Essay about John Stewart Mill And Immanuel Kant

1645 Words Sep 24th, 2016 7 Pages
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, say, a day spent on the couch with junk food. While Mill champions that qualitatively superior pleasure is more advantageous to one’s overall happiness as opposed to an abundance of substandard enjoyment, he does maintain that one cannot have a predilection for either without experiencing both.
In addition to his writings on personal happiness, Mill makes a key assertion on the principles of utilitarianism; people are to promote everyone’s happiness, not just their own. Working towards societal happiness creates social harmony and a place where individual happiness can thrive. Mill summarizes the ‘ideal perfection’ of utilitarianism with a well-known proverb known as the golden rule: “do what you would be done by.” (Mill 92)…

Related Documents