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Utilitarianism

by John Hasnas on Aug 15, 2008

Utilitarianism equates morality to acts that maximize overall human happiness. Different theories find it both compatible and incompatible with libertarianism.

Free Thoughts

Arguments for Liberty: Utilitarianism

featuring Chris Freiman, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Aug 25, 2017

Christopher Freiman joins us to talk about his Arguments for Liberty chapter on utilitarianism. What’s the utilitarian argument for libertarianism?

Free Thoughts

The Limits of Utilitarianism

featuring Adam Gurri, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 1, 2014

Adam Gurri joins us for a discussion on utilitarianism and why it may not be a satisfactory moral theory in which to ground libertarianism.

essays

Utilitarians are Almost Right

by Richard Hildreth in 1844

Hildreth rejects the utilitarian standard of value—happiness—and concludes his book by connecting benevolence and virtue.

Video Collection

The Foundation for Libertarianism: Ethics or Economics?

featuring George H. Smith and David D. Friedman on May 15, 1981

George H. Smith and David D. Friedman have a debate over whether natural rights or rule utilitarianism forms a better basis for libertarian ideas.

encyclopedia

Philosophic Radicals

by George H. Smith on Aug 15, 2008

The Philosophic Radicals, including Jeremy Bentham, were British reformers generally supporting Benthian utilitarianism and democratic change.

Free Thoughts

The Synthesis of Rights and Consequences

featuring Tom G. Palmer, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Feb 10, 2014

Tom Palmer joins us for a discussion on the two most common philosophical justifications for libertarianism: consequentialism and rights-based theories.

Excursions

Thomas Hodgskin Versus Jeremy Bentham

featuring George H. Smith on Apr 1, 2015

George H. Smith discusses Thomas Hodgskin’s critique of utilitarianism and his contention that the primary concern of legislators is to preserve their own power.

encyclopedia

Bentham, Jeremy (1748-1832)

by T. Patrick Burke on Aug 15, 2008

Jeremy Bentham is known by most as the father of utilitarianism. He wrote in favor of free-markets, a pragmatic view of rights, and rational policy-making.

Excursions

Jeremy Bentham’s Attack on Natural Rights

featuring George H. Smith on Mar 25, 2015

George H. Smith discusses the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and why it so alarmed the defenders of natural rights.

essays

Thomas Hodgskin Versus Jeremy Bentham

by George H. Smith on Jul 3, 2012

Smith discusses Thomas Hodgskin’s critique of utilitarianism and his contention that the primary concern of legislators is to preserve their own power.

encyclopedia

Mill, John Stuart (1806-1873)

by Aeon Skoble on Aug 15, 2008

John Stuart Mill was a philosopher best known for his contributions to a free-market, more freedom-oriented view of utilitarianism.