John Mill's Utilitarianism - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
John Mill's Utilitarianism

Therefore, Utilitarianism is consequentialism - the morality of an action depended on its outcome, and on nothing else. Utility is happiness or pleasure, and suffering is disutility. Elements of the doctrine of Utilitarianism can be traced back to the Greek philosopher, Epicurus, although Jeremy Bentham is generally credited as the original propounder of this doctrine. "Nature", said Bentham, "has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think..." (Bentham, 1789, Ch I, p 1)
Whatever brought the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people was good, according to Bentham. And this was the starting point for John Mill, in his Utilitarianism. First, let us look at the theory as expounded by Mill, and then follow it up by an examination of its validity.
Mill stated that "The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. ...
Download paper


Mill said, "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." Outline the view here; assess in detail one objection to this view
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was the son of James Mill, British historian and scholar, and the godson of Jeremy Bentham…
Author : caliparker

Related Essays

John Stuart Mill's On Liberty as applied to an issue of modern times
He was concerned that this majority would stamp out diversity, repress individuals whom failed to conform to herdlike values, and stifle dissenting views.
4 pages (1004 words) Essay
John Stuart Mill and Liberty. How morality is related to liberty?
Before discussing the justification of liberty, we would talk about the idea behind liberty and how Mill links liberty to morality1.
8 pages (2008 words) Essay
The Ethical policy which stated that moral value of an action is exclusively resolute by its donation to overall efficacy. It is thus a figure of inevitably, sense that the moral worth of an action is resolute by its outcome the ends validate the resources. Utility the good to be capitalized on has been distinct by a variety of thinkers as contentment or pleasure though preference utilitarian like Peter Singer describes it as the pleasure of fondness.The theme of abortion is an extremely responsive one. Abortion is critically wicked. The finest way to argue in conflict to abortion is with...
2 pages (502 words) Essay
john stuart mill (for history of psychology class)
He left Scotland four years later and went to London. James Stuart's London life has been divided into three periods: that of struggle - 1802-1819, the period of his most successful works - 1819- 1829 and the last one, from 1830 to his death, in 1836, when he both enjoyed fame and had been made Head Examiner in the India House.
12 pages (3012 words) Essay
John Stuart Mills Theories
The essay concludes that Mill's proposed limitations on legitimate interference with the individual has limited sustainability, and can only be applied in a system which has already liberated its citizens through education and cultural revolution.
21 pages (5271 words) Essay
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!