Reply To: Consequentialism & Utilitarianism


I am glad that you found the courses enjoyable – thank you for the compliment!

Like many terms in philosophy and the social sciences generally, the terms ‘consequentialism’ and ‘utilitarianism’ are contested. (To make matters even more complex, philosophers distinguish between ‘act utilitarianism’ and ‘rule utilitarianism’) However, I think it fair to say that, in essence, they come to pretty much the same thing: ‘consequentialism’ emphasises that what matters morally are the consequences of one’s actions, while ‘utilitarianism’ emphasises that the purpose of human action is the maximisation of utility. I suspect that I may well have used the terms interchangeably.