StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Mills utilitarianism - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet
One thing which we should have learned by now during our philosophical journey is that we have to have a theory of human behavior which should be able to address the diversity of human environments and thus cannot be very simple and rigid. Utilitarianism is a step in that direction.
Utilitarianism The founder of Utilitarianism was Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). His theory begins with proposition that nature has placed human beings under two masters: pleasure and pain. Anything that seems good must either be directly pleasurable, or thought to be a means to pleasure or to the avoidance of pain. Conversely, anything that seems bad must either be directly painful, or thought to be a means to pain or to the deprivation of pleasure. From this Bentham argued that the words right and wrong can only be meaningful if they are used in accordance with the Utilitarian principle, so that whatever increases the net surplus of pleasure over pain is right and whatever decreases it is wrong. Moreover, the net pain and pleasure to be considered is not restricted to personal level but should be the sum of the pleasure of all involved by acting or getting effected by a particular action. Therefore from utilitarianism we cannot gauge the utility of action by putting it on the personal criteria of pleasure and pain but it has to be more wholesome resultantly more complex but practicable.
Basic Objections to Utilitarianism Most difficult part in the implementation of Bentham's utilitarianism is that to take an action, one has to take into account the expanse of the effects of the actions i.e. how far the consequences going to travel. This factor leads to three basic objections to utilitarianism:-
1. Utilitarianism is too demanding as it is more inclined towards collective good than individual good.
2. Utilitarianism is a heartless doctrine as it does not concentrate/focus on the intention but on the consequences thus making the entire concept of virtuous intent redundant.
3. The Principle of Utility is impractical because one has to think the consequences for which the time and information might not be available at a particular moment.
Mill's Modification to Utilitarianism These basic objections though seem valid were addressed by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). The salient points of his modification to utilitarianism were:-
1. Introduction of Higher and Lower Pleasure Mill is of the opinion that pleasure has to be distributed into categories of higher and lower pleasure. At times we may confront a situation that we find a number of actions which might lead to "pleasure". In such circumstances we would be at a loss to decide the course of action. It will be only the conception of higher and lower pleasure which will give us the ability to take correct actions at correct time. In doing so we should also consider that the most suitably equipped person to judge the distinction between the higher and lower pleasure is the one who has experienced both.
2. Introduction of Rules in Moral Decision Making Mill considers that rules can be the force behind the decision. These rules are in fact the outcome of utilitarianism and they are established by taking into consideration principles of utility i.e. rules which had been giving and will give "pleasure" to the ...Show more
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Mills utilitarianism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Mills Utilitarianism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 Words)
“Mills Utilitarianism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times


Human nature had always been abstract therefore not easy to comprehend. Over a period of time philosophers have tried to simplify the issue so as to understand the basis on which human beings had been behaving or should behave. However, time and again they had experienced that the issue confronting them is not simple for which a single answer can be found…
Mills utilitarianism
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Mills utilitarianism"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Philosophical Ethics - Utilitarianism
There are also counter-arguments, because many have critiqued utilitarian quantification, including Dickens. It is not the basic assumption of the current report that utilitarianism is a moral theory, and it is an ethical theory that
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Ethics in Business
Darren became so emotionally attached and involved with this tribe that he went on to learn their language. He was now not only the buyer of their products but also a part of their tribe. He was the only person who had worked directly with them for
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Utilitarianism is based on the “general happiness principle” or the “principle of utility” (PU). Actions are moral if they promote general happiness, and they are wrong if they will reduce general happiness. Among several actions, the right action promotes
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
The Greatest Principle - Utilitarianism
Captain Dudley along with his two associates had killed the fourth sailor, a young boy of seventeen or eighteen years of age for food when they were stranded on a boat for more than 24 days. According to them, killing the
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Deontological teleological utilitarianism kantian theory
In undertaking the analysis, the research will undertake critical and objective analysis of each of the concepts. There will be some practical examples which will be used to illustrate each point in order to come up
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Personal Statement to apply preparatory course of graduate school in UK
ve an immense desire to continue pursuing my academic goals within the field of engineering, then I have considered about joining a preparatory school in preparation for my masters program. I am of the opinion that a college in the UK will provide me with an opportunity to
4 pages (1000 words) Personal Statement
Euthanasia debate: Religious Law vs. Utilitarianism
Nevertheless, the term euthanasia is seen to generally imply and easy and gentle process of death. There are a number of ethical arguments that have been fronted both in support, and in
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Mill's Utilitarianism
Mill argues that for one to know what morality dictates, it is important to know by what standards human actions should be judged. It is necessary to note that Mill defines purpose of morality as creating a particular state of the world; Mills stand out to clarify morality as
2 pages (500 words) Essay
John Stuart Mills Utilitarianism
Individuals who employ higher faculties often get less contented even though their pleasure is of higher character than of an animal. This paper is a discussion of the mills statement that “it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig
2 pages (500 words) Essay
From this, the two categories of happiness and unhappiness arise: happiness that signifies presence of pleasure and no pain, and unhappiness represent pain without pleasure. Two people known to be the leading
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Let us find you another Essay on topic Mills utilitarianism for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us