Utilitarianism in Ethics by John Stuart Mill.docx - 1...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 5 pages.

1Introduction to EthicsProf. Dr. Normand TheriaultSpring 2022May 4, 2022Utilitarianism in Ethics by John Stuart MillUtilitarianism by John Stuart Mill is a classic presentation and defense of utilitarianism in ethics.The essay initially appeared in Fraser's Magazine as a set of three articles in 1861; the articlessubsequently compiled and reissued as a single volume in 1863.Mill describes utilitarianism as a theory founded on the concept that "activities are good inproportion to the extent to which they tend to promote happiness, and bad in proportion to the extent towhich they tend to generate the opposite of happiness." Mill describes happiness as the absence ofsuffering and pleasure.Throughout this work, I show that accepting Mill's division of pleasures is inconsistent for aclassical utilitarian. To demonstrate this, I shall first define traditional utilitarianism and Mill'sinterpretation of it. After that, I'll provide Mill's case for the differentiation of pleasures. From this, I'llassume that Mill views the feeling of dignity to be inherently valued, which would be a contradiction in autilitarian's ideas because utilitarianism is a hedonistic perspective, and enjoyment is the only truly worthitem, according to utilitarianism. Another argument that I will use to support my thesis is one that relieson the competent judge's will.According to Mill, a qualified judge may pick lesser pleasures over greater pleasures if he isinebriated and despondent, although in these conditions, he would not want to choose lower pleasures. Iwould argue that if a "hungry" competent judge is offered two options, one of which is to eat dinner and
2the other of which is to go to the opera, he will select the meal, and we can immediately assume that hewould not want it any other way.Before we describe utilitarianism, we must first establish two crucial notions that are necessary tocomprehend it. Hedonism and consequentialism are these notions. Hedonism is the belief that happinessis the ultimate purpose of existence. Happiness, according to hedonists, is the only thing that has inherentvalue. And consequentialism is a way of thinking about ethical dilemmas. Consequentialists believe thatthe only thing that matters in judging whether or not an action is right or bad is the result of that action.

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

End of preview. Want to read all 5 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a

Course Hero member to access this document

Term
Fall
Professor
Voss

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture