Mill's Utilitarianism is one of the most important, controversial, and suggestive works of moral philosophy ever written. Mill defends the view that all human action should produce the greatest happiness overall, and that happiness itself is to be understood as consisting in higher and lower pleasures.
ebook, 91 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Start Publishing LLC
(first published 1863)
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First I must say that I am not a philosopher and this review is not based on a very close reading of the material. I decided to listen to the free audio version of this book to see if I could understand the basic tenets of utilitarianism. However it appears that this book is more of a response to critics of the original theory of Bentham. In addition most of it seems to be wishful thinking. It seems to me that utilitarianism cannot be used for ethics without first defining a utility function. Mi...more
In this book, J. S. Mill revised and defended the utilitarianism and tried to answer the objections to utilitarianism such as: 1. it fails to respect individual rights, and 2. it's not possible to translate all moral goods into a single currency of value. I'm, as a reader, not very much satisfied with his answers. However, I feel that Mill's version of utilitarianism is more flexible than Bentham's version. While the idea of natural rights has no sense in Bentham's version, it is, according to M...more
I wished the author had more carefully defined happiness. It seems to me that he took it for granted that can all agree on happiness. Seems like silly point, but given the centrality to his overall argument that it would be important to clearly define what happiness is, and isn't. I also didn't follow why you could equate utility and happiness which seems central in some passages. I am left with a big, "why?" nagging at me. I'm not even sure all that my "why" implies, but it's a great place to s...more