In the last chapter of Utilitarianism, mill concludes that justice, as a classifying factor of our actions (being just or unjust) is one of the certain moral requirements, and when the requirements are all regarded collectively, they are viewed as greater according to this scale. He also notes that, contrary to what its critics might say, there is "no known Epicurean theory of life which does not assign to the pleasures of the intellect a much higher value as pleasures than to those of mere sensation." However, he accepts that. "greater permanency, safety, uncostliness,." Instead, mill will argue that some pleasures are intrinsically better than others. The accusation that hedonism is "doctrine worthy only of swine" has a long history. In Nicomachean Ethics (book 1 Chapter 5 Aristotle says that identifying the good with pleasure is to prefer a life suitable for beasts. The theological utilitarians had the option of grounding their pursuit of happiness in the will of God; the hedonistic utilitarians needed a different defence.
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With social utility, he means the well-being of many people. Mill's explanation of the concept of utility in his work, utilitarianism, is that people really do desire happiness, and since each individual desires their own happiness, it must follow that all of us desire the happiness of everyone, contributing to a larger social utility. Thus, an action that results in the greatest pleasure for the utility of society is the best action, or as Jeremy bentham, the founder of early Utilitarianism put it, as the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Mill not only viewed actions as a core part of utility, but as the directive rule of moral human conduct. The rule being that we should only be committing actions that provide pleasure to society. This view of pleasure was hedonistic, as it pursued the thought that pleasure is the highest good in life. This concept was adopted by jeremy bentham, the founder of Utilitarianism, and can be seen in his works. According to mill, good actions result in pleasure, and that there is no higher end than pleasure. Mill says that good actions lead to pleasure and define good character. Better put, the justification of character, and whether an action is good or not, is based on how startup the person contributes to the concept of social utility. In the long run the best proof of a good character is good actions; and resolutely refuse to consider any mental disposition as good, of which the predominant tendency is to produce bad conduct.
Let a beggar, pressed by hunger, steal from a rich man's house a loaf, which perhaps saves him from starving, can it be possible to compare the good which the thief acquires for himself, with the evil which the rich man suffers? It is not on account of the evil of the first order that it is necessary to erect these summary actions into offences, but on account of the evil of the second order. 27 John Stuart Mill edit main article: John Stuart Mill Mill was brought up as a benthamite with the explicit intention that he would carry on the cause of utilitarianism. 28 Mill's book utilitarianism first appeared as a series of three articles published in Fraser's Magazine in 1861 and was reprinted as a single book in 1863. 29 citation needed higher and lower pleasures edit mill rejects a purely quantitative measurement of utility and says: 30 It is quite compatible with the principle of utility to recognize the fact, that some kinds of pleasure are more desirable and more valuable than others. It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on quantity alone. The word utility is used to mean general well-being or happiness, and Mill's view is that utility is the consequence of a good action. Utility, within the context of utilitarianism, refers to people performing actions for social utility.
Mill " and can be more "a online crude version of act utilitarianism conceived in the twentieth century as a straw man to be attacked and rejected." 26 It is a mistake to think that Bentham is not concerned with rules. His seminal work is concerned with the principles of legislation and the hedonic calculus is introduced with the words "Pleasures then, and the avoidance of pains, are the ends that the legislator has in view." In Chapter vii, bentham says: "The business of government. This is considered in The Theory of Legislation, where bentham distinguishes between evils of the first and second orders. Those of the first order are the more immediate consequences; those of the second are when the consequences spread through the community causing "alarm" and "danger". It is true there are cases in which, if we confine ourselves to the effects of the first order, the good will have an incontestable preponderance over the evil. Were the offence considered only under this point of view, it would not be easy to assign any good reasons to justify the rigour of the laws. Every thing depends upon the evil of the second order; it is this which gives to such actions the character of crime, and which makes punishment necessary. Let us take, for example, the physical desire of satisfying hunger.
22 Bentham's book was not an immediate success 23 but his ideas were spread further when pierre Étienne louis Dumont translated edited selections from a variety of Bentham's manuscripts into French. Traité de legislation civile et pénale was published in 1802 and then later retranslated back into English by hildreth as The Theory of Legislation, although by this time significant portions of Dumont's work had already been retranslated and incorporated into sir John Bowring's edition. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do by the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever according to the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness. I say of every action whatsoever, and therefore not only of every action of a private individual, but of every measure of government. In Chapter iv, bentham introduces a method of calculating the value of pleasures and pains, which has come to be known as the hedonic calculus. Bentham says that the value of a pleasure or pain, considered by itself, can be measured according to its intensity, duration, certainty/uncertainty and propinquity/remoteness. In addition, it is necessary to consider "the tendency of any act by which it is produced" and, therefore, to take account of the act's fecundity, or the chance it has of being followed by sensations of the same kind and its purity, or the. Finally, it is necessary to consider the extent, or the number of people affected by the action. Perhaps aware that Hutcheson eventually removed his algorithms for calculating the greatest happiness because they "appear'd useless, and were disagreeable to some readers bentham contends that there is nothing novel or unwarranted about his method, for "in all this there is nothing but what the.
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Whatever is expedient, is right. It is the utility of any moral rule alone, which constitutes the obligation. But to all business this there seems a plain objection, viz. That many actions are useful, which no man in his senses will allow to be right. There are occasions, in which the hand of the assassin would be very useful The true answer is this; that these actions, after all, are not useful, and for that reason, and that alone, are not right. To see this point perfectly, it must be observed that the bad consequences of actions are twofold, particular and general.
The particular bad consequence of an action, is the mischief which that single action directly and immediately occasions. The general bad consequence is, the violation of some necessary or useful general rule you cannot permit one action and forbid another, without showing a difference between them. Consequently, the same sort of actions must be generally permitted or generally forbidden. Where, therefore, the general permission of them would be pernicious, it becomes necessary to lay down and support the rule which generally forbids them. Classical utilitarianism edit jeremy bentham edit main article: Jeremy bentham Bentham's book an Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation was printed in 1780 but not published until 1789. It is possible that Bentham was spurred on to publish after he saw the success of Paley's The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy.
Some claim that John gay developed the first systematic theory of utilitarian ethics. 15 In Concerning the fundamental Principle of Virtue or Morality (1731 gay argues that: 16 happiness, private happiness, is the proper or ultimate end of all our actions each particular action may be said to have its proper and peculiar end(but). They still tend or ought to tend to something farther; as is evident from hence, viz. That a man may ask and expect a reason why either of them are pursued: now to ask the reason of any action or pursuit, is only to enquire into the end of it: but to expect a reason,. An end, to be assigned for an ultimate end, is absurd.
To ask why i pursue happiness, will admit of no other answer than an explanation of the terms. This pursuit of happiness is given a theological basis: 17 Now it is evident from the nature of God, viz. His being infinitely happy in himself from all eternity, and from his goodness manifested in his works, that he could have no other design in creating mankind than their happiness; and therefore he wills their happiness; therefore the means of their happiness: therefore that. Gay's theological utilitarianism was developed and popularized by william Paley. It has been claimed that Paley was not a very original thinker and that the philosophical part of his treatise on ethics is "an assemblage of ideas developed by others and is presented to be learned by students rather than debated by colleagues." 18 nevertheless. Apart from restating that happiness as an end is grounded in the nature of God, paley also discusses the place of rules. He writes:.actions are to be estimated by their tendency.
