Bentham And Mill's Hedonistic View On Utilitarianism

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My purpose in this paper is to explain and analyze the theory of utilitarianism. I will do this by explaining the differences between the way Bentham and Mill believe utilitarianism should be determined, including their different hedonistic ideas. I am more in favor of Mill’s hedonistic view on utilitarianism because it places more emphasis on the quality of happiness one can create versus Bentham’s quantitative hedonistic view of just the net amount of happiness one can experience.
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory is founded on a theory of value known as hedonism. Hedonism claims that happiness and pleasure alone are intrinsically good and that unhappiness and pain alone are intrinsically bad. It expresses that all other values are merely
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Bentham believed in act utilitarianism, meaning that the rightness or wrongness of particular actions is measured in terms of its particular consequences. Act utilitarianism evaluates the consequences of those actions based on the quantity, or the total net amount of happiness and unhappiness they produce. Act utilitarianism affirms a version of hedonism known as quantitative hedonism, which states the goal of moral behavior is to maximize happiness and minimize pain. Bentham developed a formula, the hedonic calculus, for determining whether an action does or will produce the greatest amount of happiness and the least amount of unhappiness for all individuals involved in the situation. The hedonic calculus can be broken down into five components. The first being the ratio of pleasure and pain. This part adds up the total amount of happiness that can be produced and subtracts it from the total amount of unhappiness that could be produced. Act A could produce 10 units of happiness and 6 units of unhappiness, 10-6 would give you 4 units. The …show more content…
In the case of Bentham’s quantitative hedonism, I don’t think it is possible for us to calculate which outcome will stand to produce the most happiness overall. For one, there is not a consistent numerical value one could use to rate the degrees of happiness; people could feel different degrees of happiness from the same action. Also there is no possible way for one to know all of the different courses of actions they could try and calculate beforehand. Mill's qualitative hedonism basically states that some types of pleasures are simply more desirable and more pleasurable than others. This idea is one that can be supported just in “The Contented Pig Objection” alone. Us as humans are capable of experiencing a higher level of pleasure than that of animals. Since we have emotions we are able to understand the range of greater quality available in things. Mill’s belief in rule utilitarianism is also another great reason I find the qualitative hedonism more plausible. It takes into consideration what would hopefully be regarded by most people to be the desired choice, even if it doesn’t benefit you yourself completely at the time, but will overall benefit the general happiness of people if consistently followed. Thus producing the greatest amount of happiness for everyone who stand to be affected.
In this essay I have explained how both quantitative and qualitative hedonism work with examples

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