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  • Cited by 3
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Jiang, Ming Gao, Ding-Guo Huang, Ren DeWall, C. Nathan and Zhou, Xinyue 2014. The devil wears Prada: Advertisements of luxury brands evoke feelings of social exclusion. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 17, Issue. 4, p. 245.

    Walley, Keith Custance, Paul Copley, Paul and Perry, Sue 2013. The key dimensions of luxury from a UK consumers’ perspective. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 31, Issue. 7, p. 823.

    Gofman, Alex Moskowitz, Howard R. Bevolo, Marco and Mets, Tõnis 2010. Decoding consumer perceptions of premium products with rule‐developing experimentation. Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 27, Issue. 5, p. 425.


Beccaria's Luxury of Comfort and Happiness of the Greatest Number

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 March 2008

Section I explores and articulates Beccaria's theory of luxury. Social classes tend to emulate the classes immediately above and below them. When a class increases the luxury that it consumes, this causes a chain reaction of increased demand for luxury by other classes. Satisfying the resulting new demand for luxury and non-luxury goods maximizes the happiness of a greater number of citizens. Following the consequentialist principle of utility theory, Beccaria concludes that luxury is beneficial. His writings are compared to those of Hume, Bentham and others. In section II Beccaria's demonstration that freedom of choice is a universally desired luxury indispensable for well-being in all human societies is contrasted to Rousseau's belief that luxury diminishes liberty and happiness. Beccaria values the distributive more than the aggregative maximization of utility in his analysis of luxury; the article explains why this carries wider implications for utilitarian theory.

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F. Petrella , ‘Benthamism and the Demise of Classical Economic Ordnungspolitik’, History of Political Economy 9 (1977), pp. 215–36.

P. J. Kelly , ‘Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice: The Civil Law and the Foundations of Bentham's Economic Thought’, Utilitas 1 (1989)

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  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
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