Immanuel Kant And John Stewart Mill

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John Stewart Mill and Immanuel Kant are two of the most influential philosophers in history. Their philosophies of utilitarianism and deontology, respectively, have different fundamental values and priorities.
The fundamental principle of utilitarianism is that actions are morally correct in proportion to how much happiness they create, henceforth all people should strive to promote happiness and pleasure. Happiness, Mill states, is the ultimate objective of all human actions; one shall prefer those actions which yield the most happiness. There exists variation in both the qualities and quantities of happiness. A higher quality of pleasure most often correlates with a higher intellectual pursuit, whereas a baser happiness may derive from simplicity,
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The situation is a murder appears at a person’s doorstep, asking for the location of that person’s best friend with the intention to murder their friend. The person then has to decide whether to lie or tell the truth to the murder. For Utilitarians, this would not even be considered a dilemma; the man should lie to save their friend. It saves their friends life, preserving their friend’s happiness, as well as the happiness of all the friend’s loved ones. A utilitarian might agree that there are more cases than not in which candor is the most moral choice, nevertheless in this case they would lie for it produces more utility. For Kantians, the issue is more complex due to the categorical imperative. Telling the truth is usually assumed to be a part of the categorical imperative, and because of this lying would not be permitted under any circumstances. A Kantian would have to tell the truth to the murder, resulting the murder of their dear friend. Kant would find no fault in this. Telling the truth is part of the categorical imperative, so honesty is compulsory. Moreover, Kant would place no blame on the man for telling the truth. It is not his fault that the other man is a murder, and he is acting from duty, the most morally correct course of action. Utilitarians would have some substantial critiques for Kantians, calling their morality too ridged. The categorical imperative is too unforgiven to the subtleties of circumstance, which could result in dire, avoidable consequences, such as in the previous example. Contrastingly, a Kantian might say that Utilitarianism is also too ridged, but in a different way. Since Utilitarianism demands that people work towards improving the overall happiness, people must consider everyone’s happiness in every situation, not just follow certain concrete rules that pervade only particular

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