Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ethics, Economics, and PoliticsPrinciples of Public Policy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

I. M. D. Little

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199257043.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2020

Utilitarianism: Theory and Applications

Utilitarianism: Theory and Applications

(p.39) 5 Utilitarianism: Theory and Applications
Ethics, Economics, and Politics

Ian Malcolm David Little

Oxford University Press

Utilitarianism is a comprehensive doctrine claiming that the greatest amount of happiness is an end that should exclusively guide all actions of both government and individuals. The fact that people value the happiness of those close to them more than that of strangers makes utilitarianism personally unacceptable to many, but it may still be a proper principle for government, given some overriding respect for individual rights. There are, however, basic problems concerning the value of life, and the treatment of future people and foreigners. The conventional discounting of future incomes does not imply that the utility of future people is discounted. The state's primary responsibility is to its own citizens, but it should not treat aliens as mere instruments for the welfare of citizens.

Keywords:   consequentialism, rights, side constraints, utilitarianism, value of life

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .