Slides in this set
John Stewart Mill's father, James, was a
follower of Bentham, so his son grew up well
steeped in Utilitarianism philosophy.
Mill regarded Bentham as `the father of
English innovation, both in doctrines and in
Jeremy Bentham was Stuart Mill's godfather.
He authored works on logic, liberty, and
The greatest happiness principle
Mill said "the greatest happiness principle
holds that actions are right in proportion as
they tend to produce the reverse of
happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure,
and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain
and the privation of pleasure."
He agreed with Bentham on this point, but
this is where he modifies the theory.…read more
Mill modifies this idea by saying;
"Some pleasures are more desirable
than others and more valuable than
others, quality should be considered as
well as quantity."
According to Mill, quality of pleasure
employs the use of the higher faculties.
Here he is answering the claim that
Bentham utilitarianisms are just
People are capable of more than animals, so it
takes more to make a human happy, therefore a
person will always choose higher quality, human
pleasures and reject all the merely animal
pleasures. As Mill put it:
"Few human creatures would consent to be
changed into any of the lower animals for a
promise of the fullest allowance of the beast's
pleasures . . . It is better to be a human being
dissatisfied than a pig satisfied, better to be a
Socrates unsatisfied than a fool satisfies. And
if the fool or pig are of a different opinion, it is
because they only know their side of the