If we hold that both happiness and autonomy are

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If we hold that both happiness and autonomy are intrinsically valuable, actions will be judged according to the effects they have on an overall score that takes both the happiness/unhappiness balance and the autonomy/lack of autonomy balance into consideration. From the perspective of moral theory, it should be easy to see the pull of value monism. Having fewer basic principles results in a simpler standard and a more unified account of the moral value of actions. From the perspective of living a life in which actions are guided by value commitments, however, value pluralism may seem to be more intuitively plausible. We often talk about the importance of focusing on a single core value, but we can also find ourselves having a variety of commitments that are harder to reconcile with one another than we would think they would be, if value monism were correct. Monistic Value Theories of John Stuart Mill and Aristotle Utilitarianism is an example of a monistic value theory because it holds that happiness is the only thing that has intrinsic value. The value we assign to other things (e.g., honesty, power, wealth, family, and social order) is a function of their real or perceived relation to happiness. These other things achieve the status of being goods only through the instrumental role they play in securing our happiness.
Accordingly, it looks like the value theory adopted by modern utilitarian thinkers, like John Stuart Mill (who wrote his famous essay Utilitarianism in 1863 C.E.) agrees with the value theory we saw in the ancient Greek thinker Aristotle (who wrote his Nicomachean Ethics more than 2,000 years earlier in 360 B.C.E). Both identify happiness as the highest good. For both, we seek happiness for its own sake, and we seek other things insofar as they contribute to happiness. This surface agreement, however, should not lead us to ignore the fundamental differences between Mill and Aristotle when it comes to value theory. Some historical context is helpful for appreciating the significance of these differences. P1-Historical Contrast between Hedonism and Eudaimonism The classical utilitarian theories of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) base their value theory on a view of human psychology that differs in significant ways from the Aristotelian view that we discussed at some length in Lesson 03. Moral psychology is certainly not the only significant point of difference between these modern thinkers and their ancient forefathers, however. There are specific features of modern moral theory that do not arise until after the development of modern mathematics and its application to areas that we now think of as modern natural science and modern political science. Utilitarian views concerning mathematical precision in determining the value of actions (the utilitarian calculus) and concerning the fundamental moral equality of all human beings (egalitarianism), to give just two examples,

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