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Philosophy Ethics - Essay Example

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Philosophy Ethics

Mill explained this rule with the aid of the principle of utility. According to this principle which is also sometimes referred to as the principle of happiness, for a person to be happy himself he should consider the happiness of others to be as important as his own happiness (Mills 1867). This philosophy of happiness was further explained by John Stuart Mill with the assistance of his theories by putting forward the rules of thumb. The reason for presenting these rules was that Mill argued that a person should not misunderstand the meaning of happiness. These rules were used by him to support the theory of maximizing happiness and provide an insight into the meaning of this principle. These rules encompass the aspects of this principle to cover the features and the characteristics which should be understood about it. The rules of thumb were to be always considered to reach to a proper conclusion as to what happiness actually is. According to these rules, it is through knowledge and learning that a person actually gets to know that what act will bring about the maximum happiness. The reason behind this is that it is through awareness of the developing of humans and human nature that one can understand that what act is morally correct and will actually bring about the maximum happiness for the maximum number of people. These rules also present that a person should increase his level when thinking about happiness. That is happiness should not be restricted to certain things. A person should search for happiness in everything that surrounds him. These things can range from nature to music to history and art. That is a person should be learned and it is through his knowledge that he will be able to find happiness in all these things. An example of education can be considered here as to how much educated an individual is to know about certain facts about life. Being educated would help an individual to distinguish between the higher and lower pleasures in terms of happiness. He would understand as to which pleasures are attainable and which are not. With appropriate education the individuals are able to experience both the lower and higher forms of pleasure through which they can decide as to what they would prefer. With enough education one can know about different things existing in the world and thus individuals can then decide as to which happiness they really want. (Mills 1867; Steward & Blocker 2005). To make his theory even better understood Mill clearly presented the exceptions that implied to this rule of happiness. He explained that though acts like lying and murder are considered to be wrong under normal circumstances but these acts become acceptable under certain conditions. An example to this can be that when a person has to protect himself from a murderer he has a right to act in self defense. Another example which can be considered is a person can lie when the person has to conceal some information from someone who might misuse it and cause great harm. Mill is quoted as “Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain” (Mill 1986 ii). According to the utilitarian position, it is the consequences of an act that matter the most. In this regard, John Stuart Mill who was a ...Show more

Summary

Philosophy Ethics The utilitarian thought of philosophy supports the view that an action is considered to be correct if the action brings about happiness of the greatest number of people. John Stuart Mill was a philosopher of the utilitarian idea and claimed that Rule Utilitarianism is the rule for leading a proper and a moral life…
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