Timeline of utilitarianism

From Timelines
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a timeline of utilitarianism, a moral theory that judges the morality of actions based on their ability to promote happiness or well-being for the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism was developed by philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill in the 18th and 19th centuries. The theory holds that actions are morally right if they lead to the greatest good or utility for the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory, meaning that it evaluates the morality of actions based on their outcomes. It prioritizes the interests of the majority over the interests of the minority, and thus can justify actions that violate individual rights or interests if they promote the greater good. However, some utilitarians argue that individual rights and interests are still important, as they can contribute to overall happiness.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • Who are some important figures in the development of utilitarianism?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Notable birth".
    • You will read the names of prominent figures, such as Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and R.M. Hare.
  • What are some notable or sample publications on the topic?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Literature".
    • You will see publications from the main utilitarian thinkers as well as modern, more contemporaneous books.
  • What types or variations of utilitarianism and other related concepts have emerged over time?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Concept development".
    • You will mostly see a variety of versions of utilitarianism, such as rule utilitarianism and act utilitarianism.
  • What are some statements criticising utilitarianism?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Criticism".
    • You will mostly see criticism by important figures and scholars towards utilitarianism.
  • Other events are described under the following types: "Early thinking", and "organization".

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
17th to mid-18th century Precursors and Early Utilitarianism This period is characterized by the works of philosophers such as Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Jeremy Bentham's father James Bentham, who lays the groundwork for the development of utilitarian thought. During this period, these philosophers develop the basic ideas of utilitarianism, including the concept of the greatest happiness principle and the idea that the morality of an action should be judged by its consequences.
Late 18th to mid-19th century Classical Utilitarianism This period is marked by the work of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, who are considered the most influential philosophers of the utilitarian tradition. Bentham develops a comprehensive theory of utilitarianism that includes the principle of utility, the measurement of pleasure and pain, and the idea of maximizing happiness for the greatest number of people. Mill builds on Bentham's ideas and develops a more nuanced understanding of pleasure and pain, distinguishing between higher and lower pleasures and arguing that the aim of utilitarianism should be to maximize happiness and reduce suffering.
Late 19th to mid-20th century Neo-utilitarianism Utilitarianism is already fully articulated.[1] This period is characterized by the work of philosophers such as Henry Sidgwick, G.E. Moore, and R.M. Hare, who seek to refine and develop the ideas of classical utilitarianism. These philosophers address criticisms of utilitarianism, develop more sophisticated theories of ethics, and contribute to the development of the broader philosophical movement of analytic philosophy.
Mid-20th century to present Contemporary Utilitarianism This period is marked by the work of philosophers such as Peter Singer, Derek Parfit, and R. M. Hare, who continue to refine and develop the ideas of utilitarianism in response to new challenges and criticisms. In the 1970s, utilitarian ethics is revived by Singer and Parfit.[2] Contemporary utilitarianism has expanded beyond its original focus on maximizing happiness to include concerns such as animal welfare, environmental ethics, and global justice.
21st century Effective Altruism Movement Effective altruism emerges as a movement in the early 21st century, focusing on applying utilitarian principles to maximize the impact of charitable actions and promote effective giving. The movement emphasizes evidence-based decision-making, cause prioritization, and addressing the most pressing global problems. Organizations like Giving What We Can, founded in 2009, and the Effective Altruism Foundation would play key roles in promoting and advancing effective altruism.

