Utilitarianism Is Usually Connected With The Specific Doctrines Of Jeremy Bentham And John Stuart Mill.

1665 words - 7 pages

Utilitarianism is usually connected with the specific doctrines of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, who both took the goodness of consequences to be measured by their effect on the happiness of human beings. Bentham was both the founder of utilitarianism and a contemporary of Mill's father, who ensured that his son received a strict utilitarian education based upon Bentham's theories . It is not surprising, then, that aspects of Mill's views on utilitarianism share fundamental similarities with those of Bentham, and also demonstrate a digression from Bentham's earlier perspectives to the further developed and more persuasive arguments characterised by Mill's Utilitarianism.A point of similarity can be drawn between the doctrines of Bentham and Mill in that both philosophers maintain the existence of external sanctions of morality . Bentham contends that our actions are influenced by their anticipated consequences, which occur independently of the human will. These essentially external sanctions exist in the form of penal establishments, the responses given by our peers to our actions, and by God's reaction to our doings in both mortal and immortal life . Likewise, Mill acknowledges that these external sanctions exist within "...the hope of favour and the fear of displeasure, from our fellow-creatures or from the Ruler of the Universe." However, a point of contention does exist between the two philosophers, as Mill holds that the primary influence over our actions lies within internal sanctions, namely "...the conscientious feelings of mankind."Bentham and Mill reach consensus in the assertion that it is only what we, as humans, have experienced that can be deemed as a valuable end. Our experience with pleasure affords us the ability to recognise it as inherently valuable . Although it is indefinable, pleasure, as a state of feeling, is the only thing that is desirable for its own sake and everything else is to be sought solely as a means to this end . This empirical view was introduced by Bentham and further endorsed by Mill's Utilitarianism, although Mill does digress somewhat from Bentham's notion of pleasure in his qualitative definition of the term.Mill's "proof of the principle of utility" augments Bentham's assertion that pleasure is the ultimate end, and draws an additional point of similarity between the two. The first step of Mill's argument is to affirm Bentham's principle of psychological hedonism, namely that "pleasure, or happiness, is the only thing that men desire for its own sake." Mill's second thesis is a principle of subjective ethical hedonism, that "each man's pleasure is a good to him." Mill's final assertion that "the general happiness is good for all" is a derivation of the principle of objective ethical hedonism and exhibits a final link between his doctrine and Bentham's hedonism . While Mill and Bentham both endorse this contention, it is the classification of "pleasure" that accommodates fundamental differences...

Find Another Essay On Utilitarianism is usually connected with the specific doctrines of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.

Utilitarianism, by John Stuart Mill Essay

2492 words - 10 pages In John Stuart Mill’s work Utilitarianism, Mill is trying to provide proof for his moral theory utilitarianism and disprove all the objections against it. Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness" (Ch. II, page 7). He calls this the “greatest happiness principle. Mill says, “No reason can be given

The Idea of Utilitarianism According to Jeremy Bentham

965 words - 4 pages Bentham and the more humane John Stuart Mill, who came a generation later. Mill, who wrote On Liberty, the classic defense for individual freedom, argued in it that the people should be free to do whatever they want – provided they do not harm others. This implies government should not intervene with individuals’ liberty, or impose upon them the majority’s belief about the best “way” to live. However, the notion of individual liberty and the

The Moral Philosophy of John Stuart Mill

1124 words - 4 pages At the very heart of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is a concern which can be traced back to the Biblical parable of the house built on sand - an improper foundation. With this in mind, Mill audaciously sets out to develop a "foundational program" of morality, one that incorporates a principle that can be the basis for all other moral thinking. To find this foundational principle, the naturalistic Mill examines the common, fundamental beliefs

John Stuart Mill

1827 words - 7 pages Who is John Stuart Mill? John Stuart Mill was born on May 20, 1806, in London, England. He was mostly known for his radical views. For example, he preached sexual equality, divorce, universal suffrage, free speech, and proportional representation. He had many works of writings such as Principles of Political Economy, On Liberty, The Subjections of Women, and the Three Essays of Religion: Nature, the Utility of Religion, and Theism.  &nbsp

John Stuart Mill - Life and Economics

571 words - 2 pages Britain, seems to be a contradiction of John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarian views – as the greatest good (financial benefits for Eastern Asia) for the greatest number of people (the population of East Asia) – is exactly what he is not pleased about.John Stuart Mill’s greatest economic work was his book: Principals of political Economy, with his most revised edition being released two years before his death in 1873. This book was

John Stuart Mill - "On Liberty": "The Liberty of Action."

