Definition of utilitarianism
1 : a doctrine that the useful is the good and that the determining consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences; specifically : a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number
2 : utilitarian character, spirit, or quality
Recent Examples of utilitarianism from the Web
Now I’m an artist, I’m not into utilitarianism as an aesthetic.
Dickens’s novel was a satire of the philosophy of utilitarianism as it was applied to education: the idea that working-class children needed to know enough to work in factories and nothing more.
Remember, there's a real sense of utilitarianism here, a Louisiana quality.
But the dark utilitarianism of Palladium is a far cry from the neon brightness that streetwear aficionados have come to expect from this man of style.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'utilitarianism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of utilitarianism
UTILITARIANISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of utilitarianism for English Language Learners
philosophy : the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people
Learn More about utilitarianism
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about utilitarianism
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