|Philosophy: Literature / Ethics / Social and political / Modern|
The following is not about the book Utilitarianism, by John Stuart Mill:
- Utilitarianism (Latin utilis, “useful”), in ethics, the doctrine that what is useful is good, and consequently, that the ethical value of conduct is determined by the utility of its results. The term utilitarianism is more specifically applied to the proposition that the supreme objective of moral action is the achievement of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. This objective is also considered the aim of all legislation and is the ultimate criterion of all social institutions. The utilitarian theory of ethics is generally opposed to ethical doctrines in which some inner sense or faculty, often called the conscience, is made the absolute arbiter of right and wrong. Utilitarianism is likewise at variance with the view that moral distinctions depend on the will of God and that the pleasure given by an act to the individual alone who performs it is the decisive test of good and evil.
It's at most a stub for an article on utilitarianism, the ethical theory. But there's already a fleshed-out Utilitarianism article. I've moved all of the above to this discussion page and put in its place a stub on the book Utilitarianism. —Radgeek 01:39, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The greatest happiness principle was actually first devised by Francis Hutcheson in his Inquiry into Virtue. - 126.96.36.199 00:51, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Aristotle & Mill mean two very different things by "Happiness"
Mill is talking about our common understanding of happiness.
Aristotle is translating the Greek word "εὖδαιμονια," which has less to do with happiness as we understand it and more to do with a person's ability to be a human well. This is emphatically not what Mill means, and Aristotle would more likely consider Mill's happiness to deal more with pleasure, something Aristotle does not consider the highest good.
So perhaps that last paragraph in the article should be edited or removed?
- Aristotle also meant happiness as almost a way to characterize someone (i.e. my grandpa was a happy man), as supported by his claim that one could not be called happy until after they had finished their life (kicked the bucket). This is in stark contrast to the happiness of J.S. Mill which people attained in their lifetime by being smart or altruistic. All the same I think that comparison between the two is fitting if it's done right. --Polsky215 (talk) 20:21, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
The comment(s) below were originally left at several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section., and are posted here for posterity. Following
|This article has errors, specifically during the comparison of Aristotle with Mill. It needs to be fixed.|
Last edited at 03:46, 7 December 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 09:44, 30 April 2016 (UTC)