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18 Apr 2012
Introduction to Philosophy
Essay Due Date:
Essay must be 6-7 pages and is worth 40% (conciseness and preciseness is a virtue)
if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference,
irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure.
Few human creatures would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals, for a promise of
the fullest allowance of a beast's pleasures; no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool,
no instructed person would be an ignoramus, no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish
and base, even though they should be persuaded that the fool, the dunce, or the rascal is better
satisfied with his lot than they are with theirs.
It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied
than a fool satisfied.
The higher pleasure are the more valuable and desirable because they are the more desired.
With respect to our sensory experience the evidence:
the proof that the higher pleasure are chosen are because they are desired
That something is visible is a fact and is evidence to what is seen and the same with
Q: Are these all the same?
Desirable doesn't really mean the same thing as the rest. Mill was criticized for this and was
accused of a fallacy–the naturalistic fallacy which Hume dealt with previously and called it the
“is/ought” problem/fallacey where you derive a value claim from a from a factual claim. That is,
one starts with descriptive statements to support a theory and then shifts to the prescriptive. You
cannot conclude an “ought” from and “is.” It may be a fact that many desire x but that doesn't x
ought or ought not be done.
Q: Is this devastating?
A: “you could ignore it”
If he left out “that is the more desirable pleasure” and put “desired” he would've been better off.
Intelligence is something that can be used for a bad end. Things are not good without qualification
which means no matter how the will is use, if it is good then it is good.
Unless there is a good will to direct them they can clearly be used for evil. One with a lot of
money can use it to alleviate or increase suffering; it is there and it depends on the will.
The fact that an intension cannot be realized isn't the fault of a good will. The good will could
make some bad choices but it is only the intension that makes the difference.
What the will accomplishes is irrelevant to whether or not it is good.
The first two paragraphs try to show the good will is good in and of itself. Everything we say about
good are things that are good only because they are directed by the good will.
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