Full timeline

Year Event type Details
341 BC Notable birth Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus is born. Epicurus would believe that the outcomes of our actions have significance and that the well-being of others is important.[3] His perspective can be seen as an early version of utilitarianism. His ethical teachings would have an impact on the development of utilitarianism in England during the nineteenth century.[4]
c.470 Notable birth Chinese philosopher Mozi is born. The founder of the school of Mohism, he would held a utilitarian status describing heaven as primary moral authority.[5] Accodring to Mozi, universal love is really the way of the sage-kings. It is what gives peace to the rulers and sustenance to the people.[6] Today, Mozi is classified as a utilitarian.[7]
1672 Literature English philosopher Richard Cumberland publishes De legibus naturae (On natural laws), which propounds utilitarianism and opposes the egoistic ethics of Thomas Hobbes. Cumberland believes that actively seeking the well-being of the collective ultimately benefits each individual and leads to personal happiness. Conversely, he argues that actions contrary to this principle result in misery for individuals, including oneself. He also emphasizes that benevolence serves as the motivation for social behavior, and his social theory centers around the concept of universal benevolence.[8]
1725 Literature Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson publishes An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, which comprises two treatises that explore aesthetic and moral abilities.[9] Hutcheson first introduces a key utilitarian phrase:
When choosing the most moral action, the amount of virtue in a particular action is proportionate to the number of people such brings happiness to.[10][11] Hutcheson is the first to speak of the greatest happiness of the greatest number; more importantly, he is considered the earliest writer to enunciate a philosophy that can without qualification be termed "utilitarian".[12]:53
1728 Literature English philosopher Susanna Newcome publishes An Enquiry into the Evidence of the Christian Religion, which contains an early formulation of utilitarian thought. Newcome offers a utilitarian account of the nature of ethics and our moral duties by synthesizing contemporary developments in natural theology and moral psychology.[13][14]
1730 Literature English philosopher John Gay publishes essay entitled Preliminary Dissertation Concerning the Fundamental Principle of Virtue or Morality, in which he states that universal happiness is the aim of moral action.[15] A disciple of John Locke, Gay is considered by some as the founder of utilitarian morality.[16]
1731 Literature John Gay publishes In Concerning the Fundamental Principle of Virtue or Morality. Some would claim that he developed the first systematic theory of utilitarian ethics.[17][18]
1739 Literature David Hume publishes his Treatise of Human Nature, in which he discusses the concept of love for humanity. He argues that there is no inherent passion solely for the love of mankind as a general concept. However, he suggests that although we may not have a natural inclination to love humanity in the abstract, we are capable of experiencing altruistic concern for strangers when we come into contact with them. Hume is often identified as an early utilitarian philosopher, but he is also regarded as politically conservative.[12]
1743 Notable birth William Paley is born. He would become a clergyman, Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian. Described as a theological utilitarian[19], according to J. B. Schneewind (1977) "utilitarianism first became widely known in England through the work of William Paley."[20]
1748 Notable birth Jeremy Bentham is born in London.[1] He would become an influential British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer of the 18th and 19th centuries. Often regarded as the founder of classical utilitarianism,[21] Bentham's ethical philosophy, often referred to as "hedonistic utilitarianism," argues that the principle of utility should guide individual and societal decision-making.[22] According to Bentham, the right course of action is the one that produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.[23]
1749 Literature David Hartley publishes his Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations. While perhaps not definitely preparing the way for the utilitarian doctrine in so far as it would be destined to make possible the formation of autonomous moral sciences, Hartley wishes to found a 'psychology', a theory of human and animal intelligence, a branch of 'natural philosophy', a science which, when once the 'general laws' which govern ' phenomena ' have been discovered by means of ' analysis', will be of a deductive or ' synthetic' character. Hartley openly introduces Newton's method and terminology into psychology.[16]
1751 Literature David Hume publishes An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, in which he views sympathy as the fact of human nature lying at the basis of all social life and personal happiness.[24]
1755 Literature Francis Hutcheson’s book A System of Moral Philosophy is posthumously published. It repeats, in essence, the utilitarian content of his previous work Inquiry, but is notable for its more subtle treatment of the nature of the good life, wherein it anticipates not so much Bentham as J.S.Mill. According to Hutcheson, a crucial aspect of living well is leading a virtuous life. This involves maintaining a sense of equanimity and a broad, all-encompassing love for universal happiness, and being able to prioritize this over more narrow, self-interested concerns. In Hutcheson's view, the ability to control one's narrower emotions in the face of opposing interests and to sacrifice personal interests for the greater good represents the highest level of human virtue.[25][12]:55
1764 Literature Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria writes On Crimes and Punishments, an influential treatise on the criminal law advocating "the greatest happiness divided among the greatest number".[26][12]:23 Beccaria argues that punishment should be public, prompt, necessary, minimal under the circumstances, proportionate to the crimes, and established by law to avoid being an act of violence. He believes punishment serves to deter the offender from repeating the crime and discourage others from committing it. Severity of punishment should be based on the harm caused by the offense, not the intent of the offender, and should not exceed what is necessary for deterrence. Beccaria opposes capital punishment, except in limited cases, and condemns the use of torture against individuals whose guilt has not been established. The book also discusses imprisonment and banishment as sanctions, and examines specific offenses in terms of their severity and corresponding punishments.[27]
1774 Notable statement French philosopher Claude Adrien Helvétius states that "wise laws would be able without doubt to bring about the miracle of a universal happiness".[28] Helvétius, like François-Jean de Chastellux, exemplifies utilitarianism in pre-revolutionary France. Both are deeply committed to the improvement of the condition of the poor and believe that governments have a duty to foster the general good. For these writers, as for others of their compatriots, utilitarianism is primarily a political philosophy and less a theory of personal morality.[12]:50
1774 Literature François-Jean de Chastellux writes: "It is an indisputable point, (or at least, there is room to think it, in this philosophical age, an acknowledged truth)" in his essay De la félicité publique, "that the first object of all governments, should be to render the people happy".[29][12]:50
1776 Literature Jeremy Bentham publishes his Fragment on Government, which first attempts to apply the principle of utility in a systematic and methodical manner to the theory of government.[16]:11[30]
1776 Literature Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations, which tries to solve the economic problem by taking his stand on the principle of utility.[16] Utilitarian economists would argue that Smith's concept of the Invisible Hand of the Market is a natural phenomenon resulting from entirely voluntary exchanges, while they would view government intervention as artificial and coercive.[31] First introduced in The Wealth of Nations, the concept of the invisible hand refers to the unseen market force that facilitates the equilibrium between supply and demand in a free market.[32]
1781 Concept development According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the neologism ‘utilitarian’ occurs for the first time in a letter of Jeremy Bentham of this year, where a certain clergyman is described as ‘a very worthy creature…a naturalist, a chemist, a physician’—and ‘a utilitarian’.[12]:4
1785 Literature English philosopher William Paley publishes The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy,[33] which applies the principle of utility to the problems of morals and of theology. Paley defines happiness as a sum of pleasures, which differ only in their duration and intensity, or, more exactly, as the excess of a sum of pleasures over a sum of pains. He thinks that moral actions differ from immoral actions by their tendency, and that the criterium of law is utility.[16] Some identify Paley as a co-developer with Bentham of the principles of utilitarianism.[34]
1787 Literature During a visit to Russia, Jeremy Bentham writes Defence of Usury, Shewing the Impolity of the Present Legal Restraints on the Terms of Pecuniary Bargains in a Series of Letters to a Friend. In his first attempt at political economy, Jeremy Bentham adopts the fundamental ideas of Adam Smith.[16]:88 The book would become a success, with four editions published in Bentham's lifetime. In the work, Bentham addresses objections to the regulation of usury and advocates for the rights of marginalized individuals. He emphasizes the importance of personal judgment and the pursuit of happiness, laying the foundation for modern utility theory. Bentham's writing style, although complex, allows him to humorously criticize legislators and judges. While Bentham corresponds with Adam Smith, their intellectual disagreements would persist. This book is written in a period when scientific discoveries are unfolding but lack concrete certainty.[35]
1789 Literature Jeremy Bentham publishes An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation[36], which defines the principle of utility as “that property in any object whereby it tends to produce pleasure, good or happiness, or to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered.”[37] Bentham writes "The principle of utility…approves or disapproves of every action according to the tendency it appears to have to increase or lessen—i.e. to promote or oppose—the happiness of the person or group whose interest is in question."[38]
1793 Concept development German philosopher Immanuel Kant defines "Enlightenment" (Aufklärung) as the "exit by man from his own selfimposed minority", when he begins to rely on his own understanding and rejects the guidance of others.[39] According to Scarre (1996), utilitarian moral thought would be "enlightened" in this Kantian sense: utilitarians would refuse to be guided by authority, and insisted on working out their own positions from first principles.[12]:50
1793 Notable statement English philosopher and political thinker William Godwin declares that "Few things have contributed more to undermine the energy and virtue of the human species, than the supposition that we have a right, as it has been phrased, to do what we will with our own". He also claims that "Every man has a certain sphere of discretion, which he has a right to expect should not be infringed by his neighbours". Godwin feels a deep respect for individual liberty of thought and action which would never quite succeed in squaring with his maximising views. According to Geoffrey Scarre, Godwin would become a less consistent utilitarian than he aspired to be.[12]:70-71