1035 words - 4 pages open to personal choice than we are nowadays, moreover, he would be very likely to disagree with some of the rules we consider essential.John Stuart Mill is a strong believer in individual rights of privacy and freedom. According to him, any person (except children and barbarians) should be the only ruler of his or her destiny. "To individuality should belong the part of life in which it is chiefly the individual that is interested; to society

John Stuart Mill: Representation's importance and pitfalls

1238 words - 5 pages (bureaucracy) to do the work of the government, and the failure to develop active citizens; which is the "failure to develop by exercise the actual capacities and social feelings of the individual citizens" (p. 120). Mill also says that there are two problems that are specific to a representative government: That there are insufficient mental capabilities in the governing body and that the people become subject and controlled by an interest that is not

Comparing Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill

4526 words - 18 pages originally issued in several languages, including an English version. According to Mark, the modern age is a dangerous age, an age in which we might be alienated from that individual independence in work and in mind which defines our humanity. Confronted by this crisis, Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill offer the world diverging solutions: annihilate the existing world and march toward communism, or guard against the dangers of the existing world

A Comparison of the Economic Philosophies of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx

1811 words - 7 pages As far back as man has been on earth, he has been driven towards building a community among his peers. Whether that is a community of hunters and gatherers who share whatever the day has brought to them within their tribe, or a larger community which within its structure lie the inner dwellings of division of labor and societal classes. Adam Smith (18th Century), John Stuart Mill (19th Century), and Karl Marx (19th Century) are of the same

John Stuart Mill Biographical Information

1400 words - 6 pages not agree with. Biographical Information John Stuart Mill was born on May 20th, 1806. He was born in London, United Kingdom. His father was the historian and economist, James Mill. His mother was Harriet Barrow. He started learning Greek when he was only 3 years old, and Latin at 8 years old. Mill’s father met Jeremy Bentham in 1808. They lead the “philosophic radicals” movement. They wanted universal voting rights (for men), and they wanted

John Stuart Mill on Liberty

2027 words - 8 pages to others", and some feel they are no actions that only affect the person, not others. Indeed many feel that Mill's theory raises as many questions as it answers. It is true that "harm to others" can be interrupted differently, however Mill knew of what he was talking and I believe he clearly defines this in the essay and that I have also explained it in this essay. Overall I believe that John Stuart Mill makes a very clear, coherent and

Similar Essays

The Utilitarian Philosophies Of Jeremy Bentham And John Stuart Mill.

2070 words - 8 pages Compare and contrast the utilitarian philosophies of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Which do you think is the more convincing moral theory, and why?In terms of Utilitarianism, this assignment shall outline the philosophies of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. It shall firstly illustrate the ideas of Bentham and then follow on to compare and contrast those of Mill. To continue, the assignment will view the failing qualities in both the

Jeremy Bentham And John Mill's Classical Utilitarianism

1398 words - 6 pages In this essay I will analyse Jeremy Bentham and John Mill’s Classical Utilitarianism theory. I will present the objection that the expected impartiality of a moral agent is impractical and therefore seriously undermines the theory itself. This essay will focus on this opposition in order to determine whether or not such a theory can be salvaged through a possible modification. Classical Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which promotes the

The Differences In John Stuart Mills And Jeremy Bentham's Versions Of Utilitarianism

2653 words - 11 pages ". This is the main idea of the system of thought and it is from this the beliefs and opinions of John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873), Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832) and other early utilitarians were developed. Jeremy Bentham, a friend of J. S. Mill's father and the mentor of J. S. Mill, is usually considered the founder of British utilitarianism. J. S. Mill adapted Bentham's ideas and philosophies to meet the criticism utilitarianism encountered in Victorian

Utilitarianism, By John Stuart Mill Essay

1368 words - 5 pages Chapter 2, What Utilitarianism is, Mill presents the aforesaid definition of Utilitarianism as the criterion of an action to be right or wrong. We have seen that Utilitarianism puts great emphasis on happiness. »By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure.«3 The fact that pleasure is the only good for Mill makes his Utilitarianism a form of Hedonism which is most associated with