“It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied": Rare First Edition of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism
Mill, John Stuart.
Item Number: 98098
London: Parker, Son and Bourn, 1863.
First edition of the author’s classic work. Octavo, original cloth, gilt titles to the spine. In very good condition with some light rubbing, bookplate, rebacked. First editions are rare.
Utilitarianism is Mill's classic exposition and defense of utilitarianism in ethics. The essay first appeared as a series of three articles published in Fraser's Magazine in 1861; the articles were collected and reprinted as a single book in 1863. Mill's aim in the book is to explain what utilitarianism is, to show why it is the best theory of ethics, and to defend it against a wide range of criticisms and misunderstandings. Mill's Utilitarianism remains "the most famous defense of the utilitarian view ever written" (J. B. Schneewind, Sidgwick's Ethics and Victorian Moral Philosophy) and is still widely assigned in university ethics courses around the world. Because of Mill, utilitarianism rapidly became the dominant ethical theory in Anglo-American philosophy.