Comparing the Utility of Bentham and Mill Essay

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Comparing the Utility of Bentham and Mill utility \U*til"i*ty\, n. [OE. utilite, F. utilit['e], L. utilitas, fr. utilis useful. See Utile.] … 3. Happiness; the greatest good, or happiness, of the greatest number, -- the foundation of utilitarianism. --J. S. Mill. Syn: Usefulness; advantageous; benefit; profit; avail; service. (www.dictionary.com) One of the major players in ethical theories has long been the concept of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism states that in general the ethical rightness or wrongness of an action is directly related to the utility of that action. Utility is more specifically defined as a measure of the goodness or badness of the consequences of an action (see quote by Mill above). For the…show more content…
Though the terms act and rule utility came after the time of Bentham and Mill, it can still be noted that Bentham was clearly an act utilitarian and the Mill was a rule utilitarian. This paper will cover two subjects of discussion related to utility, Bentham, and Mill. The first is a consideration of the way in which Bentham goes about reconciling the ethical hedonist he promotes with the psychological egoistic hedonism he endorses. The second is really three smaller issues: the way Bentham and Mill would direct us to apply the principle of utility, how this is comparable to the employment of the hedonistic calculus, and the possibility that the differences in their views may make us come to different moral decisions. II. There are four distinguishable sources from which pleasure and pain are in use to flow: considered separately, they may be termed the physical, the political, the moral, and the religious:…(Bentham, 382) Bentham promotes ethical hedonism in some of his writings. Ethical hedonism can be stated as: that action is right which promotes the greatest happiness for the greatest number. However, Bentham believes that the world seems in reality to mostly composed of people more closely aligned with psychological egoistic hedonism, which believes that which is right is that which brings the most happiness to the self. Clearly,
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