John Stuart Mill’s book Utilitarianism is a classic exposition and defense of utilitarianism in ethics. The essay first appeared as a series of three articles published in Fraser’s Magazine in 1861; the articles were collected and reprinted as a single book in 1863. Mill’s aim in the book is to explain what utilitarianism is, to show why it is the best theory of ethics, and to defend it against a wide range of criticisms and misunderstandings. Though heavily criticized both in Mill’s lifetime and in the years since Utilitarianism did a great deal to popularize utilitarian ethics and was “the most influential philosophical articulation of a liberal humanistic morality that was produced in the nineteenth century.”
Mill took many elements of his version of utilitarianism from Jeremy Bentham, the great nineteenth-century legal reformer, who along with William Paley were the two most influential English utilitarians prior to Mill. Like Bentham, Mill believed that happiness (or pleasure, which both Bentham and Mill equated with happiness) was the only thing humans do and should desire for its own sake. Since happiness is the only intrinsic good, and since more happiness is preferable to less, the goal of the ethical life is to maximize happiness. This is what Bentham and Mill call “the principle of utility” or “the greatest-happiness principle.” Both Bentham and Mill thus endorse “classical” or “hedonistic” forms of utilitarianism. More recent utilitarians often deny that happiness is the sole intrinsic good, arguing that a variety of values and consequences should be considered in ethical decision making.
Details Utilitarianism Pdf Book
Name Of the Novel: Utilitarianism
Author: John Stuart Mill
Country: United Kingdom
Publication date: 1863
Media type: Print
Book Type: Pdf / ePub
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