Utilitarianism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. For a discussion of John Stuart Mill's essay Utilitarianism (1861), see Utilitarianism (book).

Utilitarianism is the ethical doctrine that the moral worth of an action is solely determined by its contribution to overall utility. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome—the ends justify the means. Utility — the good to be maximized — has been defined by various thinkers as happiness or pleasure (versus suffering or pain), though preference utilitarians like Peter Singer define it as the satisfaction of preferences. In simpler terms, it's for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. And interestingly, perhaps like most thoughtful ethical theories, utilitarianism primarily evaluates proposed actions and courses of action, rather than directly evaluating whether a person is virtuous or has good character.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Utilitarianism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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