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By Henry R. West

John Stuart Mill was once the best British thinker of the 19th century and his recognized essay Utilitarianism is the main influential assertion of this philosophical strategy. Henry West's creation to utilitarianism serves as either a remark to, and interpretation of, the textual content.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Mill's Utilitarian Ethics

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M. , 1026–37. 16 P1: JPK CY255B-04 0 521 828325 September 18, 2003 13:44 Mill’s Life and Philosophical Background including five “methods” or “canons” of induction that are now known by Mill’s name. Mill concluded with a chapter on the logic of the “moral sciences,” some of which will be cited in discussing the place of rules in Mill’s ethics. In the years 1830–1, Mill had written some essays on economic topics, which in 1844 found a publisher with the title Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy.

Then these attributes are in themselves good, independently of his pleasure. If any person has the misfortune to believe that his Creator commands wickedness, more respect is due to him [or her] for disobeying such imaginary commands, than for obeying them. ”15 Another problem with ascribing a supernatural origin to the received maxims of morality, according to Mill in a different treatise, the essay “Utility of Religion,” is that such an origin protects them from being criticized. 16 One technique of criticism of an opponent’s ethical view that we can notice in these arguments is to draw out implications of the doctrine that are absurd or implausible or for some other reason unacceptable.

To expel it from these, is to drive it from its stronghold. . [T]he System of Logic met the intuition philosophers on ground on which they had previously been deemed unassailable; and gave its own explanation, from experience and association, of that peculiar character of what are called necessary truths. . ”43 Likewise, in correspondence with Theodor Gomperz concerning the latter’s offer to translate System of Logic, Mill said that his book “was chiefly valued by me as a necessary means towards placing metaphysical and moral science on the basis of analyzed experience, in opposition to the theory of innate principles, .

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