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Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 269–282 | Cite as

Contemporary Procedural Utility and Hume’s Early Idea of Utility

  • Shiri Cohen KaminitzEmail author
Research Paper
  • 65 Downloads

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.

Keywords

Procedural utility David Hume Happiness History of ideas 

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and PPE ProgramThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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