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by John Mill
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The Oxford Philosophical Texts series consists of authoritative teaching editions of canonical texts in the history of philosophy from the ancient world down to modern times. Each volume provides a clear, well laid out text together with a comprehensive introduction by a leading specialist, providing the student with detailed critical guidance on the intellectual context of the work and the structure and philosophical importance of the main arguments. Endnotes are supplied which provide further commentary on the arguments and explain unfamiliar references and terminology, and a full bibliography and index are also included. The series aims to build up a definitive corpus of key texts in the Western philosophical tradition, which will form a reliable and enduring resource for students and teachers alike. John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is one of the most important, controversial, and suggestive works of moral philosophy ever written. Mill defends the view that all human action should produce the greatest happiness overall, and that happiness itself is to be understood as consisting in higher and lower pleasures. This volume uses the 1871 edition of the text, the last to be published in Mill's lifetime. The text is preceded by a comprehensive introduction assessing Mill's philosophy and the alternatives to utilitarianism, and discussing some of the specific issues Mill raises in Utilitarianism. This volume also includes an analysis of the text, substantial endnotes, suggestions for further reading, and a full bibliography.
We are continually informed that Utility is an uncertain standard, which every different person interprets differently, and that there is no safety but in the immutable, ineffaceable, and unmistakable dictates of justice, which carry their evidence in themselves, and are independent of the fluctuations of opinion. One would suppose from this that on questions of justice there could be no controversy; that if we take that for our rule, its application to any given case could leave us in as little doubt as a mathematical demonstration.
The publisher, Prentice-Hall Humanities/Social Science
Library of Liberal Arts title.
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