Summum Bonum

The chief excellence; the highest attainable good.

SOCRATES said knowledge is virtue, and ignorance is vice.

ARISTOTLE said that happiness is the greatest good.

BERNARD DE MANDEVILLE and HELVETIUS contended that self-interest is the perfection of the ethical end.

BENTHAM and MILL were for the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

HERBERT SPENCER places it in those actions which best tend to the survival of the individual and the race. LETOURNEAU places it in utilitarianism.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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