This book offers a clear and highly readable introduction to the ethical and social-political philosophy of John Stuart Mill. Dale E. Miller argues for a "utopian" reading of Mill's utilitarianism. He analyses Mill's views on happiness and goes on to show the practical, social and political implications that can be drawn from his utilitarianism, especially in relation to the construction of morality, individual freedom, democratic reform, and economic organization. By highlighting the utopian thinking which lies at the heart of Mill's theories, Miller shows that rather than allowing for well-being for the few, Mill believed that a society must do everything in its power to see to it that each individual can enjoy a genuinely happy life if the happiness of its members is to be maximized. Miller provides a cogent and careful account of the main arguments offered by Mill, considers the critical responses to his work, and assesses its legacy for contemporary philosophy. Lucidly and persuasively written, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars seeking to understand the continued importance of Mill's thinking.
Dale E. Miller is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Old Dominion University.
Contents Preface Acknowledgments Part I: Foundations of Mill's Moral, Social and Political Thought 1. A Singular Life 2. Mill's Understanding of Human Nature Part II: Mill's Moral Philosophy 3. The 'Proof' Principle of Utility 4. The Higher Pleasures 5. Utilitarianism: The 'Happiness Morality' 6. Mill's Theory of Right and Wrong Part III: Mill's Social and Political Thought 7. Mill on Liberty and Individuality 8. Millian Normative Political Economy 9. Millian Democracy PART IV: Concluding Remarks 10. Mill's Utopian Utilitarianism Notes Bibliography Index