Mill s ethical theory

Individuals are rational enough to make decisions about their well being. These are all inapplicable, because they all stand for known modes of Being.

The First Formula gives a general characterization of practical reason. Each person acts only or predominantly to promote his own interests. Mill counts as one of the great classics of utilitarian thought; but this moral theory deviates from what many contemporary philosophers consider core features of utilitarianism.

Mill made a distinction between happiness and sheer sensual pleasure. There is considerable disagreement as to whether Mill should be read as a rule utilitarian or an indirect act utilitarian.

Truths can be better or worse established—central or peripheral to our understanding of the world—and we can therefore be more or less willing to abandon them. According to this interpretation, Mill is focusing on pleasurable sensations and then distinguishing higher and lower pleasures by references to their causes.

John Mill’s ethical theory

The fact that the terrorist has a bad will to use everyone in the city only as a means does not allow you to do the same. It is productive labour that is productive of wealth and capital accumulation.

He does not say precisely what standard of expediency he has in mind. Therefore, Utilitarianism says you should murder the rotten professor.


These reasons are empirical and touch upon the careful observation of oneself and others. We will examine that rationale shortly. If Mill holds a preference or functional conception of pleasure, according to which pleasures are mental states that the subject prefers and other things being equal would prolong, then perhaps he could claim that pleasures categorically preferred by competent judges are more pleasurable pleasures.

One must not forget that since his first reading of Bentham in the winter ofthe time to which Mill dates his conversion to utilitarianism, forty years had passed.

But if the right action is the best action, and secondary principles are just a reliable though imperfect way of identifying what is best, then Mill is an act utilitarian. We would be on good ground in censoring flat-earthers both literal and figurative.

As he says in the letter to Jones:Mill’s work Utilitarianism, originally published in Fraser’s Magazine (), is an elegant defense of the general utilitarian doctrine and perhaps remains the best introduction to the subject.

In it utilitarianism is viewed as an ethics for ordinary individual behaviour as well as for legislation.


Mill actually calls this society's biggest problem, noting that it can be tyrannical and describing it as 'the feeling in each person's mind that everybody should be required to act as he, and  · old Protagoras, and asserted (if Plato’s dialogue be grounded on a real conversation) the theory of utilitarianism against the popular morality of the so-called /3ll3/mill/ Start studying Ethical Theory (Mill and Kant).

Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study Mill’s theory of utilitarianism measures the goodness of actions based on the result or consequence of those actions.

An action can be deemed morally right or  · In Part 1 of the course, we will investigate skeptical challenges to the common thought that morality is objective. In Partswe look to three highly influential ethical theories: Aristotle's virtue theory, Immanuel Kant's deontological account, and John Stuart Mill's

Mill s ethical theory
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