5

Excellent question. J.S. Mill regarded the Greatest Happiness Principle as the moral truth. The principle states that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." Mill then equated happiness with pleasure, following Benthamite tradition. After all, both Bentham and Mill are ...


4

Mill refers to Rousseau's upsetting the consensus of the Enlightenment that the modern spirit of commerce makes people more "civilized" with his theory of "natural goodness" of men. A good review of recent scholarship on Rousseau is Gentle Savages and Fierce Citizens against Civilization by Mendham, who describes the consensus as follows:...


3

I agree: the adjective Victorian is inappropriate for Mill. And not only for the reason that you pointed out. Mill can, as a matter of fact, be better described as anti Victorian! Consider the given characterization: Mill had the somewhat Victorian view that people who have sampled these higher pleasures inevitably prefer them. Is this a description of a ...


3

Simple really. The fact that you followed a principle in the past is not a reason to follow it again. The fact that you followed a principle in the past and it gave good results, that is a reason to follow it again. "We always did it this way". "Sure, we always did, and it never worked". Would you follow a principle that you used in the past and that never ...


2

Your criticism of Mill is right under the social choice perspective. The general happiness is warranted only if the lexical order of preferences of individuals is the same. I like Chinese over Mexican, and you too, so going to a Chinese restaurant maximizes our general happiness. But if you like Mexican over Chinese, then which restaurant should we go to ...


2

**Gun control - just what are we talking about ?' Many of us assume that we must either oppose or support gun control. Not so. We have a range of alternatives. Even this way of speaking oversimplifies our choices since there are two distinct scales on which to place alternatives. One scale concerns the degree (if at all) to which guns should be ...


2

1 Is your suggestion that either of these sentences might replace Mill's own final sentence or is it that it should be added to the chapter ? 2 I should have thought that, if a new sentence were needed, it would be something along the lines of : 'I argue on utilitarian grounds for the fullest extent of individual liberty against the coercive power of ...


2

Mill speaks of a 'mental crisis' and this has associations different from 'medical psychiatic depression'. There I agree with you totally. Etinson as you have quoted him does not satisfy me. It's all too vague. What you might find helpful is an article by Anna J. Mill unless you have come across it already : 'John Stuart Mill's Visit to Wordsworth, 1831', ...


2

The act- and rule-utiitarian distinction It does not follow, because Richard Brandt first formulated the distinction, that therefore utilitarian philosophers had not recognised a distinction long before. Their recognition can be shown by their general discussion of ethical matters. Such is precisely the case with John Stuart Mill. He very evidently possessed ...


2

Welcome, Atlanticontiki. A fuller quotation will help: The corollaries from the principle of utility, like the precepts of every practical art, admit of indefinite improvement, and, in a progressive state of the human mind, their improvement is perpetually going on. But to consider the rules of morality as improvable, is one thing; to pass over the ...


1

For the first question, it depends exactly how one defines syllogism; see this other question for variations. Presumably Kenny means to exclude reasoning "modulo equational theories", e.g. using first-order logic with equality from his idea/definition of syllogism. This is fair as Aristotle, whose ideas still dominated logic at the time, didn't ...


1

I could only scan the question and unfortunately can send only very first thoughts: To me, it seems that a position related to yours exists under the label "prioritarianism". C.f. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/egalitarianism/#Pri Regarding the reconciliation between your specific view and Rawls I would suggest to actively look for counter-examples: ...


1

Moral dilemmas are always a good source of fiction or exercise of the moral imagination. You might get some ideas by adopting and adapting any of these storylines : https://www.buzzfeed.com/tracyclayton/moral-dilemmas-that-will-break-your-brain?utm_term=.lcxKxlGAz#.noQkxlK39 http://listverse.com/2007/10/21/top-10-moral-dilemmas/ http://psychopixi.com/...


1

Here is the best I could come up with: C is the cause, but E negates C. This is what we know. (A+C+D) = Event (A+D) = No Event (B+C) = Event (B+E) = No Event Those two pairs isolate C as the cause. But then there is: (A+C+E) = No event. If one assumes that E negates C, that premise explains the last equation and renders all five statements consistent....


1

What is happiness or pleasure??? Depending on the answer, you question can be either meaningful or meaningless. Philosophers have offered at least four different answers. happiness = hedonistic pleasures Problem: Those who seek these pleasures eventually became unhappy. too much gluttony leads to health problems. happiness = desire satisfaction ...


1

The 'Utilitarianism' (1861/63), ch. 4 quote reads in full : 'No reason can be given why the general happiness is desirable, except that each person, so far as he believes it to be attainable, desires his own happiness. This, however, being a fact, we have not only all the proof which the case admits of, but all which it is possible to require, that ...


1

Answer: No, Scitovsky's view does not disprove utilitarianism. On the contrary, utilitarianism, interpreted appropriately, vindicates that Scitovsky's intuition in Joyless Economy is correct. I take it that the point of Scitovsky's Joyless Economy is that economic policy of a nation that aims to increase material wealth (e.g. GDP) will eventually lead to ...


1

Two ideas of liberty in Mill ? I agree that Mill is speaking of liberty but would argue that in OL ch. 3 his idea of liberty undergoes a change. Ch. 1 - 2 are about negative freedom - exemption from interference in thought and action within the limits of not harming others. Negative freedom protects us from external constraints. Individuality in ch. 3 is ...


1

Mill is speaking of liberty: The human faculties of perception, judgment, discriminative feeling, mental activity, and even moral preference, are exercised only in making a choice. This implies also "creativity": He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible