Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Mill, John Stuart

  • Judith Wagner DeCew
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_483

British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) was raised and educated by his father James Mill, and his father’s close friend, Jeremy Bentham, who is often called the “Father of Utilitarianism.” Two of John Stuart Mill’s most important works are his books Utilitarianism (1863) and On Liberty (1859). The major themes in Utilitarianism include Mill’s defense of Bentham’s utilitarian theory that both individuals and governments should act to provide the “greatest happiness for the greatest number,” with an amendment that is sometimes called the quality/quantity distinction – that in determining the greatest happiness or utility one should take into account both the quantity and the quality of the happiness or pleasure attained. In On LibertyMill defends the importance of individual liberty and why it should be defended staunchly, even in a democracy, to protect individuals from the power and tyranny of governments over them. In addition to defending the importance of individuality...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Wagner DeCew
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA