Utilitarianism Law and Legal Definition

Utilitarianism is a philosophical and economic doctrine that the best social policy is that which does the most good for the greatest number of people. It is a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome. For example, utilitarianism analyzes intellectual-property rights from the point of view of society rather than the individual inventor, author, or artist, and justifies the rights as an incentive for social and technological progress. The most influential contributors to this theory are considered to be Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.