John Stuart Mill Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
942 words
4 pages
printer Print
essay essay

Category: Literature

Type of paper: Essay

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Hey! We can write a custom essay for you.

All possible types of assignments. Written by academics

I) Utilitarianism: + Whenever we have a choice between alternative actions or social policies, we must choose the one that has the best overall consequences for everyone concerned. + According to utilitarianism, the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome. 3 + Utilitarianism is the one that maximizes utility, which is understood in terms of happiness or pleasure, in the moral actions. + For Utilitarianism, the morally best (better) alternative is that which produces the greatest (or greater) net utility, where utility is defined in terms of happiness or pleasure.

(Ethics, Mackinnon) 4 + Two main philosophers of Utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) 5 II) Introduction to the main idea of Utilitarianism: A) The Principle of Utility (J. Bentham) By the Principle of Utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness to the party whose interest is in question (The Principles of Morals and Legislation, J.Bentham) + The principle is for the promotion of greater happiness.

6 We ought to do that which produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. (Ethics, Mackinnon) + It is the guidance or principle of ethics: We should promote the greatest happiness in choices or actions. 7 Example: Killing is morally wrong because it does not promote happiness. But killing would be morally right if it promotes happiness, like the case of Japanese story and the case of disabled person. http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=8BjJ3yms8VM 8.

II) Introduction to the main idea of Utilitarianism: B) The Greatest Happiness Principle (J. S. Mill) ¦The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. (Utilitarianism, J. S. Mill) By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by happiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. (Utilitarianism, J. S. Mill).

9 + According to the Greatest Happiness Principle¦ the ultimate end, with reference to and for the sake of which all other things are desirable (whether we are considering our own good or that of other people), is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments. (Utilitarianism, J. S. Mill) + The Greatest Happiness Principle: Promote pleasure/ utility 10 III) Two kinds of pleasure (J. S. Mill): 1) Physical pleasure: satisfaction of physical need 2) Intellectual pleasure: satisfaction of intellectual / spiritual need Example: Aesthetic pleasure, like painting 11.

The Painting of Vincent Van Gogh 12 The Painting of Claude Monet 13 + The beauty of music: http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=Xg4ekh8 MwfM&list=PLF9B40412F22FA26B http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=n4ba8A W_Zck 14 IV) Calculation of Utility / Happiness + Pleasure minus Pain = Net happiness 1) Act A produces 10 units of happiness and 2 units of unhappiness: net happiness = 8 units of happiness 2) Act B produces 8 units of happiness and 4 units of unhappiness: net happiness = 4 units Act A is morally better than Act B.

15 + The best choice of Utilitarianism is the promotion of the interests of the greater (or greatest) number. + The utilitarian does not consider the nature of the acts or the motive, but just the utility or happiness in sum. + Example: the case of Downs syndrome. http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=NeaDwFx8fgs 16 V)The measurement of utility: a)Intensity: quality of pleasure, e. g. winning a basketball match vs ice-cream b)Duration: the time lasted c)Fruitfulness: Not only the immediate pleasure, but also long-term result, like friendship, d)Likelihood: the closeness of happening of the consequence (utility).

17 VI)The proof of Principle of Greatest Utility or Happiness The only proof capable of being given that an object is visible, is that people actually see it. The only proof that a sound is audible, is that people hear it¦In like manner, I apprehend, the sole evidence it is possible to produce that anything is desirable, is that people do actually desire it. (Utilitarianism, J. S. Mill) 18 + David Humes Is/ Ought distinction Is does not imply Ought: e. g. we have parents ? we should obey to parents.

VII) Mills the Harm Principle: That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant . . . Over himself, over his body and mind, the individual is sovereign. (On Liberty, J. S. Mill) 19 + The harm principle above promotes freedom, which is as the means to happiness.

+ The ultimate or intrinsic Good: pleasure or happiness + Instrumental good is the good which promotes the intrinsic good: education, freedom 20 VIII) Assessing Utilitarianism 1) Utilitarian conception of impartiality The utility or interest of the party involved is to be counted equally. (NO privileged class under Utilitarianism) 2) The promotion of animal welfare and animal right as the happiness of the animal is counted as well. (Peter Singer) 21 3) The Utility-oriented approach: A) Act-Utilitarianism: The consequence of this particular act is considered.

In this case, killing the innocent may be justified for the sake of greater utility. The problem of right and justice. B) Rule-Utilitarianism: The consequence of the act is performed as a general practice (rule). 22 4) Conflict of pleasures Intellectual pleasure vs physical pleasure (satisfaction of hunger) How should we act/ choose? Life is not worth living when it is without utility or pleasure? 23 + Discussion: Is Utilitarianism a good way to guide our actions or choices, according to the common sense of morality and moral practices? 24.

Warning! This essay is not original. Get 100% unique essay within 45 seconds!


We can write your paper just for 11.99$

i want to copy...

This essay has been submitted by a student and contain not unique content

People also read