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Arts and Humanities Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2005

Philosophy

University of Richmond

Bentham

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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

Introduction To John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, G. Scott Davis Jan 2005

Introduction To John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, G. Scott Davis

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, which first appeared in three installments of Fraser's Magazine in 1861, was intended as a defense of the notorious doctrine identified with the liberal reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and with the author's father, James Mill (1773-1836). The defense was successful. While "the principle of utility, or as Bentham has latterly called it, the greatest happiness principle," may have scandalized Victorian England, Mill's Utilitarianism became one of the defining documents of modern British and American liberalism. It is impossible to appreciate contemporary social and political life without coming to grips with utilitarianism.