A Comparison between Mohism and Utilitarianism

Xiaofei MA


Mohism is not a form of utilitarianism. First of all, neither of the two is ego-oriented. Besides, utilitarianism is based on individual interest, and the interest of community is simply the sum up of every individual interest; while Mohism does not put self-interest or individual interest first, but rather treat interest of community as primary consideration, which sometimes requires individuals to satisfy their own interest to make the public interest possible. The comparison between Mohism and utilitarianism illustrates the danger of employing western philosophical ideas to interpret ancient Chinese terms.


Mohism; Utilitarianism; Reverse analogical interpretation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12006


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