Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill Summary

Satisfactory Essays

Adam Schlittler Stephen Herman Philosophy 1100 5 October 2017 In his piece, “Utilitarianism”, John Stuart Mill analyzes the concept of pleasure being the highest good people should strive for. To understand this analysis, one must understand the terms of which Mill uses the word “happiness”. Mill describes happiness as being pleasure in the absence of pain. Another term that one would need to understand for this analysis is the term utility. Utility means the same as happiness. For example, when Mill states that someone should do the action the generates the greatest amount of utility, then he is saying the same as that person should do the action whichever generates the greatest amount of happiness or pleasure. Mill builds on this definition saying the right action is the action that produces the highest amount of happiness or utility. Mill would refer to this as the greatest happiness principle. For example, if someone was deciding between hanging out with friends or studying a test, that person should decide whichever action produces the highest amount of utility or happiness. Furthermore, he explains that there are different kinds of pleasure and that some pleasures are more desirable than other pleasures. For example, according to Mill, one might find achieving a high grade on an exam more satisfying than a simple pleasure such as watching a football game. Mill gives a specific example in that a person who achieves the intellectual or higher end pleasure; that person

Get Access