Ethical Autobiographical Essay

Ethical Autobiographical Essay-30
Today we routinely differentiate between hedonism as a theory of the good and utilitarianism as a consequentialist theory of the right.

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Almost ten years earlier (1852) Mill had defended utilitarianism against the intuitionistic philosopher William Whewell ().

On the one hand, he says that the “utilitarian doctrine is, that happiness is desirable, and the only thing desirable, as an end.” (CW 10, 234) On the other hand, he defines utilitarianism as a moral theory according to which “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness…” (CW 10, 210).

Utilitarians are, for him, consequentialists who believe that pleasure is the only intrinsic value.

In view of the fact that Mill’s value theory constitutes the center of his ethics (Donner 1991, 2009), the problem of determining its precise nature and adequate naming has attracted considerable attention over the last 150 years.

Mill defines "utilitarianism" as the creed that considers a particular “theory of life” as the “foundation of morals” (CW 10, 210).


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