Phil 4 paper 1

Phil 4 paper 1 - Adam Goldsmith Phil. 4 Discussion Fri. 10...

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Adam Goldsmith Phil. 4 Discussion Fri. 10 am Mill’s utilitarian view makes morality a very simple concept. He doesn’t bother with notions of circumstance or motive when judging an action (which only complicate matters in his view), but only of consequence; and in determining whether a consequence deems its preceding action moral or not, he uses only one standard of judgment: pleasure (or lack thereof). This is all an embodiment of the “greatest happiness” principle, which is the foundation of Mill’s view; but as nice as the name sounds, it has less pros than cons – less advantages than disadvantages, which raises the question whether Mill’s very straightforward view can effectively capture the fundamental nature of morality and account for its endless implications as an elemental factor defining the ways of mankind. When analyzing the flaws of utilitarianism it becomes clear that it can’t. The “greatest happiness” principle boldly states that the ultimate end in morality is the greatest balance of pleasure over pain in all conscious agents; this using the presumption that everyone’s pains and pleasures are of equal worth, assuming they are of equal magnitudes (Mill distinguished between higher and lower pleasures; higher being the more pleasurable). This notion, being Mill’s view’s very basis, presents both its’ greatest advantage and greatest disadvantage, depending on how it is proposed. Prima facie, the idea of the “greatest happiness” is very appealing. This initial surface level appeal is the principle’s greatest advantage. Because happiness is undisputedly good, there is a natural inclination to support a worldly balance of pleasure
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 4 taught by Professor Chandler during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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Phil 4 paper 1 - Adam Goldsmith Phil. 4 Discussion Fri. 10...

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