John Stuart Mill was the most influential British philosopher of the 19th century. His works spanned a startling variety of topics including logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and social theory. All of Mill's writings were aimed at the support and expansion of philosophical radicalism, and he had a significant influence on social theory, political theory, and political economy. His work, Utilitarianism , published in 1863, has been described as "the most influential philosophical articulation of a liberal humanistic morality that was produced in the 19th century." Utilitarianism addresses the subject of ethics, exploring the subject that has been perhaps the most puzzling for philosophers and thinkers of all ages. What is right? What is good? How can we use an understanding of the right and good to provide a moral framework that leads humanity to happiness, balance, and progress in all ways? Mill's work on this topic, though highly criticized in his own era, is still taught in university ethics courses around the world.
The narration of the work is preceded by a summary that explores Mill's life and the background of his philosophy. Also included are an overview of the work, a synopsis and analysis, and an examination of the historical context of the piece.