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Lecture

Bentham and Mill.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 230
Professor
Sarah Stroud
Semester
Fall

Description
Bentham and Mill Bentham  Everything human beings do is motivated by pain and pleasure  Moral judgments- we approve or disapprove of an action in regard to its ability to augment or diminish total happiness (principle of utility)  Happiness is a synonym for pleasure  Believes that all of us already accept the principle of utility, his job to clarify misconceptions  Four characteristics of a pleasure or pain to account for o Intensity o Duration o Certainty o Propinquity  Sanctions/Sources of pleasure or pain o Physical o Political o Moral o Religious Mill  Everything human beings do is motivated by pain and pleasure  Moral judgments- we approve or disapprove of an action in regard to its ability to augment or diminish total happiness (principle of utility)  Happiness is a synonym for pleasure (pleasure + the absence of pain)  Believes that all of us already accept the principle of utility, his job to clarify misconceptions  Moral theory- Utilitarianism- The rightness or wrongness of an action is wholly determined by its impact on total happiness  Value theory- Hedonism- Pleasure and pain alone are intrinsically valuable o Mill does not see them as independent  Mill does not endorse Bentham’s view on how to measure pleasure or pain o Thinks quality is missing from his answer o Believes there exists a hierarchy of pleasures in which physical sensations are less valuable than those of sentiments/emotions/intellect o Preference of a competent judge (one who has experienced both) – will prefer pleasures of higher faculties  Is he really a hedonist? o We question this because of the hierarchy of pleasures…  Pleasure and pain alone are intrinsically valuable  Hedonism commits us to the view that humans ultimately seek pleasure  But there are better quality pleasures  He says we have higher pleasures than pigs  If hedonism is true, we would aspire for a life of pleasure including base bodily pleasures, but we don’t all aspire for this  Mill believes utilitarianism centrally involves a form of impartiality (absence of bias) o Greatest happiness of everyone affected is what concerns us meaning everyone’s happiness is equally valuable  Rightness and wrongness of an action is not determined by the consequence in reference to pleasure or pain but rather the intention in which you act can affect whether what you did is right or wrong  Sanctions/Sources of pleasure or pain
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