This book has explored some of the doubts and possibilities for different readings of the classical utilitarians, both positive and negative. It has shown how William Godwin, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, and others were forever engaged in tackling both the reasons—or the pleasures and pains—and the persons together, instead of separating them, in often breathtaking visions of a future of maximally happy beings who had through education and personal growth achieved their utilitarian potential. It has also discussed how utilitarianism had become more entangled in imperialistic politics at precisely the point when it lost its foundational philosophical confidence, when it was forced to confront the incoherence of its own accounts of such fundamental notions as happiness, reason, pleasure, and pain.
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