Pols250 Winter term notes secret slides part 4 (John Stuart Mill)
Secret slide 1
o Haydn and the oyster example
(looking at JSs critique of bentham saying that the quantity of pleasure is not all
Haydn: 77 years X Pleasure
Oyster years X less pleasure
Bentham: we should choose oyster (more quantity of pleasure)
Ill: wants to reject this….the quality is what matters.
Secret slide 2
o Mills informed Preference test
Solution to the Hayden and the Oyster example
Key is you have to experience the pleasures in order to qualify for the test
Test is not as simple as putting something in “lower” or “higher” category
Ex. Scratching an itch vs. drinking a beer….drinking a beer vs. reading poetry
Higher and lower pleasures are all relative.
Secret slide 3
o The proof of utility principal
Stage 2) The greatest happiness is desirable (maximize everyone else’s
Gap between saying it is rational to pursue your own greatest happiness to
pursuing the greatest happiness overall.
MILL NEEDS AN ARGUMENT FOR IMPARTIALITY
Egoist might accept 1 but not 2
Mill makes a moral assumption that everyone wants everyone else to be happy.
“Sure I want Happiness but why do I need to maximize it for others?”
Relies on intutition=problem
Secret slide 4
o Stage 3) Nothing other than happiness is desirable
Mils opponents: Virtue is desirable
Obvious tacit for Mill: Virtue has only instrumental value (leads to happiness)
but he does not take this route.
Instead Mill argues that virtue is “desirable for itself”. People are virtuous
because they value being virtuous.
Secret slide 5
o Reconciling this