1794 Early thinking In France, despite living during a time of great violence, and with the guillotine casting its shadow over him, philosopher and mathematician Nicolas de Condorcet envisions a future era where hunger would be eliminated, every illness would have a cure, people's lifespan would have no limit, slavery would be eradicated, women would enjoy equal status with men, war would be eradicated, and education and the arts would thrive.[12]:49
1806 Notable birth John Stuart Mill is born.[40] He would become a prominent philosopher, political economist, and social reformer of the 19th century. Today, he is best known for his influential works on utilitarianism, liberalism, and individual liberty.
1811 Literature Jeremy Bentham publishes Punishments and Rewards, in which he writes "To what shall the character of utility be ascribed, if not to that which is a source of pleasure?".[41]
1815 Literature Jeremy Bentham publishes A Table of the Springs of Action, which seeks to identify and classify the different motives or "springs of action" that drive human behavior. Like Principles of Morals and Legislation (1780), it explores the diverse range of reasons that drive human behavior and seeks to illustrate how these reasons can ultimately be traced back to the influence of two primary forces: pleasure and pain.[12]:73 A Table of the Springs of Action contains an elaborate taxonomy of motives, supplying among other things fifty-four synonyms of the word ‘pleasure’ and sixtyseven of ‘pain’.[42][12]:76
1819 Literature James Mill publishes Essay on Government, written for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The piece presents the utilitarian perspective in a straightforward manner but lacks originality. It argues that the goal of government is to maximize the overall happiness of society by minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure. An individual's level of happiness is determined by the magnitude of their pleasures and the intensity of their pains.[12]:85
1824 Literature James Mill publishes his two-volume work Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind, in which he demonstrates his ability to conduct a detailed examination of mental processes and tendencies. Despite adhering to an associationist theory of the mind, he even endeavors to justify the presence of authentically altruistic emotions.[12]:87
1825 Literature Jeremy Bentham publishes The Rationale of Reward.[43], in which he argues that society should design its laws and systems of punishments and rewards to ensure that serving society is pleasant while acting against its interests is painful. Bentham's writings explore the tension between what is and what should be, recognizing the disparity between people's words, actions, and moral obligations. His theories are supported by observation and applied to various domains such as government, jurisprudence, criminology, and the arts.[44]
1829 Literature British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay publishes paper Mill on government in the conservative Edinburgh Review. Its critiques anticipate many of the objections that J.S. Mill would later make about Benthamism in his works throughout the following ten years.[12]:86
1834 Literature Jeremy Bentham publishes Deontology, in which he acknowledges the existence of a human inclination towards philanthropy and selflessness.[12]:77
1838 (May 31) Notable birth Henry Sidgwick is born.[45] He would be considered one of the most influential figures in the utilitarian tradition.
1838 Criticism John Stuart Mill softens his critique of Bentham and acknowledges that he has contributed to ethical thought by proposing a straightforward and clear standard for assessing the moral worth of actions in terms of their ability to generate pleasure or pain. Although this criterion was insufficient, it was an improvement over the imprecise and untestable appeals to moral intuition that dominated the work of most moral philosophers. Nevertheless, there is still a significant omission in Bentham's work: he failed to recognize that human beings are capable of striving for spiritual perfection as an end in itself and of aspiring to align their own character with their own standards of excellence without external incentives or disincentives beyond their own conscience, a shortcoming that Mill identified in his 1838 writing.[12]:88
1843 Literature John Stuart Mill expresses his opinion about the significance of character in human life in his book A System of Logic. He believes that a person's character should be the ultimate goal in life because possessing ideal nobleness of character or coming close to it would contribute more towards making human life happy than anything else. This happiness can be achieved in two ways, firstly by experiencing pleasure and avoiding pain, and secondly by giving life a higher purpose that is significant and meaningful to human beings with highly developed abilities.[12]:90
1848 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes Principles of Political Economy, which would become a highly influential textbook in the field of economics and political economy during the mid-nineteenth century.[46] The book delves into both descriptive and normative aspects of these subjects, making it a comprehensive and significant work. On the descriptive side, Mill examines various economic issues, including the benefits that different nations derive from a system of trade based on comparative advantage. According to Mill, countries with more elastic demands for goods from other nations tend to benefit more from such a trade system. He explores the dynamics and outcomes of international trade, shedding light on the factors that contribute to economic advantages for different nations. In addition to descriptive analysis, Mill's book also addresses normative issues in political economy. He critiques proposed economic systems like communism and socialism, offering insights into their shortcomings and arguing for alternative approaches. Mill engages with the ideal systems of political economy, exploring their feasibility and implications for societal well-being.[47] In one notable statement, Mill draws attention to the ethical considerations surrounding the treatment of vulnerable beings. He argues that the reasons for legal intervention in favor of children, such as protecting their rights and well-being, apply with equal force to animals. He refers to animals as "unfortunate slaves and victims of the most brutal part of mankind," emphasizing the need for society to recognize their suffering and advocate for their protection through legal means.[48]
1851 Literature British philosopher Harriet Taylor Mill publishes The Enfranchisement of Women, in which she argues for equality in all rights, political, civil, and social, with male citizens of the community. Taylor Mill promotes a companionate model of marriage based on mutual attraction and opposed contemporary forms of marriage, which she likens to slavery based on the threat of physical force (domestic violence). Married to John Stuart Mill, both would form a close intellectual partnership, with her making significant contributions to his thought, which he would systematize into a utilitarian framework.[49] Harriet Taylor Mill writes:
We deny the right of any portion of the species to decide for another portion what is and what is not their 'proper sphere'. The proper sphere for all human beings is the largest and highest which they are able to attain to.[41]
1859 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes Dissertations and Discussions. Mill writes "That the morality of actions depends on the consequences which they tend to produce, is the doctrine of rational persons of all schools; that the good or evil of those consequences is measured solely by pleasure or pain, is all of the doctrine of the school of utility, which is peculiar to it."[41]
1859 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes On Liberty.[50] Mill writes: A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury. The latter case, it is true, requires a much more cautious exercise of compulsion than the former. To make any one answerable for doing evil to others, is the rule; to make him answerable for not preventing evil is, comparatively speaking, the exception. Yet there are many cases clear enough and grave enough to justify that exception.[41]
1861 Literature John Stuart Mill starts publishing articles in Frazer's Magazine, founded on his essays on utility and justice from previous years. Mill's writing begins with an explicit statement of pure Benthamism, stating that actions are considered right if they increase happiness, and wrong if they produce unhappiness. Happiness, in this context, refers to pleasure and the absence of pain, while unhappiness refers to pain and the absence of pleasure.[51][12]:91
1863 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes Utilitarianism, which first appeared as a series of three articles published in Fraser's Magazine in 1861.[52][53] Mill acknowledges in a footnote that, though Jeremy Bentham believed "himself to be the first person who brought the word 'utilitarian' into use, he did not invent it. Rather, he adopted it from a passing expression" in John Galt's 1821 novel Annals of the Parish.[54] Mill emphasizes in making clear that he included in “utility” the pleasures of the imagination and the gratification of the higher emotions; and to make a place in his system for settled rules of conduct.[55] He also writes:
The Greatest Happiness Principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness and wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.[41]
1868 Notable statement John Stuart Mill gives a speech in favour of the use of capital punishment for aggravated murder, dismissing arguments against it. He argues that it is not incompatible with respect for human life and believes it to be a superior deterrent compared to life imprisonment with hard labor. According to Mill, capital punishment's effectiveness lies in its perceived severity rather than actual cruelty. He considers death itself a minor evil and views it as the least severe punishment that would effectively deter murder. However, Mill's stance on death and capital punishment would be regarded as unconvincing and, if widely accepted, it could undermine the gravity of certain types of murder.[56] In the speech, Mill states:
It is not human life only, not human life as such, that ought to be sacred to us, but human feelings. The human capacity of suffering is what we should cause to be respected, not the mere capacity of existing.[41][57]
1869 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes The Subjection of Women, in which he writes: "What, in unenlightened societies, colour, race, religion, or in the case of a conquered country, nationality, are to some men, sex is to all women; a peremptory exclusion from almost all honourable occupations, but either such as cannot be fulfilled by others, or such as those others do not think worthy of their acceptance."[58][41]
1871 Literature English naturalist Charles Darwin publishes The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Influenced by utilitarianism, Darwin would hold the belief that social beings with advanced intellectual abilities and a conscience would eventually recognize the greatest-happiness principle as a measure of what is morally right and wrong.[59] In his aforementioned book, Darwin writes:
As all men desire their own happiness, praise or blame is bestowed on actions and motives, according as they lead to this end; and as happiness is an essential part of the general good, the greatest-happiness principle indirectly serves as a nearly safe standard of right and wrong.[41]
1873 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes his Autobiography, in which he writes:
The "principle of utility" understood as Bentham understood it, and applied in the manner in which he applied it...fell exactly into its place as the keystone which held together the detached and fragmentary component parts of my knowledge and beliefs. It gave unity to my conceptions of things. I now had opinions; a creed, a doctrine, a philosophy...the inculcation and diffusion of which could be made the principal outward purpose of a life. And I had a grand conception laid before me of changes to be effected in the condition of mankind through that doctrine.[41]
1874 Literature English utilitarian philosopher Henry Sidgwick publishes The Methods of Ethics, which some consider to be the most lucid and comprehensible presentation of the classical utilitarian doctrine. The book synthesizes and analyzes various forms of utilitarianism. Sidgwick explores different approaches to moral decision-making, including egoism, intuitionism, and utilitarianism. He acknowledges the challenges and controversies surrounding utilitarianism and highlights the need for further refinement and examination of the theory.[1] Happiness, according to Sidgwick, is determined by the overall balance of pleasure versus pain or the balance of agreeable versus disagreeable consciousness.[12]:106[60] Sidgwick writes:
The good of any one person is no more important from the point of view...of the universe than the good of any other; unless there are special grounds for believing that more good is likely to occur in the one case than in the other.[41]
1879 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes Chapters On Socialism, in which he argues that while people are no longer enslaved or legally dependent at this time, a significant majority remains economically chained due to poverty. They are bound to a specific place, occupation, and are compelled to conform to the will of their employers. This condition, resulting from the accident of birth, deprives them of the same enjoyments and intellectual and moral advantages that others inherit without effort or deserving. Mill asserts that this inequality and deprivation experienced by the poor are significant problems, comparable to the historical challenges that humanity has fought against.[41][61]
1879 Literature John Stuart Mill publishes The Establishment of Ethical First Principles, in which he puts forth the principle that the avoidance of pain is paramount. He initially asserts that all pain experienced by human or rational beings should be avoided. However, upon further reflection, Mill expands this principle to encompass a broader scope, stating that all pain, regardless of the rationality of the beings involved, should be avoided. He argues against establishing a fundamental ethical distinction between the pains suffered by different species of sentient beings solely based on their level of rationality. In Mill's view, the capacity to experience pain should be the guiding factor in determining ethical considerations rather than the specific rational capabilities of the beings involved.[41][62]
1900 Literature English author Leslie Stephen publishes The English Utilitarians.[63] The book is a comprehensive study of utilitarianism. Leslie Stephen's exploration of utilitarianism was influenced by his earlier work, the two-volume "History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century" published in 1876. This initial study led him to delve deeper into the subject and examine the ideas and principles behind utilitarianism. The English Utilitarians consists of three volumes. Volume 1 specifically focuses on providing the social and political context surrounding the emergence of utilitarianism and offers an examination of its prominent theorist, Jeremy Bentham. Overall, this book is a significant work that delves into the history, ideas, and key figures of utilitarianism, shedding light on its social and philosophical implications in the context of English thought.[64]
1902 Literature Ernest Albee publishes A History of English Utilitarianism.[65]
1903 Literature In his book Principia Ethica, G.E.Moore strongly criticizes the hedonistic utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill for reducing everything that matters to pleasure, which he believes misrepresents human nature. However, Moore's own moral theory is consequentialist, and it differs from earlier versions of utilitarianism mainly in its broader understanding of value. Moore argues that the good is not only pleasure or any other exclusively human state or quality, but also includes the existence of particular objective features of the universe, such as the beauty of its constituents.[12]:114
1906 Literature American engineer and philosopher James MacKaye publishes The Economy of Happiness. MacKaye writes:
Quantities of pain or pleasure may be regarded as magnitudes having the same definiteness as tons of pig iron, barrels of sugar, bushels of wheat, yards of cotton, or pounds of wool; and as political economy seeks to ascertain the conditions under which these commodities may be produced with the greatest efficiency–so the economy of happiness seeks to ascertain the conditions under which happiness, regarded as a commodity, may be produced with the greatest efficiency.[41]
1907 Literature English philosopher Hastings Rashdall publishes The Theory of Good and Evil,[66] which explores moral philosophy through the lens of utilitarianism. Rashdall rejects the hedonistic view that pleasure is the sole rational motive and ultimate good. Instead, he emphasizes the consequences of actions, particularly their impact on promoting universal well-being. He criticizes deontological ethics for neglecting consequences and argues against ethical intuitionism, advocating for a consideration of both pleasure and virtues in determining the ultimate good. Rashdall acknowledges the importance of motives, aims, and consequences in assessing moral value but maintains that moral judgments can be revised based on unanticipated outcomes. He challenges attempts to reconcile rationalistic ethics with hedonism and critiques Kant's categorical imperative for lacking practical guidance. Overall, Rashdall's utilitarian perspective emphasizes the promotion of universal well-being and the consideration of both reason and emotions in moral judgments.[67]
1912 Literature G. E. Moore publishes Ethics.[68] While tending to be overshadowed by his famous earlier work Principia Ethica, it is considered unique in its detailed discussions of utilitarianism, free will, and the objectivity of moral judgements.[69]
1919 (March 21) Notable birth Richard Mervyn Hare is born. He would make significant contributions to moral philosophy and would be best known for his work on ethical theory, particularly his development of preference utilitarianism.[70][71]
1936 Literature R. F. Harrod publishes paper entitled Utilitarianism revised, which some consider to be an important attempt to restore a fairer view of utilitarianism.[12]:122
1949 Notable statement Serbian political philosopher John Plamenatz claims that "utilitarianism is destroyed".[12]:2
1949 Notable statement According to Prichard, the rightness of actions is knowable through an intuitive faculty, and consequentialist reasoning is both unnecessary for moral decision-making and apt to yield conclusions running contrary to the grain of ordinary moral thought.[12]:122
1953 Literature British philosopher J. O. Urmson publishes an influential article arguing that Mill justified rules on utilitarian principles.[72] Urmson is, perhaps, the first to argue in any sustained way that Mill was a rule utilitarian.[73]
1958 Concept development The term "negative utilitarianism" is introduced by R. Ninian Smart in his reply to Karl Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies. Smart also presents the most famous argument against negative utilitarianism:[74] that negative utilitarianism would entail that a ruler who is able to instantly and painlessly destroy the human race would have a duty to do so. Furthermore, every human being would have a moral responsibility to commit suicide, thereby preventing future suffering.[75]
1959 Literature American philosopher Richard Brandt publishes his Ethical Theory defines rule-utilitarianism.[12]:123 A prominent proponent of utilitarianism, Brandt would develop an ideal rule utilitarianism, stating that an act is right if it aligns with the ideal moral code of a society. In his ethical theory, he embraces a pluralistic view of intrinsic values, including pleasure, knowledge, virtue, and equality of welfare.[76]
1963 Literature British moral philosopher R. M. Hare publishes Freedom and Reason, in which he proceeds systematically to demonstrate how an individual can maintain both freedom and rationality when engaging in moral reasoning.[77] According to Hare, the first rule of moral reasoning involves the concept of commitment or prescription. When facing a specific situation and trying to determine what one ought to do, the goal is to find an action to which one can commit oneself. This means making a moral judgment about the action as being the right or morally appropriate course of action. The second rule of moral reasoning, which Hare calls universalizability, pertains to the acceptance of a principle of action that can be applied universally or prescribed for others in similar circumstances. In other words, when evaluating an action's moral worth, it should be possible to generalize or universalize the underlying principle behind that action. If a principle cannot be universalized, it cannot be considered a genuine moral obligation or an "ought." Hare argues that these two rules of moral reasoning—commitment and universalizability—are central to engaging in rational moral discourse while preserving personal freedom. The rules ensure that moral judgments are consistent, coherent, and applicable to others in similar situations. By adhering to these rules, individuals can maintain their freedom to choose while engaging in a rational and morally grounded decision-making process.[41]
1963 Literature Richard Brandt publishes Towards a credible form of utilitarianism, in which he defends a version of rule utilitarianism.[12]:213 Rule-utilitarianism determines the rightness of an action by assessing the consequences of following a specific rule. Early proponents include John Austin and John Stuart Mill. Challenges of this approach arise when people are unlikely to follow the rule and when the best rules become complex with exceptions. Some argue that rule-utilitarianism is essentially the same as act-utilitarianism. While currently less popular, there are attempts to revive and rehabilitate rule-utilitarianism.[78]
1965 Literature American philosophers David Lyons and Louis Lyons publish Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism.[79]
1966 Notable statement Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper states:
Instead of the greatest happiness for the greatest number, one should demand, more modestly, the least amount of avoidable suffering for all.[80][12]:17
A negative utilitarian, Popper argues that human misery is the most urgent problem in rational public policy. He highlights the lack of moral symmetry between suffering and happiness, stating that suffering directly calls for assistance, whereas there is no equivalent call to increase the happiness of those already doing well. Popper also criticizes the utilitarian idea of maximizing pleasure, stating that pain cannot be outweighed by pleasure, especially when it involves one person's pain being offset by another person's pleasure.[81]
1969 Literature Sir Isaiah Berlin publishes essay John Stuart Mill on the ends of life, which is considered one of the most influential of several works having rightly given center stage to Mill’s ideas on the ethical centrality of self-development.[12]:95
1971 Criticism American philosopher John Rawls publishes his antiutilitarian book A Theory of Justice, which rejects utilitarianism as an acceptable foundation for principles of justice.[82] The objection that "utilitarianism does not take seriously the distinction between persons" comes to prominence with the publication of this book.[83] Rawls writes:
During much of modern moral philosophy the predominant systematic theory has been some form of utilitarianism…Those who criticized them [i.e. the great utilitarians such as Hume, Smith and Mill] often did so on a much narrower front. They pointed out the obscurities of the principle of utility and noted the apparent incongruities between many of its implications and our moral sentiments. But they failed, I believe, to construct a workable and systematic moral conception to oppose it. The outcome is that we often seem forced to choose between utilitarianism and intuitionism. Most likely we finally settle upon a variant of the utility principle circumscribed and restricted in certain ad hoc ways by intuitionistic constraints. Such a view is not irrational; and there is no assurance that we can do better. But this is no reason not to try.[84]

Rawls calls the ‘primary goods’—‘things that every rational man is presumed to want’—such as health, vigour, intelligence, imagination, political freedoms and social opportunities, adequate income and a basis for self-respect.[12]:p16

1972 Criticism English philosopher Stuart Hampshire expresses his regret that utilitarianism is no longer the bold, innovative, and even subversive doctrine that it has once been.[85]
1972 Literature Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer publishes Famine, Affluence, and Morality, in which he presents his view that we have the same moral obligations to those far away as we do to those close to us. This text would rapidly become one of the most widely discussed essays in applied ethics.[86] Singer writes:
If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.[41]
1973 Concept development In Principles, R. M. Hare accepts that rule utilitarianism collapses into act utilitarianism but claims that this is a result of allowing the rules to be "as specific and un-general as we please."[87] He argues that one of the main reasons for introducing rule utilitarianism was to do justice to the general rules that people need for moral education and character development and he proposes that "a difference between act-utilitarianism and rule-utilitarianism can be introduced by limiting the specificity of the rules, i.e., by increasing their generality."[87]
1973 Literature British-Australian philosopher J. J. C. Smart and B. Williams publish Utilitarianism For and Against, a book consisting in two essays on utilitarianism, written by J.J.C. Smart and Bernard Williams. Smart advocates for a modern and sophisticated version of classical utilitarianism, arguing that the rightness and wrongness of actions are determined solely by their consequences for human happiness. Williams, in contrast, offers a sustained critique of utilitarian assumptions, arguments, and ideals, finding the theory of action implied by utilitarianism inadequate and arguing that it fails to engage with real problems of moral and political philosophy.[88] Smart writes:
The sentiment to which [the utilitarian] appeals is generalized benevolence, that is, the disposition to seek happiness, or...good consequences, for all mankind, or perhaps for all sentient beings.[41]
1973 Notable statement German-American historian Peter Gay calls utilitarianism the dominant philosophy of the mature Enlightenment.[89][12]:49
1974 Concept development Robert Nozick introduces the concept of utility monster, as a thought experiment to critique utilitarianism. The utility monster is a hypothetical being that derives significantly more utility or pleasure from consuming resources compared to others. For example, while an ordinary person might gain one unit of pleasure from eating a cookie, a utility monster could gain 100 units. According to utilitarianism, the distribution of resources should prioritize the utility monster due to the immense pleasure it experiences. However, this would result in the mistreatment and potential annihilation of everyone else, undermining the egalitarian aspect of utilitarianism. The concept highlights the limitations of aggregating utility and raises questions about fairness and resource allocation. The utility monster concept would have social implications in debates about population. Derek Parfit's mere addition paradox suggests that adding more individuals, even if it decreases average happiness, can still contribute to overall happiness. This challenges the "repugnant conclusion" that a large group with barely worth living lives might be preferred over a small group with excellent lives. The concept also relates to the potential emergence of superintelligent machines or digital minds in the future, which could achieve happiness more efficiently than humans. Considering the well-being of such entities in utility calculations raises ethical questions.[90][91][92]
1975 Peter Singer publishes Animal Liberation, in which he argues that utilitarianism should be extended to include animals, and that we have a moral obligation to reduce suffering and promote happiness for all sentient beings. Singer's book would help to spark a renewed interest in utilitarianism and its application to practical problems. This publication is one of the most important historical events in the development of effective altruism.
1976 Concept development Motive utilitarianism is first proposed by Robert Merrihew Adams.[93] It refers to a normative theory about right motivation, much as act utilitarianism is a normative theory about right action.[94] "R.M. Adams has argued that utility is better promoted by people who act from Utilitarianism and Personality 197 certain kinds of worthy motivation than on the basis of consequentialist reasoning (Adams 1976). He suggests that people who act from praiseworthy motives (for example, love, friendliness, spontaneity, a taste for beauty) will sometimes do things which an act-utilitarian would judge to be wrong, or fail to do things which he would judge to be right. But in general, acting from laudable motives produces more utility than acting on act-utilitarian reasoning does, and we should consider people to be acting rightly when they act on such motives. (Adams names his theory of right action ‘motive-utilitarianism’.)"[12]:196-197
1976 Literature British philosopher Richard Mervyn Hare publishes his article Ethical Theory and Utilitarianism, in which he explores the relationship between ethical theory and utilitarianism.[95]
1977 Literature J.B.Schneewind publishes Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy[12]:106, a comprehensive study of the philosophical work of Henry Sidgwick, a prominent British philosopher and ethicist of the late 19th century. Sidgwick adhered to John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism in philosophy, and incorporated Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative ethical principle. He utilized the ideas of both philosophers in his primary work, The Methods of Ethics.[45]
1978 Criticism Stuart Hampshire criticizes the mindset associated with utilitarianism, arguing that it has given rise to a novel type of distant cruelty in political affairs. This cruelty is characterized by a lack of emotional engagement and a destructive self-assuredness that undermines the well-being of society. Hampshire states
The utilitarian habit of mind has brought with it a new abstract cruelty in politics, a dull, destructive political righteousness.[12]:70
1977 Concept development The concept of preference utilitarianism is first proposed by John Harsanyi in Morality and the Theory of Rational Behaviour,[96][97] however the concept is more commonly associated with R. M. Hare,[98] Peter Singer,[99] and Richard Brandt.[100]
1979 Literature Peter Singer publishes Practical Ethics, in which he highlights the importance of considering the suffering of sentient beings when making moral judgments. He argues that if a being is capable of experiencing suffering, it is morally unjustifiable to ignore or dismiss that suffering. The principle of equality requires that suffering, regardless of the nature of the being, should be given equal consideration when compared to the suffering of any other being. Singer writes:
If a being suffers there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that its suffering be counted equally with the like suffering—insofar as rough comparisons can be made—of any other being.[41]
1980 Literature Elizabeth Telfer publishes Happiness: An Examination of a Hedonistic and a Eudaemonistic Concept of Happiness and of the Relations Between Them, with a Consideration of how Far and in what Sense Either Kind of Happiness May be Said to be the Goal of Human Life.[101] The author remarks that being happy involves, among other things, being pleased with one’s life.[12]:140
1981 Literature British moral philosopher Richard Mervyn Hare publishes Moral Thinking[102] which attempts to provide, out of the logical and linguistic theses of his earlier books, a full-scale but readily intelligible account of moral argument.[103]
1981 Literature Peter Singer publishes The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress[104], in which he writes:
The only justifiable stopping place for the expansion of altruism is the point at which all whose welfare can be affected by our actions are included within the circle of altruism. This means that all beings with the capacity to feel pleasure or pain should be included; we can improve their welfare by increasing their pleasures and diminishing their pains.[41]
1981 Organization The Anti-utilitarian Movement in the Social Sciences (Mouvement Anti-Utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales) is founded as a French intellectual movement.[105] It is formed as a response to the dominance of utilitarianism in the social sciences and neoliberalism in society. The movement's main publication, the Revue du MAUSS, is a biannual journal focused on studying the concept of gift-giving. The journal brings together anthropologists, sociologists, economists, and political philosophers from the left to explore alternative approaches to science and society that go beyond self-interest and egoism.[106]
1981 Concept development R. M. Hare outlines the theory of preference utilitarianism[107], which in his view, synthesizes intuitionism and utilitarianism. Hare maintains that there are two levels of moral thinking: intuitive and critical. Intuitive moral thinking is not enough because moral conflicts may arise, so we must resort to critical moral thinking, which involves considering people's preferences. Hare's brand of utilitarianism arises as a response to the criticisms of traditional utilitarian theories by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, G.E. Moore, and other utilitarians.[108]
1982 Literature R. M. Hare publishes Ethical Theory and Utilitarianism, in which he discusses the principle of utility and its implications for moral decision-making. Hare proposes a perspective on how to determine the morally right course of action based on the principle of utility. According to Hare, the principle of utility requires individuals to consider the interests of every person affected by their actions. To determine what the principle of utility demands, Hare suggests employing a thought experiment. He encourages individuals to imagine themselves in the exact situation of each person influenced by their actions and asks them to consider what they would wish to be done for them in that precise circumstance.[41]
1982 Criticism According to American moral and political philosopher Samuel Scheffler, classic utilitarianism demands too much, because it requires us to do acts that are or should be moral options (neither obligatory nor forbidden). For instance, consider a situation where an individual has a pair of old but usable shoes and desires a new $100 pair. If the individual were to give the $100 to a charity that could use the money to save a life, it would be the best option to maximize overall utility. However, if the individual is obligated to do what maximizes utility, then buying the shoes would be morally wrong. Yet, purchasing the shoes doesn't appear to be morally wrong; it may simply be a case where giving the money to charity is a morally commendable act that goes beyond what is expected.[109][110]
1984 Literature/concept developent British philosopher Derek Parfit publishes Reasons and Persons, which would be considered a classic work in ethics and personal identity.[111] Parfit introduces the concept of the mere addition paradox, also known as the repugnant conclusion. This paradox highlights the conflicting assertions about the relative value of populations. Parfit argues that a population with low positive welfare can be considered better than a perfectly equal population with high positive welfare. The paradox arises when comparing populations of different sizes and levels of happiness. Critics would offer different perspectives, challenging the assumption of transitivity and questioning the intuition that a larger population with lower average happiness can be worse than a smaller population with higher average happiness. Parfit argues that the true repugnance lies in the eventual outcome of continuous iterations, leading to a massive population with minimal average happiness. Additionally, the term "mere addition paradox" would be used to describe paradoxical reasoning in statistical measures, where the addition of a few individuals drastically affects average indicators without changing the overall situation for the original population.[112][113][114][115]
1984 Literature Fred Berger publishes the book Happiness, Justice and Freedom: The Moral and Political Philosophy of John Stuart Mill. It is considered one of the most influential works that have correctly highlighted John Stuart Mill's views on the significant importance of self-development in ethics.[12]:95
1986 Notable statement British philosopher James Griffin suggests that "a fairly small amount of misery will turn out to make life worse to a greater degree than a fairly large amount of happiness makes it better".[116]If this is so , the finite energies we possess for promoting the public weal may be better directed at righting wrongs than at multiplying goods.[12]:17-18
1989 Literature U.S. philosopher Shelly Kagan publishes The Limits of Morality, in which he discusses the belief held by most people that there are limits to the sacrifices that morality can demand. While it may be good to promote overall good, it is not always morally required. Certain acts are also considered morally off-limits, even if necessary for promoting the overall good. The author argues that these views cannot be adequately defended and offers a sustained attack on two basic features of ordinary common sense morality.[117] According to Kagan, classic utilitarianism reduces all morally relevant factors to consequences.[118][109]
1990 Literature American philosopher Alastair Norcross publishes article entitled Consequentialism and the Future.[119] Norcross writes:
Morality really is very demanding, in precisely the way utilitarianism says it is. But doesn't this fly in the face of common sense? Well, perhaps it does, but so what? Until relatively recently, moral "common sense" viewed women as having an inferior moral status to men, and some races as having an inferior status to others. These judgments were not restricted to the philosophically unsophisticated. Such illustrious philosophers as Aristotle and Hume accepted positions of this nature. Many utilitarians (myself included) believe that the interests of sentient non-human animals should be given equal consideration in moral decisions with the interests of humans. This claim certainly conflicts with the "common sense" of many (probably most) humans, and many (perhaps most) philosophers. It should not, on that account alone, be rejected.[41]
1990 Notable statement British idealist philosopher Timothy Sprigge publishes article titled The greatest happiness principle. Sprigge argues that an extreme and illogical outcome would arise if one followed the line of reasoning that suggests the optimal course of action would be to eliminate all forms of life experiencing any form of distress.[120][12]:17
