Jeremy Bentham

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Chapter 12 endnote 7, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

The eighteenth-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham thought that an animal belongs in the human moral circle only if we can prove the animal can feel pleasure or pain. [...] Bentham believed in utilitarianism.

Jeremy Bentham believed that the morality of an action is determined by its outcome; specifically, by its utility to cause pleasure or happiness to sentient creatures. This belief is called utilitarianism.[1]  Because non-human animals can suffer, their happiness is part of this equation.


Notes on the Notes

  1. See also "Act and Rule Utilitarianism" at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.