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Born May 31, 1838, in Skipton, Yorkshire; died Aug. 29, 1900, in Cambridge. English philosopher and economist.
Educated at Rugby and at Cambridge University, Sidgwick was a teacher from 1859 and from 1883, professor of ethics at Cambridge University. He approached philosophy, ethics, and political economy from the standpoint of utilitarianism. In his principal work, The Methods of Ethics, which was published in 1874, he regarded utilitarianism as the basic method of resolving moral problems. He was not sufficiently consistent, however, and he sometimes tended toward intuitivism. Sidgwick believed that most moral judgments are mainly arrived at empirically rather than a priori. An ethical orientation is evident in his views on political economy, which he presented in the Principles of Political Economy (1883). At the same time, Sidgwick attempted to separate the ethical and political aspects of political economy, which he characterized as the sphere of “art,” from the purely economic aspects, which he characterized as the sphere of “science.” According to Sidgwick, science differs from art in that it describes what is, whereas art describes what ought to be. He declared induction the basic method of science, and deduction the preferred method for art. Sidgwick devoted a great deal of attention to the economic role of the state. In his presentation of the major categories of political economy (production, distribution, exchange, value, and capital), he closely followed J. S. Mill.
REFERENCESeligman, B. Osnovnye lecheniia sovremennoi ekonomicheskoi mysli. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)
I. T. LASHCHINSKII