Utilitarianism Book Review

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Utilitarianism Book Review Utilitarianism, written in 1861, is perhaps John Stuart Mill’s greatest work, and certainly his most recognized. is an essay written to provide support for the value of the utilitarianism as a moral theory, and to respond to common misconceptions about it. Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." As such, mill defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain. He states that pleasure can differ in quality and quantity, and that pleasures that are rooted in one's higher faculties should be weighted more heavily than baser more animalistic pleasures. Furthermore, Mill argues that people's achievement of goals and ends, such as virtuous living, should be counted as part of their happiness. Having been raised a strict utilitarian by his father, Mill lived a very rigidly intellectual youth. So rigid, in fact, that it would lead to a nervous breakdown at 21 years of age. He actually doubted the value of utilitarianism throughout several occasions of his life, believing it was in principle too cold and heartless, perhaps because it had always be forced upon him so strongly. Taking this into account, it is important to see this work as not only Mill’s attempt to reconcile Utilitarianism with the general population, but also Mill’s formulations to justify utilitarianism with regards to some of his own moral beliefs that utilitarianism may not have explicitly defended in its previous iterations. In Utilitarianism, Mill gives us an account as to the reasons one should abide by the principles of Utilitarianism. Also referred to as the Greatest-happiness Principle, this doctrine promotes achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest amount of people, without bringing harm
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