1990 Criticism British economist, journalist, and author Samuel Brittan describes utilitarianism as ‘a member of the family of moral doctrines which judge actions neither by their motives nor their intrinsic qualities, but by their consequences’. This gives the misleading impression that utilitarians take no account of motives in the appraisal of actions. Brittan's statement highlights the common misconception that utilitarians disregard motives when evaluating actions. While utilitarianism primarily focuses on consequences, it does not completely exclude motives from consideration. Some variations of utilitarianism, such as rule-utilitarianism, incorporate the idea that certain motives or intentions can contribute to better overall consequences.[12]:p10
1992 Literature British philosopher John Broome publishes Counting the Cost of Global Warming, in which he explores the distinction between total utilitarianism and average utilitarianism, particularly regarding the topic of extinction and its implications for our understanding of global warming. According to Broome, total utilitarianism and average utilitarianism are two different ethical theories with contrasting perspectives on the concept of extinction. In the context of global warming, if humanity were to become extinct, total utilitarianism would view it as an unimaginably catastrophic event. This is because the loss would encompass all the future well-being of all the individuals who would have otherwise lived. In contrast, certain versions of average utilitarianism argue that extinction may not be a significant tragedy. It might have little impact on the average well-being of the people who actually exist.[41][121]
1992 Literature U.S. philosopher Richard Brandt publishes Morality, utilitarianism, and rights, a collection of essays spanning nearly 30 years of the author's work. It includes classic pieces in metaethical and normative ethical theory. Brandt's approach to justifying what is good or right focuses on moral psychology and valuing, rather than intuition or theories about moral words. This collection is aimed at both those familiar with Brandt's work and those unfamiliar, and is notable for its clear and weighty contributions to important topics in moral philosophy.[122]
1992 Literature (article) Dirck Vorenkamp publishes an article responding to Dennis Ahem's argument on the presence of utilitarianism in Mo-Tzu's thought. Ahem distinguishes between two types of utilitarianism, with the first being "strong utilitarianism," which prioritizes utility as the final criterion for actions and values. The author engages with Ahem's analysis and presents his own interpretation of Mo-Tzu's utilitarianism.[123][124]
1993 Concept development Irish philosopher Philip Pettit defines utilitarianism as a consequentialist (or, to use an older term, a ‘teleological’) doctrine in the sense that it maintains that the proper response to its values is to promote them.[12]:p10
1994 Literature Necip Fikri Alican publishes Mill's Principle of Utility: A Defense of John Stuart Mill's Notorious Proof, which constitutes a detailed examination and defense of John Stuart Mill's proof of the principle of utility, responding to criticisms and providing arguments in favor of utility as the first principle of morality.[125]
1995 Literature David Pearce publishes The Hedonistic Imperative, in which he presents a vision for the future where suffering is eradicated from all sentient life through the advancements of genetic engineering and nanotechnology. Pearce's goal is to create a world where all living beings experience an incredibly heightened state of well-being, far surpassing the peak experiences of happiness that we currently know. He predicts that future generations will be characterized by genetically pre-programmed gradients of well-being that are exponentially more intense and fulfilling. Pearce envisions a world in which suffering becomes obsolete and is replaced by a universal state of profound and sustainable happiness for all sentient beings.[126][127]
1998 Literature Swedish philosopher Torbjörn Tännsjö publishes Hedonistic Utilitarianism, in which he presents a comprehensive defense of classical, hedonistic utilitarianism as a viable moral theory. Tännsjö argues that a moral theory is necessary and challenges the notion that hedonistic utilitarianism conflicts with common sense morality, especially when considering modern feminist moral criticism. The book introduces a distinctive perspective and presents controversial conclusions regarding the compatibility of hedonistic utilitarianism with moral principles.[128]
2002 Literature Peter Singer publishes Animal Liberation, which would inspire a global movement to transform attitudes towards nonhuman animals and eliminate cruelty inflicted upon them. Singer exposes the realities of "factory farms" and product testing procedures, offering alternatives and dismantling justifications for such practices.[129] Singer writes:
Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater weight to the interests of members of their own race when there is a clash between their interests and the interests of those of another race. Sexists violate the principle of equality by favoring the interests of their own sex. Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of their own species to override the greater interests of members of other species. The pattern is identical in each case.[41]
2003 Criticism British philosopher and historian Frederick Rosen warns that descriptions of utilitarianism can bear "little resemblance historically to utilitarians like Bentham and J. S. Mill" and can be more "a crude version of act utilitarianism conceived in the twentieth century as a straw man to be attacked and rejected."[130]
2003 Concept development Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom coins the term “astronomical waste” to describe the opportunity cost of delayed technological development. Bostrom argues that utilitarians should not aim to maximize the rate of technological progress “but rather that we ought to maximize its safety, i.e. the probability that colonization will eventually occur”.[131][132] Bostrom writes:
For standard utilitarians, priority number one, two, three and four should consequently be to reduce existential risk. The utilitarian imperative "Maximize expected aggregate utility!" can be simplified to the maxim "Minimize existential risk!".[41]
2006 Literature British philosopher Michael Ridge publishes an article presenting an alternative version of rule-utilitarianism called "variable-rate rule-utilitarianism," which aims to address the dilemma faced by traditional rule-utilitarianism in characterizing "general acceptance" as either 100% or something less. The author argues that this new version can evade the charges of utopianism and arbitrariness, and lack of philosophical depth that are leveled against traditional rule-utilitarianism.[133][134]
2007 Literature U.S. professor Eric Wiland at University of Missouri-St. Louis publishes an article discussing the concept of indirect utilitarianism, which is a form of utilitarianism that rejects direct utilitarianism and argues that the optimal decision procedure may differ from the criterion of rightness for actions. The author distinguishes between six different versions of indirect utilitarianism and argues that weaker versions of IU still fall prey to the paradox of utilitarianism, while stronger versions violate a moral principle that one ought to act intentionally.[135][136]
2008 Literature British-American philosopher Brad Hooker and British philosopher Guy Fletcher publish an article discussing the debate between fixed-rate and variable-rate rule-utilitarianism, with fixed-rate evaluating rules based on the expected net value of a particular level of social acceptance, and variable-rate evaluating rules based on their expected net value at all levels of social acceptance. Brad Hooker supports fixed-rate, while Michael Ridge argues in favor of variable-rate. The article examines the implications of each approach on doing good for others. The debate is ongoing.[137][138]
2008 The Effective Altruism Forum is founded. Is is created by a group of students and academics who are interested in applying utilitarianism to real-world problems. The forum would since grown into a global movement with thousands of members.
2011 Literature Canadian philosopher Anthony Skelton publishes an article in which he examines the concept of ideal utilitarianism, which posits that the fundamental requirement of morality is to promote intrinsic goods. The author critically evaluates the arguments presented by Hastings Rashdall in support of ideal utilitarianism and compares them to those presented by G.E. Moore. The article is divided into four sections, which outline Rashdall's ethical outlook, evaluate his arguments for the theory of rightness, discuss his defense of a pluralist theory of value, and argue that Rashdall makes a lasting contribution to the defense of ideal utilitarianism.[139][140]
2012 Literature American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt publishes The Righteous Mind, which challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion by drawing on Haidt's 25 years of research on moral psychology. The book argues that moral judgments arise not from reason, but from gut feelings, and shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have different intuitions about right and wrong. Haidt argues that each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. The book aims to provide a key to understanding human cooperation and to help readers trade in anger for understanding.[141] Haidt writes:
I don't know what the best normative ethical theory is for individuals in their private lives. But when we talk about making laws and implementing public policies in Western democracies that contain some degree of ethnic and moral diversity, then I think there is no compelling alternative to utilitarianism.[41]
2013 Literature American experimental psychologist Joshua Greene publishes Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them, which explores the clash of values and conflicts that arise as different tribes are forced into a shared space. Drawing from neuroscience and philosophy, the book examines the causes of modern conflict and offers practical guidance for navigating moral dilemmas.[142] Greene writes:
Utilitarianism is a great idea with an awful name. It is, in my opinion, the most underrated and misunderstood idea in all of moral and political philosophy.[41]
2013 Literature (paper) American philosopher Kevin Tobia publishes Rule Consequentialism and the Problem of Partial Acceptance, an article discussing the problem of partial acceptance in moral theories and explores various approaches to addressing it, including three forms of Rule Utilitarianism: Fixed Rate, Variable Rate, and Optimum Rate. The author proposes a new approach called Maximizing Expectation Rate Rule Utilitarianism, which he argues is a better solution to the issue of partial acceptance.[143]
2014 Literature Ben Eggleston and Dale E. Miller publish The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism, which provides a comprehensive examination of utilitarianism. The book traces the origins and evolution of utilitarianism, examines its formulation and various interpretations, compares it with other ethical theories, and discusses its modern relevance in contemporary debates such as global warming and military conflict. It is a resource for students and scholars of moral philosophy, political philosophy, political theory, and history of ideas.[144]
2015 Literature Peter Singer publishes The Most Good You Can Do, which introduces the concept of effective altruism. The book argues that living ethically involves doing the most good that one can do, and that charitable giving should be based on reason and evidence rather than emotions. Singer introduces readers to people who are practicing effective altruism by choosing careers that allow them to donate more and giving half their income to effective charities. The book argues that effective altruism can change the world and provides hope for tackling the world's most pressing problems.[145] He writes:
Living a minimally acceptable ethical life involves using a substantial part of our spare resources to make the world a better place. Living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good we can.[41]
2015 Literature British philosopher Robin Barrow publishes Utilitarianism: A Contemporary Statement, in which he claims that utilitarianism is the most coherent and persuasive theory available. Barrow argues succinctly and persuasively for a specific form of rule-utilitarianism.[146][147]
2017 Literature American philosopher Bart Schultz publishes The Happiness Philosophers: The Lives and Works of the Great Utilitarians, which explores the lives and contributions of the founders of utilitarianism. The book sheds light on the radical philosophers, including William Godwin, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Harriet Taylor Mill, and Henry Sidgwick, who shaped utilitarianism and influenced various aspects of society, such as law, politics, economics, morals, education, and women's rights. The Happiness Philosophers also highlights the revival of utilitarianism in contemporary times, as it proves relevant in tackling pressing global issues.[148] Schulz writes:
Happiness, for [the great English-language utilitarian philosophers] was more of a cosmic calling, the path to world progress, and whatever was deemed 'utilitarian' had to be useful for that larger and inspiring end, the global minimization of pointless suffering and the global maximization of positive well-being or happiness.[41]
2017 Notable statement Torbjörn Tännsjö suggests that when we understand the implications of utilitarianism, particularly its view on blameworthy rightdoing and blameless wrongdoing, it can provide us with what he considers to be the right answers in certain moral dilemmas. Tännsjö suggests that utilitarianism recognizes the distinction between blameworthy rightdoing and blameless wrongdoing. Tännsjö states:
Once we realise that utilitarianism comes with the idea of blameworthy rightdoing (such as when you push a big man onto the tracks in order to save five lives) and blameless wrongdoing (such as when you don't push a big man onto the tracks in order to save five lives), then utilitarianism all of a sudden appears to give the right answers.[41]
2020 Concept development Jonathan Harrison discusses two versions of utilitarianism: rule utilitarianism and cumulative-effect utilitarianism. Rule utilitarianism is a form of utilitarianism where moral rules are established, and actions are judged based on whether they conform to those rules. The moral rules are chosen based on the principle of utility, which seeks to maximize overall happiness or pleasure. Cumulative-effect utilitarianism, on the other hand, focuses on the cumulative effect of individual actions on overall happiness or pleasure. Under this form of utilitarianism, actions are judged based on their long-term impact on overall happiness, rather than their conformity to moral rules. Harrison notes that while rule utilitarianism has gained more attention in recent years, cumulative-effect utilitarianism remains a valid form of utilitarianism that has not received as much attention.[149]

