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Synopsis

Utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its utility in providing happiness or pleasure as summed among all sentient beings. It is thus a form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome. One of the most influential contributors to this theory is considered to be John Stuart Mill.

John Stuart Mill, 1806-73, worked for the East India Co. helped run Colonial India from England. Minister of Parliament 1865-68 he served one term.

John Stuart Mill's book Utilitarianism is a philosophical defense of utilitarianism in ethics. Although Mill includes discussions of utilitarian ethical principles in other works such as On Liberty and The Subjection of Women, Utilitarianism contains Mill's only major discussion of the fundamental grounds for utilitarian ethical theory.

Recommended reading for anyone interested in philosophy, political science, and history.

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