On Ethics, Economics and Public Policy
Chapter 4: J.S. Mill’s apostasy
Chapter 4 tells how John Stuart Mill sought to shake off the early influence of his father, James Mill, and Bentham to deal with features of classical utilitarianism that he found morally repugnant and politically dangerous. In particular, he objected to the radical egalitarianism implicit in Bentham’s theory and the associated view that ‘push-pin was as good as poetry’. Mill preferred an evolutionary approach to public policy and constitutional reform that would be governed by the gradual moral elevation of the masses utilitarian ethic.
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