Contemporary Procedural Utility and Hume’s Early Idea of Utility

Shiri Cohen Kaminitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

An appealing concept developed by economists in contemporary happiness studies is that of procedural utility: people’s tendency to value the processes that lead to outcomes in addition to the outcomes themselves. This paper identifies David Hume as an early forerunner of a very similar idea. Moreover, it demonstrates just how Hume used this idea to justify the very idea of commerce. The significance of this is twofold: demonstrating just how Hume is a forerunner of the later concept on the individual level (micro-level), but also pointing to a different approach to the concept of utility on the social level.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • David Hume
  • Happiness
  • History of ideas
  • Procedural utility

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