Happiness and Utility brings together experts on utilitarianism to explore the concept of happiness within the utilitarian tradition, situating it in earlier eighteenth-century thinkers and working through some of its developments at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Drawing on a range of philosophical and historical approaches to the study of the central idea of utilitarianism, the chapters provide a rich set of insights into a founding component of ethics and modern political and economic thought, as well as political and economic practice. In doing so, the chapters examine the multiple dimensions of utilitarianism and the contested interpretations of this standard for judgement in morality and public policy.
The chapters are written in celebration of the career of Professor Frederick Rosen. They follow his work by concentrating on Bentham and the two Mills, and by the subtleties and sophistication of their understanding of one of the most alluring but elusive ideas of modern times. The volume will be of interest not only to admirers of Rosen but to academics and postgraduate students in disciplines such as Philosophy, Political Theory, History of Political Thought, Legal Theory and Legal History.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY). You can download Happiness and Utility ebook for free in PDF format (34.3 MB).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Happiness, Utility and the Republic of Letters
Happiness and Interests in Politics: A Late-Enlightenment Debate
Jeremy Bentham and the Spanish Constitution of 1812
Scepticism and Epicureanism: From David Hume to J. S. Mill
Bentham on 'Hume's Virtues'
Shaftesbury, Hutcheson and Mill on Pleasure and Virtue
'The First Article to Look to is Power': Bentham, Happiness and the Capability Approach
Jeremy Bentham and President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms
James Mill on Happiness
Bentham, Mill, Stoicism and Higher Pleasures
Individualist and Totalizing Ethical Thinking in Mill's Utilitarianism
Mill and Democracy: Taking William Buckley Seriously
John Stuart Mill and the Jewish Question: Broadening the Utilitarian Maximand
The Failure of Planned Happiness: The Rise and Fall of British Home Colonies
Making Better Sense of Ideal Utilitarianism