more from Jeremy Bentham

Single Idea 5901

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / c. Right and good]

Full Idea

Bentham has not made up his mind whether he thinks that 'right' means 'productive of the general happiness', or that being productive of the general happiness is what makes acts right (and he would have thought the difference unimportant).

Gist of Idea

Is 'productive of happiness' the definition of 'right', or the cause of it?

Source

comment on Jeremy Bentham (Intro to Principles of Morals and Legislation [1789]) by W. David Ross - The Right and the Good žI

Book Reference

Ross,W.David: 'The Right and the Good' [OUP 1930], p.8


A Reaction

The issue is whether rightness exists as a concept separate from happiness. I take it Bentham would vote for the first reading, as he has no interest in what is right, apart from increasing happiness.