The Philosophies Of John Stwet Mill And Immanuel Kant

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John Stwet Mill and Immanuel Kant are two of the most influential philosophers in history. Their schools of philosophies utilitarianism and deontology, respectively, have fundamentally different priorities and values.
Utilitarianism believes that the fundamental principle that all people should follow is the promotion of happiness and pleasure, since actions are morally correct in proportion to how much happiness they create. Happiness, Mill states, is the end objective of all human actions, after all. We choose and prefer one action over another based on the amount of happiness it will yield. There are differences in the quality and quantity of happiness, and those change depending on person to person. Happiness with more quality is usually
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One of the most famous philosophical problems, the trolley problem, is the perfect way to demonstrate their differences. In the trolley problem, a trolley car is on track to run over five people, but a man could change the track it’s on to only run over one person. For Mill the answer is plain; change tracks and run over only one person, since the amount of pain caused by the loss of one life would be less than the pain of the loss of five. He objectively makes this decision based off of what yields the most happiness, or in this case, what causes the least amount of pain, for society as a whole. Kant would have the exact opposite answer, not because he wishes to kill more people, but because it would be using the other person as a mere means to save the other five people. Another famous philosophical dilemma is commonly called “The Murder at the Door”. The issue is a murder comes to a person’s door and asks when their best friend is, with the intent of murdering that best friend. For Utilitarians, this really would not even be considered a dilemma, the person should lie to save their friend. For Kantians, however, the situation is trickier. Since most people would agree that telling the truth is the morally correct thing to do, it is logical to assume that it could feasibly be put into the categorical imperative and …show more content…
It gives a guideline to determining what is good, and while that guideline is subjective, it is there. Kant assumes that people have an understanding of what is good in society, and that people will make choices using the principles of universal law to make choices that would morally permissible for all of society to make. However, people have a widely differencing ideas of what is good for society. One person a might generally believe that the best way to get rid of poverty is to steal all the money they can burn it, because without money there is no poverty. Obviously, society needs money to function as it is, and burning money would only make the people whose money was stolen poorer. So, there is a negative effect, but Kant would support this man for his good intentions. This man would probably also believe his principle of burning money is a contender for the categorical imperative, but others would not believe that to be so. Should we allow him to burn money just because he has good intentions. No, because as a society, money is valued and believe it should not be needlessly burned. What the man did is morally permissible under Kant’s framework, because the man wholeheartedly believed what he was doing was the right thing to do and that that is what society as a whole should be doing. The assumption that all people have a solid, identical understand of what is beneficial for society is

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