Susan Wolf 's Article ' Moral Saints ' And John Stuart Mill 's Book ' Utilitarianism ' Essay
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Both Susan Wolf’s article “Moral Saints” and John Stuart Mill’s book “Utilitarianism” will be discussed here. These works offer expositions of and opinions on the philosophical issue of the moral worth of adhering to a certain set of values, and how a person’s motivations for doing so can change their worth and the desirability of their way of life. Wolf offers the position that leading an extremely morally good life is undesirable, while Mill’s opposing position is that if morality leads to happiness, then that behavior is preferable. To determine which of these stances on the value of morality has the most pertinence, these two arguments will be outlined and consequently analyzed. Their differences and similarities will be enumerated and described, and consequently their merit will be discussed. Finally, Wolf’s moral theory will be proven to be inferior to Mills’s, due to its prejudice, lack of supportive evidence, and its inability to be universally applicable.
In “Moral Saints”, Susan Wolf defines a moral saint as an individual who is as morally good as it is possible to be. Wolf suggests that there are two types of moral saints, utilitarian and Kantian (Wolf 420). A utilitarian saint is a “Loving Saint”, one who simply finds their own happiness in the happiness of others and performs moral actions for their own sake (Wolf 420). A Kantian saint is a “Rational Saint”, who is inherently different from a utilitarian/loving saint in the sense that they do not necessarily