Singer makes a direct appeal to the universal moral principles of utilitarianism -- equality, impartiality, and universality -- by outlining degrees of pleasure and pain, and utilising a form of felicific
If it were possible all punishments should be meted out by all-knowing judges who could assess the felicific
consequences of each separate sentence.
This utilitarian argument is a classic example of a felicific
calculus of the greatest good of the greatest number.
Again, Cremaschi later reiterates in almost the same terms that Paley's description of 'the characteristics an act needs to possess in order to qualify as right, is quite different from Bentham's, that is, not that of a felicific
act, but that of an act conforming to a law prescribed by God' (58).
(91) At least in this theoretical account, then, there is no reason to limit Michelman's "felicific
" calculus to action alone.
His search might be called the quest for maximizing aggregate national happiness (or "utility") considering all the participants, which in its modern form is often described inaccurately as the search for "the greatest good for the greatest number." He referred to the effort to value the results of an act, whether positive or negative, as the felicific
Called either felicific
calculus or moral arithmetic, a formula was developed which could serve as guide in any given choice or action.
(116) Easterbrook concluded, that "[d]oubtless the first amendment differs from Bentham's felicific
calculus"--in other words, one need not demonstrate a net societal positive to invoke its protections--"but a court should hesitate before extending an a [sic] historical reading of the Constitution in a way that injures the very audience that is supposed to benefit from free speech." (117)
calculus, that policy should be concerned with the greatest happiness of the greatest number, gradually confined beauty to a preserve of elites.
They squeezed into the retort a lot of Madame Genlis's romances, Chesterfield's letters, (11) several moldy sententiae, canvases, (12) Italian roulades, a dozen new contredanses, several citations from Bentham's Felicific
Calculus, (13) and distilled all that into a colorless soulless fluid.
But if some kind of very cruel crime becomes common, and none of the criminals can be caught, it might be highly expedient, as an example, to hang an innocent man, if a charge against him could be so framed that he were universally thought guilty; indeed this would only fail to be an ideal instance of utilitarian "punishment" because the victim himself would not have been so likely as a real felon to commit such a crime in the future; in all other respects it would be perfectly deterrent and therefore felicific
. (2) It is never quite clear, however, what this objection means.
This is the philosophical core of the novel, where Mond speaks for Enlightenment civilization and the utilitarian felicific
calculus, the Savage for Romantic Kultur, but also for primitivist barbarism.