Hutcheson’s Deceptive Hedonism

Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):445-467 (2010)
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Francis Hutcheson’s theory of value is often characterized as a precursor to the qualitative hedonism of John Stuart Mill. The interpretation of Mill as a qualitative hedonist has come under fire recently; some have argued that he is, in fact, a hedonist of no variety at all.1 Others have argued that his hedonism is as non-qualitative as Bentham’s.2 The purpose of this essay is not to critically engage the various interpretations of Mill’s value theory. Rather, I hope to show that Hutcheson should not be read as a qualitative hedonist. The evidence for Hutcheson as a qualitative hedonist is strong and striking. The most commonly cited passages are taken from his posthumous opus, A System of Moral ..



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Dale Dorsey
University of Kansas

Citations of this work

Francis Hutcheson.Dale Dorsey - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Hutcheson's Theory of Obligation.Michael Walschots - 2022 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 20 (2):121-142.
Recent Works on Hutcheson.Christina Chuang - 2015 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 13 (2):115-121.
The Natural and the Publick Good: Two Puzzles in Hutcheson's Axiology.Dale Dorsey - 2022 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 20 (2):163-182.

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