His defense of utilitarianism marked following changes in Benthamite utilitarianism:
1. For Bentham man is a pleasure seeking being devoid of moral responsibilities. Being devoid of moral responsibilities will replace self interest with self sacrifice.
2. Mill made qualitative difference between different kinds of pleasures. He modifies Bentham’s thesis on quantity being more important and holds that poetry is superior and preferable to pushpin or any other game.
3. He abandoned the hedonistic “felicitous calculus”. To him, pleasure or pain is only a subjective sensation that cannot be objectively measured.
4. Instead of pleasure, he makes dignity as final end of human life. To him, a sense of dignity is natural for human beings.
5. He envisaged a positive function for the state while Bentham outlines states role to increase pleasure and decrease pain, will want it to promote virtue among the individuals.
6. While Bentham subordinates liberty to the utility, Mill acknowledges liberty as amend in itself.
7. In place of Bentham’s theory of “Everyone to count for one and no one for more than one”, Mill supports plural voting. In fact, he recognizes the concerns of minority groups also.
Mill in his quest to defend utilitarianism attempts to reform it. But, what emerges from it is characteristically novel in many respects. His concerns have been widely acknowledged and appreciated. His concept of positive functions of the state and defense of liberty are monumental in its own way.