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Utilitarianism and Other Essays

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Clear, eloquent and profound, Mill's Utilitarianism has had an enormous influence on moral philosophy and is the idea introduction to ethics.

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was a reformer who applied the test of utility to the law and politics of his day. Legislators must aim at 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number,' and Bentham explained in minute detail how they mig

Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 26th 1987 by Penguin Classics (first published 1863)
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Introduction & Notes
Editor's Note

Jeremy Bentham

--From An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

J. S. Mill

--From A System of Logic
--'Whewell on Moral Philosophy'


Further Reading
Mar 04, 2013 Darwin8u rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, 2013
Read it again in 2013 after reading Dickens' Hard Times just to make sure JSM wasn't as crass as the industrial, totally rationalized society, Utilitarians presented in 'Hard Times'. He wasn't, and so it is still safe for me to still have some affection for Utilitarianism as an ism.


Since I hadn't read Mill since college, I figured it was high time to revisit his famous ethical essay on, and defense of, social utility, justice and the greatest-happiness principle. I remember loving the clarity
Awab AlSaati
Jan 15, 2016 Awab AlSaati rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This being, more or less, the first book of ‘raw’ philosophy that I read, proved (pun intended) most utile to my introduction to this particular area.
I’m not going to get into Jeremy Bentham’s Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, because quite honestly I didn’t give much attention to it. Because on the one hand, I didn’t make much sense of it, being the debutant I am, and the fact that it’s a bit passé.
But then comes John Stuart Mill with an exquisite essay on liberty, in
Kalle Wescott
Oct 22, 2015 Kalle Wescott rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. I am convinced that Bentham, in addition to his philosophy about morals, economics, and the government, might be a good CEO, with John Stuart Mills a natural COO to not only interpret his theories (as he has done, with his own bent and twists), but to run operations for the greatest good for all.
May 30, 2008 Thomas rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Philosophy Fans and Such
Only a great mind (Mill was so advanced that he had a mental breakdown before the age of 5) could give something so seemingly obvious and simple and expound on it until you forgot the original thesis. Definitely a positive and interesting way to approach and live your life (and a shout-out to fans of Lost for John Locke's character now being called Jeremy Bentham!)
Aug 15, 2007 Nat rated it really liked it
Shelves: readpartof
I should have ordered this book for the Phil Perspectives class instead of the Hackett edition of Utilitarianism. This includes selections from Bentham's Principles of Morals and Legislation, as well as the whole text of Utilitarianism and Mill's essays on Bentham and Coleridge (which are more interesting in some ways than Utilitarianism itself).
Sep 12, 2013 Ling rated it really liked it
I am not usually a big fan of philosophy but I really enjoyed Utilitarianism. Mill is a capable writer in getting his thoughts across. His definition of utilitarianism and his understanding in commensurating of happiness has provided quite a bit of comfort.

Along with On Liberty, this book is John Stuart Mill at his finest.
Brance Long
Im way over my head by this book. Help me!
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John Stuart Mill, British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. He was an exponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham, although his conception of it was very different from Bentham's.
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