Literatuur en weblinks


An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
- Bentham, J. (1789)

- Mill, J.S. (1861)

On Liberty - Mill, J.S. (1859)

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
- David Hume. (1751)
(See esp. section 5, 'Why utility pleases', on the usefulness of the social virtues.)

The Methods of Ethics
- Henry Sidgwick. (1874)
(Intuitionist defence of utilitarianism embedded within perceptive discussion of
common sense morality.)

Brandt, R.B. (1985) A Theory of the Good and the Right, Oxford: Clarendon
Press. (Defends hedonistic rule-utilitarianism.)

Glover, J. (ed.) (1990) Utilitarianism and Its Critics, New York: Macmillan.
(Contains essential readings, with helpful guidance by the editor. Good
starting place; helpfully structured bibliography.)\

Griffin, J. (1986) Well-Being: Its Meaning, Measurement, and Moral Importance,
Oxford: Clarendon Press.(Key discussion of different conceptions of utility.
Defends ideal account with preferences entering at level of explanation
of value.)

Hare, R.M. (1981) Moral Thinking: Its Methods, Levels and Point, Oxford:
Clarendon Press. (Sophisticated modern two-level act-utilitarian, influenced
by Aristotle, Kant and Mill.)

Lyons, D. (1965) Forms and Limits of Utilitarianism, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
(Classic discussion of act- and rule-utilitarianism.)

Miller, H.B. and Williams, W.H. (eds) (1982) The Limits of Utilitarianism,
Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.(Interesting and wide-ranging
collection. Contains bibliography of works on utilitarianism from 1930 to 1980.)

Parfit, D. (1984) Reasons and Persons, Oxford: Clarendon Press.(Central
modern work. Part IV contains discussion of population problems.)

Rawls, J. (1971) A Theory of Justice, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press.(Significant defence of anti-utilitarian view of justice, based on
'separateness of persons'. Moderately difficult.)

Sen, A. and Williams, B. (eds) (1982) Utilitarianism and Beyond, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. (Useful collection. Introduction provides
general survey, including discussion of desire theory and rights. Contains
bibliography. See essays by R.M. Hare for introduction to
his views, and by T.M. Scanlon for contractualist discussion of utilitarianism.)

Smart, J.J. and Williams, B. (1973) Utilitarianism For and Against, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.


An explanation of what utilitarianism is, its strong relationship to altruism, and a place to network to put the philosophy of utilitarianism into practice and thereby make the world a better place:

Classic utilitiarian texts; defending utilitarianism from its critics; its relation with collectivism and hedonism - and the ultimate aim of utilitarianism: