TagLast edit: 18 Mar 2021 15:49 UTC by Yoav Ravid

Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy that says that what matters is the sum of everyone’s welfare, or the “greatest good for the greatest number”.

Not to be confused with maximization of utility, or expected utility. If you’re a utilitarian, you don’t just sum over possible worlds; you sum over people.

Utilitarianism comes in different variants. For example, unlike standard total utilitarianism, average utilitarianism values the average utility among a group’s members. Negative utilitarianism seeks only to minimize suffering, and is often discussed for its extreme implications.

Related Pages: Negative Utilitarianism, Consequentialism, Ethics & Morality, Fun Theory, Complexity of Value

Com­par­ing Utilities

abramdemski14 Sep 2020 20:56 UTC
68 points
31 comments17 min readLW link

It’s hard to use util­ity max­i­miza­tion to jus­tify cre­at­ing new sen­tient beings

dynomight19 Oct 2020 19:45 UTC
10 points
14 comments1 min readLW link

Coal­i­tion Dy­nam­ics as Morality

abramdemski23 Jun 2017 18:00 UTC
3 points
5 comments5 min readLW link

Em­brac­ing the “sadis­tic” conclusion

Stuart_Armstrong13 Feb 2014 10:30 UTC
30 points
41 comments2 min readLW link

In favour of to­tal util­i­tar­i­anism over average

casebash22 Dec 2015 5:07 UTC
0 points
15 comments4 min readLW link

AXRP Epi­sode 3 - Ne­go­tiable Re­in­force­ment Learn­ing with An­drew Critch

DanielFilan29 Dec 2020 20:45 UTC
26 points
0 comments27 min readLW link

Dis­solv­ing the Ex­pe­rience Ma­chine Objection

leogao3 Oct 2021 16:56 UTC
17 points
10 comments2 min readLW link

En­gag­ing with hy­po­thet­i­cals as they are defined

damiensnyder3 Oct 2021 5:22 UTC
14 points
0 comments4 min readLW link

A math­e­mat­i­cal deriva­tion of to­tal he­do­nis­tic Utili­tar­i­anism from sim­ple nor­ma­tive axioms

Josh23 Feb 2022 20:41 UTC
2 points
11 comments3 min readLW link

[Question] Max­i­mize in a limited do­main. Hope for the fu­ture.

Dacyn17 Mar 2022 14:05 UTC
4 points
0 comments8 min readLW link

On effec­tive al­tru­ism, util­i­tar­i­anism and localness

David Hugh-Jones3 Jun 2022 10:34 UTC
14 points
2 comments5 min readLW link

Sublimity vs. Youtube

Alicorn18 Mar 2011 5:33 UTC
31 points
61 comments1 min readLW link

Forc­ing Freedom

vlad.proex6 Oct 2020 18:15 UTC
44 points
14 comments7 min readLW link

In­fant Mor­tal­ity and the Ar­gu­ment from Life History

ozymandias4 Oct 2017 23:10 UTC
13 points
4 comments3 min readLW link

Aver­age util­i­tar­i­anism must be cor­rect?

PhilGoetz6 Apr 2009 17:10 UTC
7 points
169 comments3 min readLW link

My main prob­lem with utilitarianism

taw17 Apr 2009 20:26 UTC
−1 points
84 comments2 min readLW link

Ex­pected util­ity with­out the in­de­pen­dence axiom

Stuart_Armstrong28 Oct 2009 14:40 UTC
20 points
68 comments4 min readLW link

Mo­ral differ­ences in mediocristan

Benquo26 Sep 2018 20:39 UTC
22 points
0 comments3 min readLW link

Con­ven­tions and Con­fus­ing Con­ti­nu­ity Conundrums

Psy-Kosh1 May 2009 1:41 UTC
5 points
9 comments1 min readLW link

Model Uncer­tainty, Pas­calian Rea­son­ing and Utilitarianism

multifoliaterose14 Jun 2011 3:19 UTC
34 points
155 comments5 min readLW link

[Question] What do we *re­ally* ex­pect from a well-al­igned AI?

jan betley4 Jan 2021 20:57 UTC
8 points
10 comments1 min readLW link

In­ter­view with Chris­tine M. Kors­gaard: An­i­mal Ethics, Kan­ti­anism, Utilitarianism

Erich_Grunewald8 May 2021 11:44 UTC
11 points
2 comments1 min readLW link

Utili­tar­i­anism Ex­pressed in Julia

Erich_Grunewald15 Aug 2021 11:31 UTC
12 points
0 comments12 min readLW link

Pay­ing peo­ple to vote for good poli­cies.

Matteodimaio15 Oct 2021 1:00 UTC
1 point
2 comments3 min readLW link

Years saved: Cry­on­ics vs VillageReach

handoflixue1 Aug 2011 21:04 UTC
27 points
42 comments1 min readLW link

Re­view: G.E.M. An­scombe’s “Modern Mo­ral Philos­o­phy”

David_Gross20 Feb 2022 18:58 UTC
24 points
3 comments5 min readLW link

Bet­ter a Brave New World than a dead one

Yitz25 Feb 2022 23:11 UTC
8 points
5 comments4 min readLW link

[Question] Is it de­sir­able for the first AGI to be con­scious?

Raphaël S1 May 2022 21:29 UTC
4 points
12 comments1 min readLW link

Just Say No to Utilitarianism

Arjun Panickssery3 Jun 2022 22:59 UTC
0 points
0 comments1 min readLW link
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