utilitarianism - vocabulary

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The ethical doctrine that actions are right because they are useful for the greatest number of people.
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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (3d ed. 2002)

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