The Greatest Happiness Principle

“[...] that Action is best, which procures the greatest Happiness for the greatest Numbers; and that, worst, which, in like manner, occasions Misery.”

Francis Hutcheson (1725): An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, edited with an Introduction by Wolfgang Leidhold, Indianapolis 2004, S. 125 (Treatise II, section III, § VIII)

Francis Hutcheson: Philosophical Writings, hrsg. von R. S. Downie, London 1994, S. 90


“[...], it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong, [...].”

Jeremy Bentham (1776): A Fragment on Government, hrsg. von Ross Harrison, Cambridge 1988 (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought), S. 3 (Preface)

Jeremy Bentham (1776): A Fragment on Government, Preface