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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1861, John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism systematically details and defends the doctrine of the moral theory of utilitarianism.

Arguing first that what might be termed a morally good action is one that increases the general sum of happiness in the world, Mill then says that general principles of justice should be based on this idea. Therefore, in life, there is no conflict between what is just and what is morally right.

Mill published Utilitarianism toward the end of a lifetime spent as a moral philosopher, political activist, and social reformer. The book was at first met with hostility, with critics lining up to prove they had found flaws in Mill's arguments.

In the second half of the 20th century, however, interest in utilitarianism sprang up again, and Utilitarianism is now regarded as a classic text in the history of political philosophy.

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