Table of Contents Summary Utilitarianism, by John Stuart Mill, is an essay written to provide support for the value of utilitarianism as a moral theory, and to respond to misconceptions about it.
The basic principle of Utilitarianism involves a calculus of happiness, in which actions are deemed to be good if they tend to produce happiness in the form of pleasure and evil if they tend to promote pain.
As such, the philosophy is said to derive from the classical concept of hedonism, which values the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain.
The sophisticated system proposed by Bentham and later expanded by John Stuart Mill and others regards not only the end product of happiness, or utility, in actions, but also considers the motives of actions and the extent to which happiness can be created not only for the individual, but also for the members of society as a whole.
Both Bentham and Mill forwarded a belief in the intrinsic nature of value; thus good or the lack thereof could be regarded as inherent in an act or thing—a concept that allowed for the mathematical calculation of utility.
Beginning from this view, the Utilitarians created systems of moral behavior as standards for how an individual ought to act in society. While Bentham modified this concept over time, critics acknowledge that its essence remains intact throughout his work.
Bentham developed this principle throughout a number of writings, including his most significant work of moral philosophy, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation In this work, Bentham also sought to specifically record the sources of pleasure and pain, as well as to create a scale upon which the relative effects of individual acts in producing happiness or misery could be examined.
Notable among the Utilitarians to follow Bentham, the philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill made considerable contributions to Utilitarian philosophy, beginning with his succinct apologia for the doctrine in Utilitarianism Numerous other individuals contributed to the Utilitarian movement in the nineteenth century, including the British philosophers John Austin and James Mill J.
In theory and in practice, Utilitarianism has continued to be influential, with the work of Bentham and Mill proving to be of the greatest importance and interest.
Commentators on the writings of both men have continued the process of analyzing and codifying their work in order to more clearly define the doctrine. Additionally, critics have suggested the significant limitations of an ethical system that attempts to reduce human behavior and action to simple rational calculations of pleasure versus pain, but at the same time they acknowledge its considerable impact on nineteenth- and twentieth-century normative ethics.He explains that his essay will be an attempt to prove utilitarianism in ethics and demonstrate why this moral foundation is so central to our existence as human beings.
In Chapter 2, Mill tries to present and respond to criticisms against utilitarianism. Flaws in Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism, Economics and Ethics. Essay about Ethics: The Human Imperfection of Greed - An ongoing problem in the United States and .
Included: psychology essay philosophy essay content. Preview text: For Bentham, utilitarianism was both a descriptive and normative theory it not only described how human beings act so as to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, but it also prescribed or advocated .
Essays and criticism on John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism - Critical Essays. in Utilitarianism (). The essay displays Mill's emphasis on rational calculation as the means by which human.
Essay Kant vs. Mill: Human Rights and Utilitarianism Words | 7 Pages. be used to explain the sources of human rights.
Kant’s moral philosophy is very direct in its justification of human rights, especially the ideals of moral autonomy and equality as applied to rational human beings. Let me begin by defining Utilitarianism: utilitarianism is the belief of doing what is right for the greater number of people.
It is a theory used to determine the usefulness of the happiest outcome and how it will affect everyone else.