John Stuart Mill was one of the most influential British philosophers and writers in the 1800s. His treatise on utilitarianism was written to explain the philosophical concept because he stated that it had been misutilized or mischaracterized by numerous influential people of his time. John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism sets out a moral system that bases the good of any decision on the degree to wh...
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 21, 2014)
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Amazon Rank: 15162923
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“I had read "On Liberty" by Mill and thought it was brilliant. However, I had put off reading Utilitarianism because of the way I had heard people describe this particular philosophy. While reading this book, I realized that those people had no unde...”
ch it promotes pleasure for the greatest number of people. By pleasure, Mill means not only those lower pleasures associated with the appetites, but also, the higher pleasures of "superior beings" that are associated with the enjoyment of understanding. The smallest amount of higher pleasure is greater than any amount of lower pleasure, for "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied." For Mill, then, there is no inherent good in any particular object; goodness is based on each object's utility in creating pleasure. All values are thus based on feelings and sensations. There are no normative principles in human nature that we can explore as we seek to discover what creates human happiness. Rather, in determining the good, we are to determine the sums of pleasure and pain for the aggregate of society and thereby discover which of the array of options before any one decision-maker is the one that promotes the greatest amount of pleasure. The moral decision-maker will choose that course of action that leads to the greatest amount pleasure for the greatest number of people.