Justice and Utilitarianism (IRJE #4)

In Justice, by Michael J. Sandel, a professor of philosophy at Harvard, the author introduces the meaning of justice, and what it is. He further describes justice as something that is meant to be done; the right thing to do. As the book continues into chapter 2, the author moves the topic onto utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is a concept, in general, which promotes happiness and pleasure, but on the other hand, opposes things that can cause unhappiness or damage. The author uses an example to describe the following:

We all like pleasure and dislike pain. The utilitarian philosophy recognizes this fact and makes it the basis of moral and political life. Maximizing utility is a principle not only for individuals but also for legislators. In deciding what laws or policies to enact, a government should do whatever will maximize the happiness of the community as a whole. (pg. 34)

In the following quote, the author Michel J. Sandel describes the concept and philosophy of utilitarianism, with detailed examples. He further states that the following concept not only benefits an individual but also a community. The author additionally states that this should be promoted amongst governments,  “to ensure and maximize the happiness of the community as a whole.” I am yet to fully understand this heavy concept and is out of three ranges I could fathom. However, this book has influenced me and was memorable enough for me to trace back to the following book I read not a long time ago.

– Jm.Y



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