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Utilitarianism  By  cover art

Utilitarianism

By: John Stuart Mill
Narrated by: Fleet Cooper
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Editorial reviews

Listening to Fleet Cooper perform John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is like attending the lecture of a favorite philosophy professor. Though the ideas contained in this audiobook can be dense and complex, Cooper always sounds as though he's speaking conversationally. His meter has a tone evocative of thinking aloud, which cordially draws the listener to the subject matter. In this famous treatise, Mill follows up on Jeremy Bentham's efforts to redefine morality. He objects to Bentham's hedonic calculus and argues that the "Greater Happiness Doctrine" is flawed, for one must take into account the inherent quality of one's pleasure when determining its ethical value.

Publisher's summary

This expanded edition of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism includes the text of his 1868 speech to the British House of Commons defending the use of capital punishment in cases of aggravated murder. The speech is significant both because its topic remains timely and because its arguments illustrate the applicability of the principle of utility to questions of large-scale social policy.

Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Utilitarianism

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A dramatic reading of JSM's 'Utilitarianism'

Since I hadn't read Mill since college, I figured it was high time to revisit his famous ethical essay on, and defense of, social utility, justice and the greatest-happiness principle. I remember loving the clarity and simplicity of Mill's arguments when I was first exposed to this essay in college, and the central ideas of utilitarianism still resonate with me 15 years later.

Fleet Cooper's narration was good, but there were times when he managed to make JSM seem snarky. It was almost a dramatic reading of Utilitarianism. Not what I expected, but since it didn't cause me actual harm or pain, I'm not sure his reading violated an actual "standard of narration morality".

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17 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

I had not read Utilitarianism since college (50+ years ago) and it has not improved. Mill's treatment of moral utility is fine except it is amateurish compared to what Immanuel Kant explained 80 years earlier in his Critique of Pure Reason. But then Mill was no Kant.

The narration of Utilitarianism is disgraceful. The narrator mispronounced many words including a few common ones. The Audible voice that introduced the novel pronounced the authors surname as Mills rather than the correct Mill. Then at the end he did the same thing again. I've listened to many audiobooks published by Audible Studios. The is the first one that should be withdrawn because the narration is embarrassing for the Audible brand.

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9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Disgusting Narration

Narrator mispronounces author's name. It's Mill not "Mills." Mispronounces "Protagoras." Mispronounces "a priori." Narrator snorts. What the hell? Inexcusable.

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3 people found this helpful

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Great book, annoying performance

This would have been much more enjoyable if the narrator weren’t seemingly doing his best impression of a pretentious Pseudo-intellectual. He sounds like a cartoon villain and it’s distracting from the actual work.

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Why?

I wished the author had more carefully defined happiness. It seems to me that he took it for granted that can all agree on happiness. Seems like silly point, but given the centrality to his overall argument that it would be important to clearly define what happiness is, and isn't. I also didn't follow why you could equate utility and happiness which seems central in some passages. I am left with a big, "why?" nagging at me. I'm not even sure all that my "why" implies, but it's a great place to start with this book.

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Impassioned narration of an interesting subject.

John Stuart Mill was ahead of his time regarding the clamoring for equality and justice for the little guy. He understood the helpless position under which the poverty-stricken are shackled.

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Deeeep

Great narration. Great topic to discuss with friends and family.
Definitely will be listening to it again.

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Speaker was bad

The book is great but the speaker too often makes high and low pitches making it hard to hear him while driving

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!!!

All around insightful. Not a sentence in this book did I find to be inessential. Written by a master craftsman of words with an intellect of precision and mind for making connections.

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a classic

.. and short enough to go through, even multiple times. hard to get all in one go, but you can keep discovering. and discussing.

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