This view on happiness has led his particular brand of utilitarianism to be seen as a hedonistic theory. His ideas here are, really, quite simple. Bentham developed this principle throughout a number of writings, including his most significant work of moral philosophy, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation The idea here is that all people seek happiness, and that it is the ultimate goal of all human beings to be happy.
Therefore, according to classical utilitarianism, when a person wishes to act in an ethically sound manner he or she should strive to bring about the greatest possible amount of happiness for the greatest possible amount of people.
Numerous other individuals contributed to the Utilitarian movement in the nineteenth century, including the British philosophers John Austin and James Mill J. In theory and in practice, Utilitarianism has continued to be influential, with the work of Bentham and Mill proving to be of the greatest importance and interest.
The basic principle of Utilitarianism involves a calculus of happiness, in which actions are deemed to be good if they tend to produce happiness in the form of pleasure and evil if they tend to promote pain. This is known as the greatest happiness principle.
Utilitarianism is a moral theory generally considered to have been founded by Jeremy Bentham, a 19th century English philosopher and social reformer. Beginning from this view, the Utilitarians created systems of moral behavior as standards for how an individual ought to act in society.
This is a fairly straightforward exploration of the most common forms of utilitarianism.
He posited that someone who has experienced both forms of pleasure would naturally feel inclined to choose the higher pleasures.
Furthermore, Bentham did not distinguish between different forms of pleasure. Commentators on the writings of both men have continued the process of analyzing and codifying their work in order to more clearly define the doctrine.
As such, the philosophy is said to derive from the classical concept of hedonism, which values the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. The sophisticated system proposed by Bentham and later expanded by John Stuart Mill and others regards not only the end product of happiness, or utility, in actions, but also considers the motives of actions and the extent to which happiness can be created not only for the individual, but also for the members of society as a whole.
An understanding of this topic could prove useful to IB philosophy students taking ethics as one of their chosen options. It is centred around the concept of happiness, and seeks to promote it. In this work, Bentham also sought to specifically record the sources of pleasure and pain, as well as to create a scale upon which the relative effects of individual acts in producing happiness or misery could be examined.
Additionally, critics have suggested the significant limitations of an ethical system that attempts to reduce human behavior and action to simple rational calculations of pleasure versus pain, but at the same time they acknowledge its considerable impact on nineteenth- and twentieth-century normative ethics.
I am focusing here on the nature of utilitarianism and am not considering its weaknesses. According to Mill, these latter pleasures are of a greater quality, and should therefore be considered more important.
Both Bentham and Mill forwarded a belief in the intrinsic nature of value; thus good or the lack thereof could be regarded as inherent in an act or thing—a concept that allowed for the mathematical calculation of utility.
Another, similar idea is that a person should always strive, if incapable of producing happiness, to reduce unhappiness. Naturally, it follows from this that he also felt that we should treat unhappiness as something consisting of pain.
While Bentham modified this concept over time, critics acknowledge that its essence remains intact throughout his work. Imagine that the neighbour is desperate to find someone to exercise his canine companion, while your friends are fully capable of enjoying themselves without you.
Notable among the Utilitarians to follow Bentham, the philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill made considerable contributions to Utilitarian philosophy, beginning with his succinct apologia for the doctrine in Utilitarianism These will be looked at in a separate post.
To him, anything that gave rise to happiness — be it drugs or reading — was fundamentally good.- In Mill’s essay on utilitarianism, Mill observes that a great amount of people misunderstand utilitarianism by having utility and pleasure together in the same idea and concept.
In fact, Mill says utility is described as a pleasure and an absence of pain. Mar 24, · This essay - or post if you wish - is intended as a concise exploration of utilitarianism, one of many ethical movements within the world of moral philosophy.
An understanding of this topic could prove useful to IB philosophy students taking ethics as one. Disclaimer: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. You can view samples of our professional work here.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do. Preference Utilitarianism and Caste Mind Set. Topics: Utilitarianism, Sociology, Social class Pages: 19 ( words) Published: December 10, Mill's stance within Utilitarianism exists as the more favorable of the two beliefs, for happiness exist as the one intrinsically favorable element, not an emotionless mind.
The main defender of the Utilitarian system exists within the Greatest happiness Principle. According to John Stuart Mill (author of Utilitarianism), utility is happiness, and happiness is pleasure minus pain.
Utilitarianism As The Principle Of Happiness Philosophy Essay. Print Reference this. Published: 23rd March, At the end of this essay, I hope to show that utilitarianism is indeed right, and likewise, moral.Download