Does utilitarianism imply materialism?

Utilitarianism has for one component epicurianism, which is a materialist philosophy, and also consequentialism which cares about real life consequences of actions.

  • Utilitarianism is a consequence of materialism, not vice versa. Sep 19 at 17:25
  • There are utilitarians that reject Epicurean physics (almost nobody today subscribes to Epicurean physics).
    – Hokon
    Sep 19 at 20:15
  • @DavidGudeman "Utilitarianism is a consequence of materialism, not vice versa." Could you explain further?
    – Starckman
    Sep 22 at 3:02
  • Obligations, if they exist as real things are immaterial, so materialism implies that they don't exist. Utilitarianism is a common way of simulating them a material world. By contrast, one can be a non-materialist about many things and still be a utilitarian with respect to obligations. So one can be a utilitarian without being a materialist, but on the other hand, I suppose one can be a materialist without being a utilitarian because there are alternative material accounts of obligations. I guess neither implies the other. Sep 22 at 3:12
  • I guess you could also be a theist and still subscribe to utilitarianism because bringing people to god is the greatest good so bringing as many people to god is the greatest good for the greatest number
    – Annika
    Oct 18 at 23:52


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