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By Henry R. West

John Stuart Mill was once the major British thinker of the 19th century and his recognized essay Utilitarianism is the main influential assertion of this philosophical process. Henry West's creation to utilitarianism serves as either a remark to, and interpretation of, the textual content.

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Sample text

In his Autobiography he makes explicit the connection: “The notion that truths external to the mind may be known by intuition or consciousness, independently of observation and experience, is, I am persuaded, in these times, the great intellectual support of false doctrines and bad institutions. By the aid of this theory, every inveterate belief and every intense feeling, of which the origin is not remembered, is enabled to dispense with the obligation of justifying itself by reason, and is erected into its own all-sufficient voucher and justification.

In Mill’s version, it is a scheme of preferential voting for persons on a list of candidates, without restriction to geographical representation. He favored plural votes for those with more education; and he proposed that there be a legislative commission of specialists to actually draft legislation, which would then be passed or rejected by the popular assembly. Hoping that representatives would be better informed and superior in judgment to the electorate, he opposed binding them to vote the views of their constituents.

42 Mill attached great importance to his System of Logic as helping to undermine intuitionism in general and thereby contributing to the battle against intuitionism in moral and social philosophy. In his Autobiography he makes explicit the connection: “The notion that truths external to the mind may be known by intuition or consciousness, independently of observation and experience, is, I am persuaded, in these times, the great intellectual support of false doctrines and bad institutions. By the aid of this theory, every inveterate belief and every intense feeling, of which the origin is not remembered, is enabled to dispense with the obligation of justifying itself by reason, and is erected into its own all-sufficient voucher and justification.

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