Utilitarianism (Dover Thrift Editions Series)

Overview


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 moral philosophy ever written.
In this major contribution to ethical history, Mill's treatise defends the ...
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Utilitarianism

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Overview


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 moral philosophy ever written.
In this major contribution to ethical history, Mill's treatise defends the view that all human action should produce the greatest happiness overall, and that happiness itself is made up of "higher pleasures," such as the cultural, intellectual, and spiritual, and "lower pleasures," such as the physical. The relationship of utilitarian theory to other ethical systems, and powerful arguments in its favor—especially when concerning justice—are brilliantly discussed. How do we weigh options to maximize happiness for self and for those around us? From common-day dilemmas to large-scale social decisions, this exposition remains as relevant today as it was to intellectual and moral dilemmas of the nineteenth century.

This expanded edition of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism includes the text of his 1868 speech to the British House of Commons defending the use of capital punishment in cases of aggravated murder. The speech is significant both because its topic remains timely and because its arguments illustrate the applicability of the principle of utility to questions of large-scale social policy.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
<:st>A major contribution in the history of ethics, Mill's brief treatise on utilitarianism lays the theoretical foundation for this branch of philosophy and outlines its relationship to other ethical systems, the arguments in its favor, and its implications for concerns about justice. The appendix contains the text of Mill's 1868 speech on capital punishment. A introductory chapter describes Mill's place in the history of philosophy and his contribution to the study of ethics. Cited in There is no index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486454221
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 2/2/2007
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 871,595
  • Product dimensions: 5.29 (w) x 8.37 (h) x 0.17 (d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction
Selected Bibliography
Ch. I General Remarks 1
Ch. II What Utilitarianism Is 6
Ch. III Of the Ultimate Sanction of the Principle of Utility 27
Ch. IV Of What Sort of Proof the Principle of Utility is Susceptible 35
Ch. V On the Connection between Justice and Utility 42
App April 1868 Speech on Capital Punishment 65
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