Difference between Kantianism & Utilitarianism

Kantianism vs Utilitarianism

Those unfamiliar with philosophy might find terms like utilitarianism and Kantianism confusing, but these two theories represent significant viewpoints in the realm of ethics and wisdom. While there are similarities between utilitarianism and Kantianism, there are also key differences between these two philosophies.


Utilitarianism is a philosophy that posits that the consequences of an action determine whether that action is morally right or wrong. According to this view, an action is considered morally right if its outcomes are good, and people choose actions that maximize happiness while minimizing pain, misery, and suffering. The worth of any human action depends on its utility or value.


Kantianism is a philosophy proposed by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher born in Prussia. This theory focuses on duty, which is why it is called deontological, a term derived from the Greek word for obligation or duty. Followers of this philosophy believe that the morality of an action depends on whether the individual has adhered to the rules or not.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilitarianism and Kantianism differ in their attitudes toward what is right or wrong: utilitarianism believes that an act is justified if it results in the maximum happiness for the most people, while Kantianism emphasizes adherence to rules and obligations.
  • In utilitarianism, the end justifies the means, while in Kantianism, the end does not justify the means, and actions within one’s obligations are morally good.
  • Modern democracies tend to follow utilitarian principles by seeking the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, but critics argue that this approach neglects the well-being of minorities.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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