The purpose of this web site is to gather all the international activity, of scholars or independent researchers, concerning utilitarianism. Indeed, utilitarianism is a philosophic doctrine which takes a growing importance for understanding our modern world, in its failures, in the actual financial crisis as well as in the moral and psychological crisis which the world comes across since several years.
Utilitarianism constitutes the foundations of our modern society in the legislative, political, moral and economic fields. Taking its origins back to the 18th century, modern utilitarianism, expressed, then, a need of freedom, the need of the society to free itself from the yoke of feudalism. Utilitarianism reflected a changing society which was growing richer and becoming more individualistic. As this general enrichment allowed individual enrichment, we could then live and survive in an individual way within the group. The individual is not just any more the member of a group, it is, first, a unique person and his individual entity is worth the entity of any other individual; and the entity of the group has an equal importance to that of the individual. Individualism urges each individual to recognize in others what he wants them to recognize in him. That is, the fact of being considered as a unique individual and that one's life has the same value as the life of any other individual. Individualism leads inevitably to altruism. Regrettably, the excess of individualism urged people to only take into account their individual interests by conceiving altruism only in an economical way, as the supply and demand archetype.
Utilitarianism reached us under a caricatural shape which condemns it without appeal above all effort for understanding it. It would be the philosophy of the "bourgeois" honni, of capitalism, of market economy, of the apology of the profit and the selfish gain, etc., caricature well described by Mill at the beginning of his book and the comments about it by Marx: "freedom, equality, property and... Bentham! " Nietzsche, and Foucault, brought an infallible caution, arousing until an "anti-utilitarian movement in social science". The virulence of the condemnation, fortunately, is a warning; there is, there, a fascinating unspoken which sends us back to ourselves and to what we think but don't dare to say: that the search for the happiness is justifiable and that the biggest happiness of the largest number remains a revolutionary objective, although not heroic.(Catherine Audard and Patrick Thierry, in John Stuart Mill, L'utilitarisme Essai sur Bentham, col. Quadrige, PUF, 1998, Translation H. Geninet)
U T I L I T A R I A N
P H I L O S O P H Y
Central European University, Budapest
Moral Intuitionism, Epistemological
and Ethical Aspects
22 July-31 July
Deadline to register 15 February 2013
There will be courses about Ross, Sidgwick Pritchard
CEU's summer school (http://www.summer.ceu.hu/intuitionism-2013) invites applications from PhD students, post-doc fellows, researchers, and junior faculty with research interests in a deeper understanding of intuitions, especially in the fields of history of philosophy, epistemology, ethics, and meta-ethics. Applications are encouraged from all over the world. The application deadline is February 15, 2013. Financial aid is available.
The course will run from July 22-31, 2013 at CEU’s downtown campus in Budapest, Hungary, and will focus on the epistemology of moral intuitions and their role in ethical inquiry. The list of instructors includes leading international scholars in the field: Robert Audi (University of Notre Dame, via Skype), Brad Hooker (University of Reading), Nenad Miscevic, (CEU), Sabine Roeser (TUDelft), Russ Shafer-Landau (University of Wisconsin), Rob Shaver(University of Manitoba), and Philip Stratton-Lake (University of Reading).
Summer University Office
1051 Budapest, Nádor utca 9, Hungary
tel: 36 1 327 3811
fax: 36 1 327 3124