- Preference utilitarianism
Preference utilitarianism is quite probably the most popular form of
utilitarianismin contemporary philosophy. In the same way as other utilitarian theorists, preference utilitarians define a morally right action as that which produces the most favourable consequences for the people involved. However, preference utilitarians interpret the best consequences in terms of 'preference satisfaction'. This means that 'good' is described as the satisfaction of each person's individual preferences or desires, and a right action is that which leads to this satisfaction. Since what is good depends solely on individual preferences, there can be nothing that is in itself good or bad except for the resulting state of mind. Preference utilitarianism therefore can be distinguished by its acknowledgement that every person's experience of satisfaction will be unique. Peter Singeris generally regarded as the leading contemporary advocate of preference utilitarianism. He was greatly influenced on this by R. M. Hare.
John Stuart Mill
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