felicific calculus

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A quasi-mathematical technique proposed by 19th-century utilitarian ethical theorists for determining the net amount of happiness, pleasure, or utility resulting from an action, sometimes regarded as a precursor of cost-benefit analysis

Bentham's way of becoming the Newton of the moral world was to develop the felicific calculus..

felicific calculus

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    fe·li·cif·ic cal·cu·lus



    [ "fE-l&-'si-fik ] (adjective.) 1865. Widely attributed to British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), but apparently used only by his successors.The technique of felicific calculus was famously described by Bentham in chapter 4 of An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789), although Bentham did not use the precise term "felicific calculus" in that work.

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