publication . Article . 2010

Happiness and Religion: Joseph Priestley's "Theological Utilitarianism"

Matsumoto, Akihito;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Dec 2010 Journal: The Kyoto economic review, volume 79, issue 2, pages 144-155 (issn: 1349-6786, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University
Joseph Priestley (1733–1804) was one of the most prominent English thinkers in the late eighteenth century. The main purposes of the present paper are to show his idea of utilitarianism (theological utilitarianism), which differs from that of Jeremy Bentham (secular utilitarianism), and to incorporate Priestley into a theological utilitarian. The difference between Priestley and Bentham stems from the disparity in their understanding of "happiness." Priestley's concept of "happiness" implies that human beings can keep endeavoring to attain "higher happiness" in the future, guided by divine providence. In short, to Priestley, "happiness" means the "perfection" of...
free text keywords: Joseph Priestley, Jeremy Bentham, theological utilitarianism, happiness
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Article . 2010
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