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According to the principle, actions are right as long as they encourage happiness as a form of pleasure and they are wrong as long as they discourage happiness. The Greatest Happiness Principle articulates many ideas regarding happiness as pleasure and unhappiness as pain or lack of pleasure. Since this theory establishes that the only thing that is yearned for by an individual is happiness and pleasure, this view of life is often seen as having no greater purpose. This indicates that the only thing which one demands is pleasure thereby disregarding all higher yearnings. However, this notion implies that individuals have no other yearnings apart from pleasure. In reality, things that might satisfy the pleasure of one individual may not satisfy that of the other. Because of this some pleasures are more satisfying than others due to their intrinsically virtuous properties. Mills has describes two forms of pleasure – higher and lower – based on the characteristics of these pleasures (5-6). But what brings about the difference in characteristics? The difference in the quality, according to Mill, results from the preference of one pleasure over the other among people who are aware with the two pleasures (6). Hence, the chosen pleasure is superior to the other one because the preferred pleasure dominates the other one due to a higher quality. ...Show more

Summary

Moral Philosophies John Stuart Mill clearly expressed his moral theory in his book Utilitarianism written in 1861. In his book, Mill tried to rationalize the Utility Principle or the Greatest Happiness Principle as the basis for ethical standards…
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