Quinton's classic study has stood the test of time and is
generally acknowledged to be the best and most reliable
introduction to ethical utilitarianism. This edition includes a
new preface surveying recent developments.
begins with a definition of utilitarianism and goes on to
consider hedonism as a criterion of value and theory of
motivation. He surveys early hedonism and examines the emergence
of utilitarianism proper in the works of Hume, Tucker, and
Paley. He also analyzes the contributions of Bentham, James
Mill, and J. S. Mill, with special attention to J. S. Mill's
arguments concerning the sanction of morality, the proof of the
principle of utility, and the questions of justice and utility.
Quinton, now Lord Quinton, is an outstanding contemporary
thinker, author of The Nature of Things (1973), The
Politics of Imperfection (1978), Francis Bacon
(1980), and Thoughts and Thinkers (1982). Formerly
president of Trinity College, Oxford, he is now president of the
Aristotelian Society and chairman of the British Library Board.