Numerical and visual data

Google Trends

The chart below shows Google Trends data for Utilitarianism (Topic), from 2004 to October 2022, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[150]

Utilitarianism gt.png

Google ngram viewer

The chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for Utilitarianism, from 1800 to 2019.[151]

Utilitarianism ngram.PNG

Wikipedia views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Utilitarianism from July 2015 to May 2023.[152]

Utilitarianism wv.PNG

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

Base literature

  • Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction, by Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer.[85]
  • The Political Economy of Progress: John Stuart Mill and Modern Radicalism, by Joseph Persky.[34]

The initial version of the timeline was written by Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

Feedback and comments

Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:


What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Driver, Julia (2014). "The History of Utilitarianism". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  2. Freedman, Sam. "The Politics of Effective Altruism". samf.substack.com. Retrieved 27 October 2022. 
  3. "Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them". study.com. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  4. Jones 2010, p. 323.
  5. "Mozi: the Man, the Consequentialist, and the Utilitarian" (PDF). core.ac.uk. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  6. "Mozi Quote". Lib Quotes. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  7. "Mozi: the Man, the Consequentialist, and the Utilitarian" (PDF). core.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  8. "Richard Cumberland - New World Encyclopedia". www.newworldencyclopedia.org. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  9. Hutcheson, Francis (2008). "An Inquiry Into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue: In Two Treatises". Liberty Fund. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  10. Hutcheson, Francis (2002) [1725]. "The Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue". In Schneewind, J. B. Moral Philosophy from Montaigne to Kant. Cambridge University Press. p. 515. ISBN 978-0-521-00304-9. 
  11. Selby-Bigge 1897:106– 7
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.21 12.22 12.23 12.24 12.25 12.26 12.27 12.28 12.29 12.30 12.31 12.32 12.33 12.34 12.35 12.36 12.37 12.38 Scarre, Geoffrey (1996). Utilitarianism. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-09527-3. 
  13. "Susanna Newcome – Utilitarianism.net". Utilitarianism. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  14. Newcome, Susanna (17 April 2018). An Enquiry Into the Evidence of the Christian Religion. Creative Media Partners, LLC. ISBN 978-1-379-39711-3. 
  15. Lustila, Getty L. (March 2018). "John Gay and the Birth of Utilitarianism". Utilitas. 30 (1): 86–106. doi:10.1017/S0953820817000115. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Halévy, Élie (1972). The growth of philosophic radicalism. Clifton, N.J.: A.M. Kelley. ISBN 0678080054. 
  17. Ashcraft, Richard (1991) John Locke: Critical Assessments (Critical assessments of leading political philosophers), Routledge, p. 691
  18. Lustila, Getty L. (March 2018). "John Gay and the Birth of Utilitarianism". Utilitas. 30 (1): 86–106. doi:10.1017/S0953820817000115. 
  19. "William Paley : theological utilitarianism ?". www.utilitarianism.com. Retrieved 27 May 2023. 
  20. Schneewind, J. B. (1977). Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy. Oxford University Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-19-824552-0. 
  21. "Jeremy Bentham". Utilitarianism.net. 29 January 2023. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  22. "hedonistic utilitarianism". www.utilitarianism.com. Retrieved 28 May 2023. 
  23. Veenhoven, Ruut (1 October 2010). "Greater Happiness for a Greater Number". Journal of Happiness Studies. 11 (5): 605–629. ISSN 1573-7780. doi:10.1007/s10902-010-9204-z. 
  24. "Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals | work by Hume | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 18 September 2022. 
  25. Hutcheson 1755: vol. 1, 243
  26. Becarria 1764:61–2
  27. "On Crimes and Punishments | Office of Justice Programs". www.ojp.gov. Retrieved 20 May 2023. 
  28. Helvétius 1774:187
  29. Chastellux 1774: vol. 1, 50
  30. "§4. "A Fragment on Government;" Sir William Blackstone's "Commentaries". III. Bentham and the Early Utilitarians. Vol. 11. The Period of the French Revolution. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes. 1907–21". www.bartleby.com. Retrieved 18 September 2022. 
  31. Brady, Michael Emmett (2018). "Adam Smith Was Consistent in Both the Theory of Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations on the Role of the Concept of Self Interest: Das Utilitarian Economist View Is the Problem". SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3156013. 
  32. "What is the Invisible Hand of the market?". www.tutor2u.net. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  33. Schneewind, J. B. (1977). Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy. Oxford University Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-19-824552-0. 
  34. 34.0 34.1 Persky, Joseph (16 May 2016). The Political Economy of Progress: John Stuart Mill and Modern Radicalism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-046064-8. 
  35. "Defence of Usury". Econlib. Retrieved 20 May 2023. 
  36. "Bentham, J. (1789) An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. Clarendon Press, Oxford. - References - Scientific Research Publishing". www.scirp.org. Retrieved 18 September 2022. 
  37. "Jeremy Bentham | Biography, Utilitarianism, Philosophy, & Auto-Icon | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 18 September 2022. 
  38. "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham (377ES) — Atlas of Places". www.atlasofplaces.com. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  39. Kant 1793:34
  40. "John Stuart Mill | Biography, Philosophy, Utilitarianism, On Liberty, & Books | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 21 September 2022. 
  41. 41.00 41.01 41.02 41.03 41.04 41.05 41.06 41.07 41.08 41.09 41.10 41.11 41.12 41.13 41.14 41.15 41.16 41.17 41.18 41.19 41.20 41.21 41.22 41.23 41.24 41.25 41.26 41.27 "Utilitarian Quotes – Utilitarianism.net". Utilitarianism. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  42. Bentham 1817:205–7
  43. Bentham, Jeremy (1825). "The Rationale of Reward". books.google.com. John and H. L. Hunt. Retrieved 14 March 2023. 
  44. "BENTHAM'S THE RATIONALE OF REWARD". jrul.libraries.rutgers.edu. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  45. 45.0 45.1 "Henry Sidgwick | British philosopher | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 28 March 2023. 
  46. See Mill, John Stuart (1848), Principles of Political Economy with Some of their Applications to Social Philosophy, 1 (1 ed.), London: John W. Parker, ISBN 978-0598983848, retrieved 7 December 2012 , volume 2 via Google Books
  47. Capaldi, Nicholas (2004). John Stuart Mill: A Biography. Ch. 5: Worldly Success (1846–1850): Cambridge University Press. pp. 214 to c. 234. ISBN 978-0511164194. 
  48. "State v. Nix | Animal Legal & Historical Center". www.animallaw.info. Retrieved 4 June 2023. 
  49. "Harriet Taylor Mill". Utilitarianism.net. 29 January 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2023. 
  50. "On Liberty by John Stuart Mill - Chapter 1: Introductory – Utilitarianism.net". Utilitarianism. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  51. J.S. Mill 1861:210
  52. Hinman, Lawrence (2012). Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory. Wadsworth. ISBN 978-1-133-05001-8. 
  53. Mill, John Stuart (2010) [1863]. Utilitarianism - Ed. Heydt (Broadview Editions). Broadview Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-55111-501-6. Retrieved 2019-07-28. 
  54. Mill, John Stuart. 1861. Utilitarianism. n1.
  55. "John Stuart Mill | Biography, Philosophy, Utilitarianism, On Liberty, & Books | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 4 October 2022. 
  56. Ten, C. L. (4 May 2017). "Mill's Defense of Capital Punishment". Criminal Justice Ethics. 36 (2): 141–151. doi:10.1080/0731129X.2017.1358919. 
  57. Mill, J. S. (1868). Capital Punishment, in The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Toronto, 1988, vol. 28, p. 270
  58. "On Liberty by John Stuart Mill - Chapter 1: Introductory – Utilitarianism.net". Utilitarianism. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  59. "Evolutionary Ethics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  60. "The Methods of Ethics". Goodreads. Retrieved 13 March 2023. 
  61. Mill, John Stuart. Chapters On Socialism (PDF). 
  62. Sidgwick, Henry (21 December 2000). "The Establishment of Ethical First Principles". Essays on Ethics and Method: 29–34. doi:10.1093/0198250231.003.0005. 
  63. Frobert, Ludovic (April 2015). "ELIE HALEVY AND PHILOSOPHICAL RADICALISM". Modern Intellectual History. 12 (1): 127–150. doi:10.1017/S1479244314000377. 
  64. Stephen, Leslie (1900). "The English Utilitarians". philpapers.org. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 10 June 2023. 
  65. "A History of English Utilitarianism by ALBEE Ernest: Very Good Hardcover (1902) 1st Edition | David Kenyon". www.abebooks.com. Retrieved 19 September 2022. 
  66. Ruse, Michael; Richards, Robert J. (24 August 2017). The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-13295-5. 
  67. "Hasting Rashdall's The Theory of Good and Evil". www.angelfire.com. Retrieved 19 May 2023. 
  68. "Ethics". fair-use.org. Retrieved 18 September 2022. 
  69. "Ethics (British Moral Philosophers)". amazon. Retrieved 18 September 2022. 
  70. "Richard Mervyn Hare" (PDF). thebritishacademy.ac.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2023. 
  71. "Philosophical radical | philosophy | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 10 June 2023. 
  72. Urmson, J. O. (1953). "The Interpretation of the Moral Philosophy of J. S. Mill". Philosophical Quarterly. 3 (10): 33–39. JSTOR 2216697. doi:10.2307/2216697. 
  73. Martin, Rex (24 November 2010). "Mill's Rule Utilitarianism in Context". John Stuart Mill and the Art of Life: 21–43. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381245.003.0002. 
  74. Arrhenius & Bykvist 1995, p. 31.
  75. Smart 1958, p. 542.
  76. "Brandt, R. B. (1910–1997) | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 17 October 2022. 
  77. "Goodreads". Goodreads. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  78. "rule-utilitarianism". www.utilitarianism.com. Retrieved 27 May 2023. 
  79. Lyons, Louis; Lyons, David (1965). "Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism". google.com.ar. Clarendon Press. Retrieved 31 March 2023. 
  80. Popper 1966: vol. 1, 284–5
  81. "Karl Popper: Political Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy". iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 27 May 2023. 
  82. Brooke, David (2 June 2009). Q&A Jurisprudence 2009-2010. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-24201-5. 
  83. Rawls, John (2005). A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-674-01772-6. 
  84. "A Theory of Justice Quotes by John Rawls". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 20 September 2022. 
  85. 85.0 85.1 Lazari-Radek, Katarzyna de; Singer, Peter (2017). Utilitarianism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-872879-5. 
  86. "Famine, Affluence, and Morality". goodreads. Retrieved 20 September 2022. 
  87. 87.0 87.1 Hare, R. M. (1972–1973). "The Presidential Address: Principles". Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. New Series. 73: 1–18. JSTOR 4544830. doi:10.1093/aristotelian/73.1.1. 
  88. Smart, J. J. C.; Williams, Bernard (1 January 1973). "Utilitarianism: For and Against". google.com.ar. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 31 March 2023. 
  89. P.Gay 1973:459
  90. Kennard, Frederick (March 20, 2015). Thought Experiments: Popular Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Physics, Ethics, Computer Science & Mathematics (First ed.). AMF. p. 322. ISBN 9781329003422. 
  91. Nozick, Robert (1974). Anarchy, State, and Utopia. p. 41. 
  92. Derek Parfit, "Overpopulation and the quality of life", in The Repugnant Conclusion, J. Ryberg and T. Tännsjö, eds., 2004.
  93. Robert Merrihew Adams, Motive Utilitarianism, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 73, No. 14, On Motives and Morals (12 August 1976), pp. 467–81
  94. Feldman, Fred (1993). "On the Consistency of Act- and Motive-Utilitarianism: A Reply to Robert Adams". Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition. 70 (2): 201–212. ISSN 0031-8116. 
  95. "Richard Mervyn Hare 1919–2002" (PDF). thebritishacademy.ac.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2023. 
  96. Harsanyi, John C. 1977. "Morality and the theory of rational behavior." Social Research 44 (4):623–56.
  97. Harsanyi, John C. [1977] 1982. "Morality and the theory of rational behaviour." Pp. 39–62 in Utilitarianism and Beyond, edited by A. Sen and B. Williams. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  98. Hare, R.M. (1981). Moral thinking: its levels, method, and point. Oxford New York: Clarendon Press Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-824660-2. 
  99. Singer, Peter (1979). Practical ethics (1st ed.). Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-29720-2. :Singer, Peter (1993). Practical ethics (2nd ed.). Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-43971-8. 
  100. Brandt, Richard B. (1979). A Theory of the Good and the Right. Oxford/New York: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-824550-6. 
  101. Telfer, Elizabeth (1980). "Happiness: An Examination of a Hedonistic and a Eudaemonistic Concept of Happiness and of the Relations Between Them, with a Consideration of how Far and in what Sense Either Kind of Happiness May be Said to be the Goal of Human Life". books.google.com. Macmillan. Retrieved 1 April 2023. 
  102. Hare, R. M. (1981). "Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point". philpapers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 September 2022. 
  103. Hare, R. M.; Hare, Richard Mervyn; Hare, Hare, Richard Mervyn; Hare, Richard M. (1981). Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-824660-2. 
  104. "THE EXPANDING CIRCLE Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress" (PDF). stafforini.com. Retrieved 20 September 2022. 
  105. Papilloud, Christian (2006). "MAUSS: Mouvement Anti-Utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales". Kultur. Theorien der Gegenwart: 267–281. doi:10.1007/978-3-531-90017-9_22. 
  106. Graeber, David; Vandenberghe, Frédéric (18 January 2010). "MAUSS". The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. doi:10.1002/9781405165518.wbeosm148. Retrieved 19 May 2023. 
  107. Hare, Richard Mervyn (1981). Moral Thinking: Its Levels, Method, and Point. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. pp. 101–105. ISBN 978-0-19-824659-6. 
  108. "Hare's preference utilitarianism: an overview and critique". revistas.marilia.unesp.br. Retrieved 29 March 2023. 
  109. 109.0 109.1 Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter (2022). "Consequentialism". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. Retrieved 31 March 2023. 
  110. Lyons, David (July 1985). "The Rejection of Consequentialism: A Philosophical Investigation of the Considerations Underlying Rival Moral Conceptions . Samuel Scheffler". Ethics. 95 (4): 936–939. doi:10.1086/292695. 
  111. "Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry". Routledge & CRC Press. Retrieved 13 March 2023. 
  112. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Citation/CS1/Suggestions' not found.
  113. Huemer, Michael. "In Defence of Repugnance" (PDF). 
  114. Parfit, Derek (1984). Reasons and PersonsFree registration required. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198249085. 
  115. Another Mere Addition Paradox? Some Reflections on Variable Population Poverty Measurement. UNU-WIDER. November 2010. ISBN 978-92-9230-358-7. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  116. Griffin 1986:84
  117. Kagan, Shelly (1989). "The Limits of Morality". books.google.com. Clarendon Press. Retrieved 31 March 2023. 
  118. Kagan 1998, 17–22
  119. "CONSEQUENTIALISM AND THE UNFORESEEABLE FUTURE" (PDF). spot.colorado.edu. Retrieved 21 September 2022. 
  120. Sprigge 1990b: 198
  121. Broome, John (1992). "Counting the Cost of Global Warming: A Report to the Economic and Social Research Council on Research by John Broome and David Ulph". philarchive.org. Retrieved 5 June 2023. 
  122. Brandt, Richard B. (26 June 1992). "Morality, Utilitarianism, and Rights". google.com.ar. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 31 March 2023. 
  123. Vorenkamp, Dirck (December 1992). "ANOTHER LOOK AT UTILITARIANISM IN MO-TZU'S THOUGHT". Journal of Chinese Philosophy. 19 (4): 423–443. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6253.1992.tb00125.x. 
  124. Vorenkamp, Dirck (1992). "Another Look at Utilitarianism in Mo-Tzu's Thought". Journal of Chinese Philosophy. pp. 423–443. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6253.1992.tb00125.x. Retrieved 30 March 2023. 
  125. Alican, Necip Fikri (1994). "Mill's Principle of Utility: A Defense of John Stuart Mill's Notorious Proof". books.google.com.ar. Rodopi. Retrieved 29 March 2023. 
  126. "The Hedonistic Imperative". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 20 September 2022. 
  127. "The Hedonistic Imperative Quotes by David Pearce". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 20 September 2022. 
  128. Tännsjö, Torbjörn (1 March 1998). "Hedonistic Utilitarianism". amazon.com. Edinburgh University Press. Retrieved 27 May 2023. 
  129. "Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement". amazon.com. Retrieved 13 March 2023. 
  130. Rosen, Frederick. 2003. Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to Mill. Routledge. p. 32.
  131. "Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development" (PDF). nickbostrom.com. Retrieved 21 September 2022. 
  132. "Glossary – Utilitarianism.net". Utilitarianism. Retrieved 21 September 2022. 
  133. Ridge, Michael (April 2006). "INTRODUCING VARIABLE-RATE RULE-UTILITARIANISM". The Philosophical Quarterly. 56 (223): 242–253. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9213.2006.00440.x. 
  134. Ridge, Michael (2006). "Introducing Variable-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism". Philosophical Quarterly. pp. 242–253. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9213.2006.00440.x. Retrieved 30 March 2023. 
  135. Wiland, Eric (March 2007). "How Indirect Can Indirect Utilitarianism Be?". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 74 (2): 275–301. doi:10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00018.x. 
  136. Wiland, Eric (2007). "How Indirect Can Indirect Utilitarianism Be?". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. pp. 275–301. doi:10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00018.x. Retrieved 30 March 2023. 
  137. Hooker, Brad; Fletcher, Guy (2008). "Variable Versus Fixed-Rate Rule-Utilitarianism". Philosophical Quarterly. pp. 344–352. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.518.x. Retrieved 30 March 2023. 
  138. Hooker, Brad; Fletcher, Guy (April 2008). "VARIABLE VERSUS FIXED-RATE RULE-UTILITARIANISM". The Philosophical Quarterly. 58 (231): 344–352. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.518.x. 
  139. Skelton, Anthony (1 February 2011). "3 Ideal Utilitarianism: Rashdall and Moore". doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577446.003.0004. 
  140. Skelton, Anthony (2011). "Ideal Utilitarianism: Rashdall and Moore". Underivative Duty: British Moral Philosophers From Sidgwick to Ewing. Oxford University Press. pp. 45–65. Retrieved 30 March 2023. 
  141. "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Haidt, Jonathan: Good (2013) | SecondSale". www.abebooks.com. Retrieved 11 March 2023. 
  142. "Goodreads". Goodreads. Retrieved 26 May 2023. 
  143. Tobia, Kevin (2013). "Rule Consequentialism and the Problem of Partial Acceptance". Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. pp. 643–652. doi:10.1007/s10677-012-9382-3. Retrieved 30 March 2023. 
  144. Eggleston, Ben; Miller, Dale E. (2014). "The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism". philpapers.org. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 30 March 2023. 
  145. "The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically by Singer, Peter: Acceptable (2015) | Goodwill Books". www.abebooks.com. Retrieved 11 March 2023. 
  146. "Utilitarianism: A Contemporary Statement". Goodreads. Retrieved 20 September 2022. 
  147. Barrow, Robin (3 June 2015). Utilitarianism: A Contemporary Statement. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-40654-9. 
  148. "The Happiness Philosophers". press.princeton.edu. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2023. 
  149. Harrison, Jonathan (1979). "Rule Utilitarianism and Cumulative-Effect Utilitarianism". Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supplementary Volume. 5: 21–45. doi:10.1080/00455091.1979.10717092. 
  150. "Google Trends". Google Trends. Retrieved 13 October 2022. 
  151. "Google Books Ngram Viewer". books.google.com. Retrieved 5 June 2023. 
  152. "Wikipedia Views: results". wikipediaviews.org. Retrieved 5 June 2023.