Utilitarianism: The Philosophies Of Mill And Bentham

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Mill and Bentham are two important philosophers that have stood by the moral theory of classical utilitarianism. Utilitarianism, a form of hedonism, is defined by Mill as “The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals… holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (241). Happiness is the ultimate intrinsically valuable desire according to human nature and consequently pains are intrinsically repulsed. Mill and Bentham have their own perspective on this philosophical concept. This paper will explore and analyze the commonalities that Mill and Bentham share from utilitarianism as well as the conflicts their viewpoints have with each other. Bentham’s work will be critiqued to prove why Mill’s …show more content…

The philosophers focus on the consequences of actions, to see whether they are good or bad. Whether they are good or bad depends on experiencing pleasure and lacking pain, which will define if happiness is achieved, the ultimate goal. They are able to bind all people together through this application. They also agree that people should look for pleasure not for themselves, but for the well-being of a group or community. For example Bentham says, “To take into account… the interests of a community are affected…” (548). Also, one of his seven circumstances to value pleasure is extent. This refers to the consequence an action will have on not only the agent but other people affected. Mill also mimics this idea by saying, “happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct is not the agent’s own happiness but that of all concerned” (244). They both detail that is not the entire world that needs to be thought of before an action, as that would be overthinking and would overall not be effective. It is the immediate community that needs to be

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