Utilitas 6 (1):55-63 (1994)

In the introductory chapter of his essay on Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill says his aim is to contribute towards the understanding of utilitarianism and towards ‘such proof as it is susceptible of’. He immediately adds that ‘this cannot be proof in the ordinary and popular meaning of the term’ because ‘ultimate ends are not amenable to direct proof’. A proof that something is good has to show that it is ‘a means to something admitted to be good without proof’. But, he goes on, this does not imply that a formula of ultimate ends can only be accepted on ‘blind impulse, or arbitrary choice’. It can be rationally discussed and subjected to proof in a wider sense of that word. ‘Considerations may be presented capable of determining the intellect either to give or withhold its assent to the doctrine; and this is equivalent to proof.’
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0953820800001321
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,657
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - International Journal of Ethics 14 (3):377-382.
Justice and Liberty.William N. Nelson & D. D. Raphael - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):252.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Proof and Sanction in Mill's Utilitarianism.Stephen Cohen - 1990 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 7 (4):475 - 487.
A Defense of John Stuart Mill's Proof of the Principle of Utility.Necip Fikri Alican - 1994 - Dissertation, Washington University in St. Louis
Mill's 'Proof' of Utility and the Composition of Causes.Fred Wilson - 1983 - Journal of Business Ethics 2 (2):135 - 155.
On Millgram on Mill.Dale E. Miller - 2004 - Utilitas 16 (1):96-108.
The Fourth Chapter of Mill's Utilitarianism.John Kleinig - 1970 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):197 – 205.
The Proof of Utility and Equity in Mill's Utilitarianism.John Marshall - 1973 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):13 - 26.
J. S. Mill's Utilitarianism.Christopher Alan Hoffman - 1994 - Dissertation, Washington University
A Comment on Mill's Argument for Utilitarianism.Shia Moser - 1963 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 6 (1-4):308-318.
A New Proof of the Likelihood Principle.Greg Gandenberger - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):475-503.


Added to PP index

Total views
112 ( #98,994 of 2,462,330 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #299,152 of 2,462,330 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes