IJEDST 2018 Volume 6 Issue 1

International Journal of Education, Development, Society and Technology (IJEDST) ISSN: 2321 – 7537

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Philosophy and Public Policy: An Evaluation of Utilitarianism and Public Policy

Authors & Affiliation:

Edodi, Sampson Obok

Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, University of Port Harcourt, Choba 5323, NIGERIA

edodi_sampson@yahoo.com, edodisampson@gmail.com


Utilitarianism is an applied theoretical framework for public policy evaluation. Jeremy Bentham and J. S. Mill provided this framework through the felicific calculus of intensity, duration, certainty, propinquity, fecundity, purity, and extent according to the tendency which the policy have to augment or diminish the happiness of those whose interests is in question. This framework basically gives a guide which, if adopted by any assembly with the powers to pass, amend, and repeal policies for the public, then public policies will serve the interest of the greater number. This work is set to demonstrate how utilitarianism can help in public policy formulation showing a seven-step policy evaluation process. The objective is to demonstrate whether utilitarianism is relevant in public policy formulation given the contemporary existential realities shrouding the world. The work conclude by arguing that, utilitarianism is intuitive and that, irrespective of criticisms, in public policy, utilitarianism is the principle that is dictating the pace all over the world directly or indirectly and that best serves the interest of the people.

Keywords: philosophy, public policy, utilitarianism