The classical utilitarians bentham and mill pdf
Mill, Bentham, and the Art and Science of GovernmentSaturday, February 18, From History of Philosophy Book Club. This is a past event. Utilitarianism is the theory that increasing pleasure and decreasing pain should be the primary criteria in judging moral actions. The earliest proponents of the theory, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, were influenced by Cesare Beccaria, Montesquieu, and other philosophes of the eighteenth century, who believed that reason, rather than superstition and custom, should be the foundation for legal codes. The intention of an act was irrelevant as to whether it was good or bad; only consequences counted. Proponents countered that a law unable to bend to changing circumstances was impractical and ignored human nature.
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Bentham, for example, did not write that "quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry", as is so often reported. These clarifications allow us to sort-out a few other confusions concerning utilitarianism. The distinction between quantity and quality of pleasures is absent from the utilitarianism of the older generation Bentham was as concerned with quality as with quantity … [he has been] typecast as a villain in a story in which he was presenting a shallow quantitative approach. Mill, for example, has been accused, again and again, of being an inconsistent utilitarian because he held that, when comparing the value of two pleasures, we should not forget to take their quality into account. Bentham, on the other hand, is said to have been more consistent, but less subtle, because he thought that we should take only quantity into consideration.
The ethical theory of John Stuart Mill is most extensively articulated in his classical text Utilitarianism Its goal is to justify the utilitarian principle as the foundation of morals. This principle says actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote overall human happiness. So, Mill focuses on consequences of actions and not on rights nor ethical sentiments. Educated by his father James Mill who was a close friend to Jeremy Bentham , John Stuart Mill came in contact with utilitarian thought at a very early stage of his life. Mill remained a utilitarian throughout his life. For its publication he brought old manuscripts into form and added some new material.
This volume includes the complete texts of two of John Stuart Mill's most important works, Utilitarianism and On Liberty, and selections from his other writings, including the complete text of his "Remarks on Bentham's Philosophy. John Stuart Mill; Jeremy Bentham; Jeremy Bentham.
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