Definition of summum bonum in English:

summum bonum

Pronunciation /ˌsʌməm ˈbəʊnəm//ˌsʊməm ˈbɒnəm/


  • The highest good, especially as the ultimate goal according to which values and priorities are established in an ethical system.

    ‘the human figure—the summum bonum of academic art—predominated’
    • ‘Thus he suggested that in our moral thought we were aware of a duty to promote what he called the summum bonum, the highest good, and also of an associated obligation to pursue our moral perfection as individuals.’
    • ‘Nirvana is the summum bonum of Buddhism - the final and highest good.’
    • ‘But unlike Catholic moral thought, value pluralism holds that there is no single, binding, rationally compelling account of the hierarchy of goods leading to a summum bonum.’
    • ‘Health, despite the rhetoric of the WHO, is not the summum bonum of good government.’
    • ‘It is the true self that is of the highest and truest reality; realizing it is the summum bonum to which human beings can aspire.’
    • ‘The technique, in which dialogue takes the form of fists crashing on the table, voices being raised and arguments a sine qua non and even a summum bonum is the quintessence of Intel business methods.’
    • ‘The authority of government, of good government, was to be derived from its intrinsic worth, and the will of the people, largely ignorant of the way of the pursuit of the political summum bonum, was of no account.’
    • ‘The young Muslims then have little defense against the egotistical licentiousness they see about them and that they all too understandably take to be the summum bonum of Western life.’
    • ‘Since democracy is the summum bonum of our day, we have the duty to impose it upon those who are backward.’
    • ‘It is an answer, moreover, that Moore cannot accept given his commitment to retribution as the summum bonum of the law, so to present it now will help to clarify where we differ.’
    • ‘To the Mercantilists trade was the summum bonum and to others manufacturing became the ideal, but in each case the view was more often based on abstract or cultural attachments rather than empirical evidence.’
    • ‘Otherwise, we will have to content ourselves with the liberal notion that mutual tolerance and ‘nonjudgmentalism’ are the modern summum bonum, and the most we can hope for.’
    • ‘This could only be activity of a ‘moral author of the world’ which would make it at least possible for the summum bonum to be reached.’
    • ‘The version of the argument that uses ‘better’ instead of ‘greater’ reaches a transcendental term, according to Marion, and requires an absolute comparative (the summum bonum, the best) rather than a simple comparative.’
    • ‘The first we shall consider goes by sketching some conception of the good life, the summum bonum (maximum good).’
    • ‘If the scientists' summum bonum or highest good is truth, if scientists make truth their God, as some have claimed, is this not just as parochial an attitude as the worship of Jahweh, or Muhammad, or the Angel Moroni?’
    • ‘Nirvana is the summum bonum of Buddhism and goal of the Eightfold Path.’
    • ‘This ideal has been part of legal thinking for more than 2000 years, when the ancient Roman advocate Marcus Tullius Cicero put forward the principle of summum bonum (the highest good).’




summum bonum

/ˌsʌməm ˈbəʊnəm//ˌsʊməm ˈbɒnəm/