Political thought in England; the utilitarians from Bentham to J.S. Mill PDF book (1915)

Political thought in England; the utilitarians from Bentham to J.S. Mill PDF book (1915) by William Leslie Davidson,

the utilitarians from Bentham


NOT infrequently we find writers, men of letters and philosophers alike, referring to Utilitarianism as they might to Epicureanism of old, as a rounded and completed thing delivered once for all by a master, and handed down fully-formed from the beginning, with little or no modification by succeeding generations. But Utilitarianism, like most other philosophical systems, is a growth, beginning with a clear but restricted view, and needing experience and the critical sympathetic insight of others later on to widen its outlook, to tone down its dogmatism, to lop off excrescences, and to adjust it to fresh light and new situations. There is a school or succession of utilitarians, in the same sense as there

is a school or succession of intuitional moralists, each with his own merits and peculiarities, and each advancing beyond the other, enriching the common teaching in some respects and carrying it forward to a fuller issue. There is a marked and significant difference, for instance, between the teaching of Bentham and that of J. S. Mill a difference that hardly finds a parallel in the teaching of Epicurus and the brilliant reproduction of it by his disciple Lucretius.



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