chapter  24
19 Pages

JOHN STUART MILL: DEMOCRACY AS SENTIMENTAL EDUCATION

American universities usually introduce students to utilitarianism through the work of John Stuart Mill. This choice makes pedagogical sense: John Stuart Mill is a vastly more interesting, accessible, and readable author than Jeremy Bentham, the acknowledged founder of utilitarianism. Yet the choice is apt to lead to confusions, both about Mill, who departed in significant ways from orthodox utilitarianism, and about mainstream utilitarianism, which never accepted Mill’s innovative departures. Mill thought that orthodox utilitarianism expressed important truths, but not the whole truth, about politics and morals.