Single Idea 6220

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism]

Full Idea

The common happiness of all contains the greatest happiness for each, and most effectively promotes it. …There is no path leading anyone to his own happiness, other than the path which leads all to the common happiness.

Gist of Idea

The happiness of all contains the happiness of each, and promotes it


Richard Cumberland (De Legibus Naturae [1672], Ch.I.VI)

Book Reference

'British Moralists 1650-1800 Vol. 1', ed/tr. Raphael,D.D. [Hackett 1991], p.87

A Reaction

I take this as a revolutionary idea, which leads to utilitarianism. It is doing what seemed to the Greeks unthinkable, which is combining hedonism with altruism. There is no proof for it, but it is a wonderful clarion call for building a civil society.