This Blackwell Guide is an ideal commentary for students on Mill's Utilitarianism. It is written by specialists at the cutting edge of philosophical scholarship in a style that is accessible to readers coming to Mill's classic statement for the first time. The Guide contains the complete text of Utilitarianism and twelve related essays. Three of these are background essays, designed to acquaint the reader with Mill's life, his philosophical influences, and the place of Utilitarianism in Mill's overall philosophy. Five are analyses of the arguments in Utilitarianism, and include discussion of some of the most disputed points in interpretation. A final section of four essays addresses some contemporary debates within the utilitarian tradition The last of these examines the implications of utilitarianism for practical ethics, taking as a case study the application of utilitarian theory to military or non-violent responses to terrorism.
Henry R. West is Professor of Philosophy at Macalester College, St Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of An Introduction to Mill's Utilitarian Ethics (2004), Moral Philosophy: Classic Texts and Contemporary Problems (1977), and articles in journals and encyclopedias on John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism.