Concept of Happiness

High school
Pages 2 (502 words)
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The concept of happiness as can be gleaned in John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is the centerpiece of his moral philosophy - that what determines if an action is right or wrong, moral or immoral is the very fact that it promotes the greatest amount of happiness to everyone in society.


The moral philosophies of J.S. Mill and Kant are structurally so different in as much as Mill puts a primary importance, and strictly, on empiricism, or natural experience as basis for morality, whereas Kant's basis for morality (the morality of metaphysics) stems from a priori knowledge or what he calls pure reason - laws which are evident in every rational being. Utilitarianism putting happiness as the supreme guide for spelling out what is good and right is quite clear on putting forward a means while Kant's insistence on intuitive derivation of what is moral, is quite unshakeable on what the end must be - which must be unconditional on any value or preference, happiness including.
Utility is synonymous to pleasure or happiness for a Utilitarian moralist like J.S. Mill. He recognizes that all desirable things differs from one individual to another, and are desirable either for their own sake or as a means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain. However, J.S. ...
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