These three volumes - devoted to Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, and John Stuart Mill - represent a triumph of the contextual method rather than a pure contribution to the History of Philosophy. The Utilitarians, Stephen argues, were social reformers first and philosophers second. Volume One consists largely of a catalogue of the social evils that provided Bentham with his problem and his stimulus. He realized that the ruling classes did not always desire 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number', and this in turn propelled him towards political radicalism. Volume Two contains an extended discussion of the problems of the new science of political economy (Malthus, Ricardo) which provided the framework for much of James Mill's thought. In Volume Three we find that even seemingly pure philosophical problems, such as those treated in J.S. Mill's Logic, are not entirely divorced from social and political vested interests.