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In An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, david Hume writes: 13 In all determinations of morality, this circumstance of public utility is ever principally in view; and wherever disputes arise, either in philosophy or common life, concerning the bounds of duty, the question cannot. If any false opinion, embraced from appearances, has been found to prevail; as soon as farther experience and sounder reasoning have given us juster notions of human affairs, we retract our first sentiment, and adjust anew the boundaries of moral good and evil. Hume studied the works of, and corresponded with, Francis Hutcheson, and it was he who first introduced a key utilitarian phrase. In An Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of beauty and Virtue (1725 hutcheson says 14 when choosing the most moral action, virtue is in proportion to the number of people a particular action brings happiness. In the same way, moral evil, or vice, is proportionate to the number of people made to suffer. The best action is the one that procures the greatest happiness of the greatest numbers—and the worst is the one that causes the most misery. In the first three editions of the book, hutcheson included various mathematical algorithms supermarket ".to compute the morality of any Actions." In this, he pre-figured the hedonic calculus of Bentham.
4 On the other hand, the "Legalist" Han fei "is motivated almost totally from the ruler's point of view." 5 Western philosophy edit see also: Hedonism The importance of happiness as an end for humans has long been recognized. Forms of hedonism were put forward by Aristippus and Epicurus ; Aristotle argued that eudaimonia is the highest human good and Augustine wrote that "all men agree in desiring the last end, which is happiness." Happiness was also explored in depth by Aquinas. Different varieties of consequentialism also existed in the ancient and medieval world, like the state consequentialism of Mohism or the political philosophy of Niccolò machiavelli. Mohist consequentialism advocated communitarian moral goods including political stability, population growth, and wealth, but did not support the utilitarian notion of maximizing individual happiness. 11 Machiavelli was also an exponent of consequentialism. He believed that the actions of a state, however cruel or ruthless they summary may be, must contribute towards the common good of a society. 12 Utilitarianism as a distinct ethical position only emerged in the eighteenth century. Although utilitarianism is usually thought to start with Jeremy bentham, there were earlier writers who presented theories that were strikingly similar.
utilitarian philosophy founded by jeremy bentham, was substantially modified by his successor John Stuart Mill, who popularized the word 'Utilitarianism'. 1 In 1861, mill acknowledged in a footnote that, though "believing himself to be the first person who brought the word 'utilitarian' into use, he did not invent. Rather, he adopted it from a passing expression in" John Galt 's 1821 novel Annals of the parish. 2 Mill seems to have been unaware that Bentham had used the term 'utilitarian' in his 1781 letter to george wilson and his 1802 letter to Étienne dumont. 1 Historical background edit Chinese philosophy edit In Chinese philosophy, the mohists and their successors the "Chinese legalists" citation needed might be considered utilitarians, or at least the "earliest form of consequentialism ". The fourth century witnessed the emergence of particular concerns for them, including discussions polarizing the concepts of self and private, commonly used in conjunction with profit and associated with fragmentation, division, partiality, and one-sidelines, with that of the state and "public represented by the duke. The later denotes the "universal way". 3 However, the mohists did not focus on emotional happiness, but promoted objective public goods: material wealth, a large population or family, and social order.
Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism, utilitarianism considers the interests of all beings equally. Proponents of utilitarianism have disagreed on a number of points, such as whether actions should be chosen based on their likely results ( act utilitarianism ) or whether agents should conform reviews to rules that maximize utility ( rule utilitarianism ). There is also disagreement as to whether total ( total utilitarianism ) or average ( average utilitarianism ) utility should be maximized. Though the seeds of the theory can be found in the hedonists. Aristippus and, epicurus, who viewed happiness as the only good, the tradition of utilitarianism properly began with Bentham, and has included. John Stuart Mill, henry sidgwick,.
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This article discusses utilitarian ethical theory. For a discussion. John Stuart Mill 's book, utilitarianism, see, utilitarianism (book). For the architectural theory, see, utilitarianism (architecture). Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that states that the best action is the one that maximizes utility. "Utility" is defined in various ways, usually in terms of the well-being of sentient entities. Jeremy bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as the sum of all supermarket pleasure that results from an action, minus the suffering of anyone involved in the action.