- Utilitarianism is a philosophy or belief suggesting that an action is morally right if the majority of people benefit from it.
An example of utilitarianism was the belief that dropping the atomic bomb on Japan was a good idea since it potentially saved more lives than it lost.
utilitarianism definition by Webster's New World
- the doctrine that the worth or value of anything is determined solely by its utility
- the doctrine, developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, that the purpose of all action should be to bring about the greatest happiness of the greatest number
- utilitarian character or quality
utilitarianism definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- The belief that the value of a thing or an action is determined by its utility.
- The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
- The quality of being utilitarian: housing of bleak utilitarianism.
utilitarianism - Cultural Definition
A system of ethics according to which the rightness or wrongness of an action should be judged by its consequences. The goal of utilitarian ethics is to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher, was the founder of utilitarianism; John Stuart Mill was its best-known defender.