (1843), On Liberty (1859), Utilitarianism (1861) and An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy (1865). 3.7 Mill’s Theoretical Philosophy: Self-Supporting or Self-Undermining?

Who was John Stuart Mill’s?

John Stuart Mill was an English philosopher, economist, and exponent of utilitarianism. He was prominent as a publicist in the reforming age of the 19th century and remains of lasting interest as a logician and an ethical theorist.

When did John Stuart Mill write utilitarianism?


Mill’s work Utilitarianism, originally published in Fraser’s Magazine (1861), is an elegant defense of the general utilitarian doctrine and perhaps remains the best introduction to the subject.

What did John Locke believe in?

In political theory, or political philosophy, John Locke refuted the theory of the divine right of kings and argued that all persons are endowed with natural rights to life, liberty, and property and that rulers who fail to protect those rights may be removed by the people, by force if necessary.

Who’s Jeremy Bentham?

The philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) was born in Spitalfields, London, on 15 February 1748. He proved to be something of a child prodigy: while still a toddler he was discovered sitting at his father’s desk reading a multi-volume history of England, and he began to study Latin at the age of three.

What is liberalism John Stuart Mill?

John Stuart Mill dominated liberal thought during the nineteenth century with insights offered into the harm principle, free will, the despotism of custom, experiments in living, utilitarianism, the marketplace of ideas and electoral reform.

Was John Stuart Mill a capitalist?

Why was Mill a capitalist? In his book On Liberty, Mill argues that an atmosphere of freedom is not only the best for humanity as a whole, but also for the development of individuals as autonomous, fully developed people. It is only by letting people be free and make choices that they can grow as people, he argued.

What is John Stuart Mill’s harm principle?

The harm principle says people should be free to act however they wish unless their actions cause harm to somebody else. The principle is a central tenet of the political philosophy known as liberalism and was first proposed by English philosopher John Stuart Mill.