Mill utilitarianism essay questions

You may also hire a personal tutor who is an expert both in writing papers and discussing philosophical questions. If the pleasure and pain of the people on the tracks comprises the entire ethical universe, then the trolley ought not to be diverted, because the lives of five are greater than the lives of one - with no account taken for societal status.

This paves the way for Mill's own view that higher and lower pleasures ought to be distinguished by intrinsic value and kind.

utilitarianism explained

This will help you compose better essays and other papers in general. However, Mill also argues that utilitarianism can be proven in a broader sense; we do not have to arbitrarily choose first principles.

Bentham's for distinguishing these higher and lower pleasures only by intensity and duration.

Utilitarianism exam questions

If you disagree with Mill, explain why. By this view, moral rights are the result of the practical theory bent towards affecting the greatest happiness and least pain. First principles are the foundation of arguments; they are not facts that can be tested, but rather represent the system in which those facts make sense. The misconception that leads people to wrongly take offense to Epicureanism is the notion that the Epicurean emphasis on pleasure as a central value does not distinguish the pleasure of animals from the pleasure of humans; people therefore take offense to being equated to senseless animals. How does impartiality fit into Mill's arguments for utilitarianism? However, even if this account is correct, Mill does not show that people should be concerned with general happiness instead of their own. Mill argues that virtue, initially a means for effected general happiness, can become an end unto itself by people deriving happiness from the very concept. Whether one believes that equality of happiness is preferable, or that the least happy person should be as happy as is possible, it is still necessary to have a way of comparing different people and different kinds of happiness: utility provides a single measurement that allows for precisely this kind of comparison. Suggested Essay Topics How does Mill define happiness? How does this perspective factor into Mill's overall moral philosophy? Thus, in his essay Mill attempts to provide considerations as opposed to proofs in favor of utilitarianism. However, one could argue that by aggregating happiness, utilitarianism diminishes the individual. Pamela is walking through the forest when she happens upon a man who is about to kill five people.

Mill believes that moral theory must not only resonate with our moral intuitions, but should also be compatible with analysis within the framework of our other fundamental sentiments.

Happiness must be understood broadly, as including such general concepts as the flourishing of human culture, and the acquisition of those things that we desire.

For example, one could argue that having a single standard inappropriately devalues certain kinds of pleasure. Mill structures much of his essay as a reply to previous criticisms about utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism thesis

However, having a single standard for happiness also has problematic elements. Whether one believes that equality of happiness is preferable, or that the least happy person should be as happy as is possible, it is still necessary to have a way of comparing different people and different kinds of happiness: utility provides a single measurement that allows for precisely this kind of comparison. How does this affect Mill's presentation of his arguments? Happiness must be understood broadly, as including such general concepts as the flourishing of human culture, and the acquisition of those things that we desire. However, considerations of scope could change the actual choice. Pamela has reason to believe he will keep his promise. What "considerations" does he offer in favor of the theory?

Beyond the question of whether experiences should be ranked according to their happiness quotients, there also arises the question of how to measure happiness at all.

Thus, in his essay Mill attempts to provide considerations as opposed to proofs in favor of utilitarianism. The concern, then, is that individual rights are left to the contingencies of a calculation.

The greatest benefit of having utility as a single standard by which to judge all pleasures is that it makes it possible to compare different kinds of happiness.

utilitarianism questions and answers
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Utilitarianism Essay Questions