Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900)
Henry Sidgwick was a Victorian-era British philosopher, political economist, parapsychologist, and educational reformer who played a seminal role in both the academic organization of Cambridge University and the growth of modern academic ethical and political theory, particularly utilitarian ethical and political theory. He has been widely credited with enhancing the professionalism of academic higher education and with opening up educational opportunities for women. He has also been widely credited with providing the philosophy of classical utilitarianism—the ethical and political philosophy of Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, and John Stuart Mill, which made the normative bottom line the greatest happiness of the greatest number—with a sophisticated, comprehensive, and academically satisfying statement, especially in his major work, The Methods of Ethics (1974). Highly influential political philosophers of recent decades, notably John Rawls and Peter Singer, have, for all their disagreements, agreed on taking Sidgwick's classic work as a touchstone for their own Methods. ...