4 edition of Utilitarianism. found in the catalog.
John Stuart Mill
|Series||The Humboldt library, no. 121|
|LC Classifications||B1571 M6 1890|
Secondly, this is not a list of personal recommendations. Mill frames his paper by discussing the proof to which moral theory is susceptible, given that it cannot be proven in the typically understood meaning of direct proof. To doubt that the same potency might be given by the same means to the principle of utility, even if it had no foundation in human nature, would be flying in the face of all experience. Like Bentham, Mill believed that ultimate ends and first principles cannot be demonstrated, since they lie at the foundation of everything else that we know and believe.
The beginning of the treatise is populated by clarifications and Mill's own revisions to utilitarian theory, designed so as to respond to objectors to utilitarianism while also laying a groundwork for Mill's own theory. There is nothing originally more desirable about money than about any heap of glittering pebbles. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. They are also aware that a right action does not necessarily indicate a virtuous character, and that actions which are blameable often proceed from qualities entitled to praise. Did a person that took an action intending to maximize happiness do something immoral if the action ends up decreasing happiness? All action is for the sake of some end, and rules of action, it seems natural to suppose, must take their whole character and colour from the end to which they are subservient.
In being desired for its own sake it is, however, desired as part of happiness. To inquire how far the bad effects of this deficiency have been mitigated in practice, or to what extent the moral beliefs of mankind have been vitiated or made uncertain by the absence of any distinct recognition of an ultimate standard, would imply a complete survey and criticism of past and present ethical doctrine. Even that most intractable of enemies, disease, may be indefinitely reduced in dimensions by good physical and moral education, and proper control of noxious influences; while the progress of science holds out a promise for the future of still more direct conquests over this detestable foe. Preference utilitarianism[ edit ] Preference utilitarianism is an alternative to classical utilitarianism which defines satisfaction of personal preference or interests as "good," with pleasure being only one of these interests. Is utilitarianism unjust, or implausibly demanding, or impractical?
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According to the other doctrine, right and wrong, as well as truth and falsehood, are questions of observation and experience. And there needs be the less hesitation to accept this judgment respecting the quality of pleasures, since there is no other tribunal to be referred to even on the question of quantity.
It is the more unjust to utilitarianism that this particular misapprehension should be made a ground of objection to it, inasmuch as utilitarian moralists have gone beyond almost all others in affirming that the motive has nothing to do with the morality of the action, though much with the worth of the agent.
To doubt that the same potency might be given by the same means to the principle of utility, even if it had no foundation in human nature, would be flying in the face of all experience. Although utilitarianism seems very logical, it can lead to some questionable moral statements,   and many see the need to correct it.
This conviction is the ultimate sanction of the greatest-happiness morality. Llewellyn Davishas objected to this passage, saying, "Surely the rightness or wrongness of saving a man from drowning does depend very much upon the motive with which it is done. In being desired for its own sake it is, however, desired as part of happiness.
Pickersgill, ; in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Nevertheless, such precise calculations are not needed for many issues; the utility cost of torture, for example, is clear enough. And every advance in that direction relieves us from some, not only of the chances which cut short our own lives, but, what concerns us still more, which deprive us of those in whom our happiness is wrapt up.
Negative utilitarianism is often criticized for implying that it would be morally good to destroy all life painlessly. I must again repeat, what the assailants of utilitarianism seldom have the justice to acknowledge, that the happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct, is not the agent's own happiness, but that of all concerned.
They either assume the ordinary precepts of morals as of a priori authority, or they lay down as the common groundwork of those maxims, some generality much less obviously authoritative than the maxims themselves, and which has never succeeded in gaining popular acceptance.
The multiplication of happiness is, according to the utilitarian ethics, the object of virtue: the occasions on which any person except one in a thousand has it in his power to do this on an extended scale, in other words, to be a public benefactor, are but exceptional; and on these occasions alone is he called on to consider public utility; in every other case, private utility, the interest or happiness of some few persons, is all he has to attend to.
Few human creatures would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals, for a promise of the fullest allowance of a beast's pleasures; no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool, no instructed person would be an ignoramus, no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base, even though they should be persuaded that the fool, the dunce, or the rascal is better satisfied with his lot than they are with theirs.
Having caught up the word utilitarian, while knowing nothing whatever about it but its sound, they habitually express by it the rejection, or the neglect, of pleasure in some of its forms; of beauty, of ornament, or of amusement. Other critics have questioned whether it makes sense to speak of aggregates as having desires,  or whether the fact that something is desired proves that it is desirable.
Nor is the term thus ignorantly misapplied solely in disparagement, but occasionally in compliment; as though it implied superiority to frivolity and the mere pleasures of the moment.
Such precise measurement as Bentham envisioned is perhaps not essential, but it is nonetheless necessary for the utilitarian to make some interpersonal comparisons of the values of the effects of alternative courses of action.
Since happiness is the only intrinsic good, and since more happiness is preferable to less, the goal of the ethical life is to maximize happiness.
They also discuss what it is that utilitarians should seek to maximize, paying special attention to the classical utilitarian view that only pleasure or happiness is of intrinsic value.When Utilitarianism was published inMill already enjoyed international recognition as a distinguished political economist.
He was a precocious polymath, however, and his fame rested equally. Feb 17, · J. S. Mill's book "Utilitarianism" is a classic exposition and defense of utilitarianism in ethics.
The essay first appeared as a series of three articles published in Fraser's Magazine in ; the articles were collected and reprinted as a single book in /5(42).
Utilitarianism [John Stuart Mill] on atlasbowling.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is one of the most important, controversial, and suggestive works of moral philosophy ever written.
Mill defends the view that all human action should produce the greatest happiness overallCited by: Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study.
The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied. Dec 14, · Utilitarianism Publisher London: Parker, Son, and Bourn Collection saint_marys_college; toronto Digitizing sponsor National Institute for Newman Studies Contributor Saint Mary's College of California Language EnglishPages: Utilitarianism Homework Help Questions.
Explain the objection that utilitarianism is a doctrine of expediency. What is Mill’s response In Chapter 2 of Utilitarianism, Mill says that some.