Mill's "Utilitarianism" is one of the most important texts in the teaching of ethics. Utilitarianism as an ethical philosophy is one of the competing theories at the present time and Mill's "Utilitarianism" is the classic text in this area. As such, it is a hugely important and exciting, yet challenging piece of philosophical writing. In Mill's "'Utilitarianism': A Reader's Guide", Henry R. West offers a clear and thorough account of this key philosophical work. The book offers a detailed review of the key themes and a lucid commentary that will enable readers to rapidly navigate the text. Geared towards the specific requirements of students who need to reach a sound understanding of the text as a whole, the guide explores the complex and important ideas inherent in the text and provides a cogent survey of the reception and influence of Mill's seminal work. This is the ideal companion to study of this most influential of texts. "Continuum Reader's Guides" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to key texts in literature and philosophy.
Each book explores the themes, context, criticism and influence of key works, providing a practical introduction to close reading, guiding students towards a thorough understanding of the text. They provide an essential, up-to-date resource, ideal for undergraduate students.
Henry R. West is Professor of Philosophy at Macalester College, USA. He is the author of An Introduction to Mill's Utilitarian Ethics (CUP, 2004) and the editor of the Blackwell Guide to Mill's Utilitarianism (Blackwell, 2005).
1. Context; 2. Overview of Themes; 3. Reading the Text; 4. Reception and Influence; 5. Notes for Further Reading.