Page:Ethics (Moore 1912).djvu/77

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


stated I mean a theory which does profess to give an answer to both.

Whether this theory has ever been held in exactly the form in which I have stated it, I should not like to say. But many people have certainly held something very like it; and it seems to be what is often meant by the familiar name “Utilitarianism,” which is the reason why I have chosen this name as the title of these two chapters. It must not, however, be assumed that anybody who talks about “Utilitarianism” always means precisely this theory in all its details. On the contrary, many even of those who call themselves Utilitarians would object to some of its most fundamental propositions. One of the difficulties which occurs in ethical discussions is that no single name, which has ever been proposed as the name of an ethical theory, has any absolutely fixed significance. On the contrary, every name may be, and often is, used as a name for several different theories, which may differ from one another in very important respects. Hence, whenever anybody uses such a name, you can never trust to the