By Henry R. West
John Stuart Mill used to be the best British thinker of the 19th century and his recognized essay Utilitarianism is the main influential assertion of this philosophical procedure. Henry West's creation to utilitarianism serves as either a remark to, and interpretation of, the textual content.
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Extra info for An Introduction to Mill's Utilitarian Ethics
16 One technique of criticism of an opponent’s ethical view that we can notice in these arguments is to draw out implications of the doctrine that are absurd or implausible or for some other reason unacceptable. Another procedure is to criticize assumptions or the logic by which these assumptions are made to cohere with conclusions. One problem with the divine will theory is that it assumes that there is a God and that one can have knowledge of God’s will. The grounds for this assumption are subjected to criticism 15 16 “Sedgwick’s Discourse,” 53.
19 Mill devoted a complete essay to criticism of ethics based upon an appeal to Nature. , 423. , 425. Letter to Walter Coulson, November 22, 1850, in The Later Letters of John Stuart Mill 1849–1873, vols. 14–17 of Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Francis E. Mineka and Dwight N. , 52. The date of the composition of the essay is reported in an “Introductory Notice,” by Helen Taylor, Mill’s stepdaughter, 371. 37 P1: GnI CY255B-05 0 521 828325 September 18, 2003 13:49 An Introduction to Mill’s Utilitarian Ethics “The word Nature has two principal meanings: it either denotes the entire system of things, with the aggregate of all their properties, or it denotes things as they would be, apart from human intervention.
22 Mill concludes that this reduces to absurdity the claim that we should model our behavior on the course of Nature. He says that if we really believed that all natural agencies were appointed by a benevolent Providence as a means of accomplishing wise purposes, then everything from draining a pestilential swamp to curing a toothache ought to be accounted 21 22 “Nature,” 401–2. , 385. 38 P1: GnI CY255B-05 0 521 828325 September 18, 2003 13:49 Mill’s Criticism of Alternative Theories impious. 23 He also argues that many virtues go against what is natural.
An Introduction to Mill's Utilitarian Ethics by Henry R. West