The **felicific calculus** is an algorithm for calculating the degree or amount of pleasure that a specific action is likely to cause. The algorithm is also known as the utility calculus, the hedonistic calculus, and the hedonic calculus.

Here’s a work-in-progress spreadsheet to do the calculation. (Feel free to make improvements!)

## Units of Pleasure and Pain

The units of measurements used in the felicific calculus are:

**Negend**(aka dolor)**Posend**(aka hedon)

## Variable Definitions

Variables of the pleasures and pains included in this calculation are:

- Intensity: How strong is the pleasure?
- Duration: How long will the pleasure last?
- Certainty or uncertainty: How likely or unlikely is it that the pleasure will occur?
- Propinquity or remoteness: How soon will the pleasure happen?
- Fecundity: The probability that the action will produce other pleasures.
- Purity: The likelihood that the action won’t cause pain.
- Extent: How many people will be affected?

## Instructions for Calculating Net Harm/Benefit of an Action

- Consider a conscious being most immediately to be affected by an action. Rate the following for this being on a scale of 1 to 10:
- each different pleasure that appears to be produced by it in the first instance
- each pain that seems to be produced by it in the first instance
- each pleasure that appears to be produced after the first. The sum constitutes the fecundity of the first pleasure and the impurity of the first pain.
- each pain produced by it after the first. The sum constitutes the fecundity of the first pain and the impurity of the first pleasure.

- Repeat the process for each conscious being impacted.
- Sum the posends for everyone and subtract the negends for everyone.
- The act is a net good for the community if the total exceeds 0 (i.e., posends exceeded negends). It’s a net evil if the result is below 0.

## References

- Ethical calculus
- Science of morality
- Jeremy Bentham,
*An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation*, London, 1789, chap. 4 - Spreadsheet Calculator (Feel free to make improvements!)