New Book about Sidgwick

octobre 12th, 2011


Sidgwick and Contemporary Utilitarianism

by Mariko Nakano-Okuno

This is one of the rare academic studies on what John Rawls, Peter Singer and Derek Parfit acknowledge as the finest book in ethics – The Methods of Ethics written by Henry Sidgwick. With a rather shocking conclusion that ‘none of us can match Sidgwick’, Mariko Nakano-Okuno elaborately and lucidly analyzes Henry Sidgwick’s impacts on contemporary ethics, including critical reassessment of the utilitarian philosophy of R. M. Hare, J. C. Harsanyi and R.B. Brandt. 


Sidgwick and Contemporary Utilitarianism will be a must-read book for all professional philosophers as well as students concerned with Sidgwick’s moral philosophy, utilitarian ethics, and the theoretical foundations of ethics in general. Its language is plain and reader-friendly, which enables philosophy beginners to understand the fundamental questions of ethics more easily and clearly than ever.



International Society for Utilitarian Studies (ISUS) 11th International Conference:“The Ethics of Economic Development”

novembre 30th, 2010

International Society for Utilitarian Studies (ISUS)

11th International Conference

“The Ethics of Economic Development”

Call for Papers

The 11th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies (ISUS) will be held on23rd-25th June 2011 at San Romano Conference Centre, Lucca, Italy. The Conference will beorganized by the Department of Economics of the University of Pisa.The International Society for Utilitarian Studies – ISUS – provides a forum for scholarly debate and research on utilitarianism and its historical development, and on its present-day relevance in such fields as ethics, politics, law, economics, and public policy. [ISUS web site] ISUS also publishes the journal Utilitas, a leading international review presenting original research in all aspects of utilitarian theory and encompassing the disciplines of moral philosophy, economics, psychology, political theory, intellectual history, law and jurisprudence. Conference registration includes a one-year ISUS membership and subscription to Utilitas.

ISUS XI is locally sponsored by the Municipality of Lucca, The Fondazione Campus Lucca, and the Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, Livorno e Pisa. ISUS XI welcomes papers and proposed sessions on all subjects related to utilitarianism and in all areas of moral philosophy, economics, psychology, political theory, intellectual history, law and jurisprudence.

The special theme of ISUS XI will be: “The Ethics of Economic Development”.

Some plenary and special sessions will be organized around this theme. Papers and session proposals concerning “The Ethics of Economic Development” are welcome and subject to the same submission procedures as all other papers.

To submit a proposal please send an abstract of about 400 words for a paper and/or a proposal of about 600 words for a session (together with the abstracts of the session papers) no later than the 28th February 2011 to: [email protected] , or [email protected]

The following Keynote speakers agreed to address the theme of the conference. They are:

Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University)Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University; Special Advisor to the Secretary general of UN Ban Ki-moon.

Professor Peter Singer (Princeton University)Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), University of Melbourne.

Professor Gustaf Arrhenius (Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Stockholm University)Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow e Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University.

Professor Frederick Rosen (University College London)Emeritus Professor of History of Political Thought, former General Editor of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.

Professor Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University)Professor of Political Sciences.

The Committee of ISUS will award a prize of £250 for the best paper presented at the Conference by a graduate student.

Important dates: 28th February 2011: Deadline for abstract submissions. Notification ofaccepted/rejected abstracts 30th April 2011: Deadline for sending full papers 15th June 2011Local Organizer: Marco E.L. Guidi (University of Pisa, Department of Economics)

A conference web site will be soon announced

6th meeting of the 2nd International Congress Catania University, Intervanant: Anthony Skelton, Canada

juin 24th, 2010

This sixth meeting was, as the other meetings, brought not only many students and scholars from Catania University but also people who are interested in philosophy and utilitarianism. The intervention of Athony Skelton caught very well the attention of the audience and won a great success. Anthonny Skelton read a very interesting paper about the intellectual relationship and similitudes that we can find between Henry Sidgwick’s moral philosophy and Peter Singer’s. For Prof. Skelton Henry Sidgwick and Peter Singer are two of the most important utilitarian moralists, as they have much in common including a commitment to sofisticated formal utilitarianism. « Their commonality are equally obvious in their attitude toward practical ethics. Both share a keen sens of the importance of moral philosophy to practical ethics. » In this intervention Prof. Skelton compares the common aspects and the differences that we can find between those two utilitarian philosophers, and more specially how Singer develops and considers Sidgwick’s moral philosophy through the Methods of Ethics.

For the videos of the Congress see:

For other Conferences about utilitarianism, see:

Intervenants to the Congress

UCL Institute for Global Health Symposium: ‘ThePleasures of the Bed: Jeremy Bentham on sex, population and happiness’,4.30-6pm on Monday 14 June 2010

juin 7th, 2010

Speakers: Professor Philip Schofield and Dr Michael Quinn (UCL BenthamProject), followed by a panel discussion and drinks reception

The philosopher, jurist and social scientist Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) is considered UCL’s spiritual father, and wrote widely on sex, populationgrowth and wellbeing. This symposium will explore Bentham’s changing viewson population growth, and how he influenced the discourse on population inthe 1820s, as well as exploring his work on sex. How are Bentham’s writingson sex important not only for the history of sex, but for current debates onsex, population and global health? Bentham began with a typically 18th century presumption that the existenceof a large and growing population was an index of the success of a state,while rejecting legislative measures to foster population growth asunnecessary. In his Poor Law writings, he envisaged the deliberate expansionof both subsistence and population through the application of pauper labourto the cultivation of waste lands, and the facilitation of early marriageamong the apprentices of the National Charity Company, confident thatpopulation pressure was a temporally distant concern. In later life, Benthamendorsed Malthus’s principle of population, while rejecting ‘moralrestraint’, Malthus’s pain-imposing solution to population pressure, infavour of pleasure-giving ‘unprolific’ sex (whether unprolific by means ofbirth control or inherently so, as in the case of homosexual sex).

Venue: JZ Young Lecture Theatre, UCL

Registration: // 

If you are unable to attend, please note all UCL Institute for Global Healthsymposia are filmed and available to watch shortly after the event at


6th Meeting of the 2nd International Congress Henry Sidgwick Ethics, Psychics, Politics

mai 6th, 2010


On May 26th, 2010, will take place the 6th meeting of the 2nd International Congress, Henry Sidgwick Ethics, Politics, Psychics, organised by the University of Catania, Italy.

The Intervenants will be :

Anthony Skelton
Professor of Pholtical philosophy, Departement of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario
« Practical Ethics in Utilitarianism »
Anthony Skelton’s page on Univesity of Western Ontarion website:

Gaetano Vittone
Associate Professor of Moral Philosophy, Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Univesrsità de Catania
« The Emancipation of the Man »

We hope to see you there, and if you cannot come an article about this conference will be writen on this blog.

See the website of the Congress:
Henry Sidgwick’s website:
Utilitarian Philosophy program’s page: