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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  15,986 Ratings  ·  237 Reviews
How do we decide what is "good" and what is "bad"? According to the ethical theory of Utilitarianism, to do good is to "always perform that act, of those available, that will bring the most happiness or the least unhappiness." By far the most widely read introduction to this theory, John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is one of the most important and controversial works of m ...more
Paperback, Dover Thrift, 64 pages
Published February 2nd 2007 by Dover Publications (first published 1861)
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Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
"It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own side of the question."
- John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism


I remember reading bits of Mill's Utilitarianism during a course of political philosophy and public policy when I was in college (my major almost 20 years ago was public policy). I have always been attracted to the b
Hamidreza Hosseini
مهم ترین چیزی که با خوندن این کتاب فهمیدم یا در واقع ازش مطمئن تر شدم، اینه که اغلب مطالب آموزشی دوران تحصیل ما، چه در دوران مدرسه و چه در دانشگاه (رشته های فنی حداقل) مشتی اراجیف و دروغ بوده اند.
اون جایی که توی کتاب تعلیمات دینی از فلسفه های فایده گرایانه، به عنوان فلسفه هایی فقط به دنبال لذت حیوانی یاد شده بود.
نمیگم تمام حرفهای این کتاب و فلسفه ی اخلاق فایده گرا درسته، ولی خیلی کمک میکنه به اینکه بتونی بهتر فکر کنی به مسیری که برای زندگی اخلاقیت در نظر گرفتی.

نوشته ی خود استیوارت میل واقعا سخت
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مراجعة مقتضبة:-

يمكن إدراج هذا الكتاب تحت بند فلسفة الأخلاق؛ يتكلم عن "النفعية"، وما النفعية إلا تلك: السعادة كغاية قصوى يسعى لها الجميع لما تحدثه من لذة في نفوس ذائقيها، ويتم طرحها ونقاشها كمبدأ أخلاقي مكتمل هدفه الأقصى_الأسمى المصلحة العامة

النفعية = أعظم السعادة = المصلحة العامة

لا أرى بأساً لو تمَّ تغيير عنوان الكتاب إلى فلسفة السعادة

***** *** * *** *****

مراجعة ليست بالمقتضبة:-

هل تعرفون ما هي العاصفة؟ بالتأكيد تعرفون!؛ هنالك نوعية من الكتب تُحدث عاصفة داخل عقولنا ولو تزامن تصوير الدماغ أثناء
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Liberalizm, özgürlük, etik, adalet, faydacılık, felsefe okumaları, genel okur
"nihai amaç [...] acıdan mümkün olduğunca azade ve keyiften mümkün olduğunca zengin bir varoluş, bir yaşamdır." (s. 71)

Selin Aktuyun'un başarılı çevirisi Yıldız Silier'in uzun ve kapsamlı önsözü sayesinde hakkında çokça fikir edindiğimiz Mill'in iki büyük başyapıtından birisi olan Faydacılık, üç yaşında Yunan Dili ve Edebiyatı, altı yaşında Latince ve Mantık öğrenen bir dehaya yakışır bir eser.

Kısaca faydacılık fikrini özetleyen, bu fikre yönelik eleştirilere cevap veren ve bu fikri en büyük
Ben Labe
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here, Mill offers a thorough description and defense of his moral theory, proposing the greatest happiness ("utilitarian") principle as the unique first principle underlying all moral conduct. "The 'greatest happiness principle' holds that actions are right in proportion as they promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness," he argues. Happiness, Mill defines as "pleasure itself, together with exemption from pain." While this definition seems dubious at first, Mill d ...more
Farah Al-Shuhail
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
تصوّر نظرية فلسفية تضمن السعادة العظمى لأكبر عدد من الأشخاص، وتقوم على مبدأ الفردية (منفعة الفرد فوق مصلحة المجتمع)، وتستند في قياسها لسلوك الفرد على النتائج أو ما يعرف بالعواقبية (مدى أخلاقية فعل ما تقاس بالنتائج المترتبة على الفعل). هذا، بإختصار، هو المبدأ النفعي الذي أسسه الفيلسوف البريطاني جيريمي بنثام وتأثر به المؤرخ والفيلسوف جيمس مِل ونقله بدوره إلى ابنه جون ستيوارت مِل الذي اخذ على عاتقه مهمة الدفاع عنه.

يبدو مبدأ النفعية للوهلة الأولى مثالياً، مما يدفعني للتفكير، إذا كانت النفعية مثالية
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mill writes about Utilitarianism. If you've read any modern take on this ethical system, there's nothing new here. The first chapter is very long and boring - I guess back in Mill's time he needed to justify Utilitarianism over other ethical systems like the Christian Bible pleas - now we, probably due to Mill, Utilitarianism is a completely understandable concept and doesn't really need to be defending in contrast to religious morals.

The rest of the book is fun, and Mill shows his passion for
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c19th, britain, philosophy
People who've studied philosophy are, IMO, the most interesting people with whom to share conversation. There's a kind of elegance about the way they put a case for an idea, and I like the way that while are open to dissenting opinions, they can demolish them in style.
Mills shows how it's done. Here and there he pours a little scorn, but mostly it's a classically intelligent, coherent, logical argument for the principle that when trying to decide on a course of action, one should choose the pos
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Maureen by: Dr. John Granrose
Shelves: philosophy
The greatest proponent of utilitarianism in modern memory is Dr. Spock of Star Trek fame. The fact that an essay written in the 1860s is still having an impact on contemporary culture speaks to the longevity of J.S. Mill's idea. It has fueled countless debates among students in philosophy classes, and in the general public. The Greatest Happiness Principle is certainly worthy of consideration, and Mill's treatise has probably figured into many people's calculations when weighing momentous life d ...more
Amy Armstrong
Okay, I'm not sure what to say about this. It's like milk; it's good for you, but can leave you bloated and gassy and the cover is totally uninspiring. Most of the writing is equally uninspiring. I recommend 2 minutes of Utilitarianism followed by 20 minutes of Googling gossipy facts about Mill.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill
فایده گرایی یا منفعت گرایی نظریه ای ست در باره ی مبانی اخلاق، و فراتر از آن حوزه هایی چون فلسفه ی سیاست و حقوق را نیز دربرمیگیرد
Mohammed Al-Garawi
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: luna-3rd-20s
Before I start talking about utilitarianism, let me tell you one thing or two about the philosopher who wrote this book.

John Stewart Mill was the son of the 17th century British philosopher James mill. And by taking full control of his son's educations and keeping him from associating with children of his own age, James Mill produced a prodigy who was said to have started learning Greek at three and Latin at seven. By the age of twelve young Mill was a competent logician, by sixteen a skilled ec
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The last chapter saved this book from a one-star rating. While it's still wrong in a whole, I believe that Mill makes very small but important points throughout the book. For instance, he realizes that equality, with a government, requires inequality because some have more power than others (i.e. the people in government). Overall, though, his "proof" of utilitarianism is weak. His analysis of other ethical theories are very topical and not in-depth. And lastly, the most annoying thing about thi ...more
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophical
If you have utter antipathy toward Utilitarianism or consider it an impracticable or vague theory, you probably just need to read the work. Mill describes much more than the simplistic, mathematical view often attributed to him. I would venture that perhaps no other moral theory would better align with the general public's sentiment than Mill's. This is not to endorse the theory--I am not a utilitarian--but it is to say it is worth consideration, and definitely worth a careful read.
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting philosophy, and one of the most important informers of today's morality. It's surprising how much we refer to the ideas in the book, without even thinking about it. So many parts of public policy are grounded in it, from social welfare to cost-benefit analysis. It was really great to read the book and get more of an understanding about where we are today and where we came from.
Wendy Bertsch
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The philosophy is solid, but Mill spends too many words defending it (admittedly probably quite necessary at that time.) I would have been interested in seeing more about how he saw it being applied.
Marts  (Thinker)
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
By simple definition: utilitarianism - a doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or benefit a majority... this can be compared to that which is considered epicurean...
Otto Lehto
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mill's essay is a rambling thing of some beauty and of unquestionable merit.

Utiliarianism of his mentor Bentham is richly espoused and its principles defended.

Mill's version of the doctrine shows a kind of post-Enlightenment rationalist culmination of the long line of British sentimentalist moralists (Locke, Hume) and their synthesis with the principles of industrial design: calculations of utility are offered to replace the wishy-washy "feelgood" of more pastoral writers of the 17th Century. B
The Thousander Club
What can I say about a book like Utilitarianism? It's a book or treatise only a few will ever read. Normally devoured and debated by full time academics, I'm one of the odd folks who reads a treatise like Utilitarianism for pleasure and my own person gratification. John Stuart Mill's intellectual work can easily be compared to similar works like Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, John Locke's Two Treatises of Government and a Letter Concerning Toleration, and of course Mill' ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mill inherited the mantle of Utilitarianism from his father, James Mill, and his godfather, Jeremy Bentham. Though he was schooled in it from a young age, in his later writing life he became no mere parrot of his forefathers' theories -- he critiqued, extended, and improved them.

Mill saw a fundamental flaw in Bentham's Utilitarianism: if what we must aim for is the greatest happiness of the greatest number, then this condition can be satisfied if the majority of society are sated and made happy
Brian Powell
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, ethics
It's pretty hard to disagree with a moral system based on the greatest good for the greatest number, and Mill argues his case passionately. That said, I'm not quite ready to assail an innocent man in a hospital waiting room so that his organs might be harvested to save the lives a few wanting people in the ICU.

Consequentalist moral systems seem to suffer from a formidable complication regarding foresight, or the ability of people to understand the ramifications of their actions a priori. Mill a
Erik Graff
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ethicists
Recommended to Erik by: David Ozar
Shelves: philosophy
During the first semester at Loyola University Chicago I enrolled in David Ozar's Ethics Survey course. Treated in that class was Natural Law Ethics, Deontology and Utilitarianism. Having never taken an ethics course before, I found the class and its readings quite interesting. I also found one of the presumptions apparently held by all the ethicists we read objectionable.

What I found questionable was as regards the matter of agency. Previous study of cultural anthropology, psychology and religi
Brent McCulley
Nov 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, politics
Again, Mill is so fascinating to read, but his ethical theory is so flimsy, cumbersome, and ungrounded, that it ultimately self-destructs on itself. Utilitarianism as a concept is so arbitrary, that although it was probably a new fascinating ethical theory during Mill's time, it has almost altogether been abandoned by philosophers of ethics today.

Who determines what the "good" is for society? What happens with the ultimate good - in order to achieve chief happiness for the greatest amount of peo
This is about as dry as a box of century-old Saltines, but it does contain interesting ideas, if poorly and inelegantly expressed. I think Mill's basic stumbling block is in the transition between the rights and morals of an individual and the good of a society. He tries multiple times to make the connection, but he never manages to pull it off seamlessly. I got the feeling that even he didn't actually believe in the idea he was expressing on that point, only that the transition was necessary fo ...more
Nguyễn Trung
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
For a long time I have maintained that personal happiness is the ultimate end, or at least ultimate pursuit, of human life, and that every thought and action of human is but a means to achieve that end. This book by Mill not only affirmed my personal belief, but also provided excellent reasoning to back it up and refute various common objections. So good and complete was Mill's idea and reasoning that I felt a sense of defeat for my own idea's lack of originality and concrete foundation.

That sai
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Having read this I'm not sure what kind of utilitarianism Mill advocates (that is, if he is a utilitarian after all), I'm not sure whether his naturalism is consistent, I'm not sure if his proof of utilitarianism is any good, I'm not sure whether he takes justice seriously, and, finally, I'm not sure whether Mill himself understood what he was really saying.

Nevertheless, Utilitarianism's greatest strength is the author's inability to competently answer the questions he poses to the reader. It is
Not as much insight as I was expecting especially since he's most known for his Utilitarianism. The book is really a defense of Utilitarianism against critics and less of a description of it as a system. I found "On the Subjection of Women" and "Socialism" to be far more insightful. At least it was short, and there is a neat passage on the justice of different conceptions of taxation-- equal sum, equal %, or graduated %.
Melissa Smith
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is short but very challenging. I would suggest reading it over and over again until you have the "Eureka!" moment that will be life changing. It took me 7 reads to feel like I really got the gist of what John Stuart Mills was trying to express on ethics and happiness. In the end, I didn't agree with everything he thought but it touched me and I still think about it years later. Now that's what I call a successful book!
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
Not my favorite of Mill's writings, but this one is definitely a bit more complex than the excerpts in textbooks would suggest. It is not a long read, and if not entertaining, it is at least well enough written to be readable without too much tedium. Mill does tend to repeat himself a lot, as do a lot of authors from his time, but it is interesting to see what ideas he promotes besides the notion of utilitarianism in this document.
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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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“It is indisputable that the being whose capacities of enjoyment are low, has the greatest chance of having them fully satisfied; and a highly endowed being will always feel that any happiness which he can look for, as the world is constituted, is imperfect. But he can learn to bear its imperfections, if they are at all bearable; and they will not make him envy the being who is indeed unconscious of the imperfections, but only because he feels not at all the good which those imperfections qualify.

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own side of the question.”
“The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest-Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.” 41 likes
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