David Lyons (essay date 1973)
SOURCE: “Bentham's Utilitarianism: A Differential Interpretation” in In the Interest of the Governed: A Study in Bentham's Philosophy of Utility and Law, Clarendon Press, 1973, pp. 19-34.
[In the following excerpt, Lyons explores Bentham's basic principle of utility and its relationship to morality, ethics, and government.]
1. A SKETCH OF BENTHAM'S PRINCIPLE
The principle of utility, Bentham says, is the foundation of his work on morals and legislation. This is so, and in a variety of ways. The criterion of utility shapes his attitudes and judgements in every area of life. No philosopher has embraced a doctrine more consistently; none has...
(The entire section is 6107 words.)