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Related to utilitarian: Kantian, Utilitarian ethics


Etymology: L, utilis, useful, isma, practice
a doctrine of ethics that the purpose of all action should be to bring about the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people and that the value of anything is determined by its utility. The philosophy is often applied in the distribution of health care resources, as in decisions regarding the expenditure of public funds for health services.


The moral philosophy that holds that an action is ethical according to its utility or usefulness in enhancing the welfare, safety, happiness, or pleasure of the community at large. This doctrine is popularly summarized as an action is ethical if it generates the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

act utilitarianism

The moral theory that the best action is the one that enhances the general welfare more than any other available or known alternative. An action is judged in terms of the goodness of its consequences with no consideration of the rules of action.

rule utilitarianism

The moral theory that an action that follows a demonstrably proven ethical formula will necessarily be a good act. The ethical rule is judged to be correct by the amount of good it effects when it is followed.
References in periodicals archive ?
design patent as a utility patent to protect utilitarian ideas.
Hypothesis 1: Utilitarian orientation will be positively related to employees' in-role performance
We started from the hypothesis that the individuals receiving the hedonic prize would show a smaller degree of understanding of the rules than the individuals receiving a utilitarian prize.
This experiment provided the researchers with a sense of whether utilitarian responders and selfish responders are alike in having lower empathetic concern.
All this work made clear the limitless interpretations of the utilitarian object by individual makers.
In the first intervention, Group 1 was sent the utilitarian stimuli (2 for 1--buy one book and get another one for free) whereas Group 2 got the informational message (If you buy a book, we will give another one to charity).
Utilitarians tolerate self-benefiting actions only in that context.
I do not purport to have the definitive and final word on the topic of utilitarian views in relation to arts education, nor do I advance an ironclad definition of what "utilitarian" ought to mean.
disability, or substance abuse--a utilitarian would also consider
174) Until this last step, the analysis consciously avoids introducing utilitarian variables into the decision making, and when it does it succeeds in ordering those variables sequentially after other considerations such that they are rendered incapable of directly conflicting with rights-based considerations.
To do that, media attributes were categorized as utilitarian and hedonic based on the marketing studies (Dhar & Wertenbroch, 2000; Holbrook & Hirschman, 1982, Troy et al.
18) A common argument is to support a retributivist system of punishment, but with attempts to appeal to certain utilitarian concerns.