Utilitarian theory evaluates choices in the context of the consequences of actions based on the total number of sentient beings (people and animals) whose well-being is positively affected by the chosen action. A key element of utilitarian theory, hedonism determines “good” based on the resulting pleasure and happiness while avoiding “bad” or negative outcomes such as suffering. Most religious doctrines include utilitarian theory in their teachings. From ancient to modern times, governments and societies have relied on utilitarian theory as a basis for making rules, laws, and policies.

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles