Authors
Johan E. Gustafsson
University of York
Abstract
Jeremy Bentham is often interpreted as defending a satisficing, rather than maximizing, version of utilitarianism, where an act is right as long as it produces more pleasure than pain. This lack of maximization is surprising given Bentham’s maximizing slogan ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number’. Against the satisficing interpretation, I argue that Bentham consistently defends a maximizing version of utilitarianism, where an act’s consequences are compared to those of not performing the act. I show that following this version of utilitarianism requires that one realizes the greatest happiness for all affected individuals.
Keywords Jeremy Bentham  utilitarianism  maximization  satisficing  alternatives  binary act consequentialism
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2017.1347558
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Deontic Logic.G. H. von Wright - 1951 - Mind 60 (237):1-15.
I. Deontic Logic.G. H. von Wright - 1951 - Mind 60 (237):1-15.
Satisficing Consequentialism.Michael Slote & Philip Pettit - 1984 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 58 (1):139-176.

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