Henry Sidgwick

Henry Sidgwick (sĬj´wĬk), 1838–1900, English philosopher. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and taught moral philosophy there from 1869 until 1900. The basis of his thought was British utilitarianism. Analyzing the intuitionist and utilitarian arguments, he indicated their interrelationship by showing how the doctrine of common sense rests on the principles of utilitarianism. In The Methods of Ethics (1874) he distinguished between actions performed with a view toward the general happiness and those performed with a view toward the agent's own self-interest. After comparing ethical systems based on intuitionism, and utilitarianism, and egoism, he concluded that intuitionism and utilitarianism could be integrated into a single ethical system, but that no rational explanation could be found for preferring it to egoism. Sidgwick was interested in the advancement of women's rights, aiding in the planning and founding of Newnham College for women. He was also a founder of the Society of Psychical Research. Other major published works are Principles of Political Economy (1883), Philosophy: Its Scope and Relations (1902), and The Development of European Polity (1903).

See J. B. Schneewind, Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy (1977).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Henry Sidgwick: Selected full-text books and articles

Sidgwickian Ethics By David Phillips Oxford University Press, 2011
Henry Sidgwick & Later Utilitarian Political Philosophy By William C. Havard University of Florida Press, 1959
Essays on Ethics and Method By Henry Sidgwick; Marcus G. Singer Clarendon Press, 2000
PRIMARY SOURCE
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The Methods of Ethics By Henry Sidgwick University of Chicago Press, 1962
Same-Sex Desire, Ethics and Double-Mindedness: The Correspondence of Henry Graham Dakyns, Henry Sidgwick and John Addington Symonds By Booth, Howard J Journal of European Studies, June-September 2002
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