PHIL 201 Essay on Utilitarianism
Throughout his writing Mill articulates some very clear ideas about free speech, individual opinions, ranking pleasures, and happiness. Mill leads us to believe pleasure is a component of happiness and pleasures differ in quality as well as in quantity. Mill straightforwardly answers how one should rank pleasures: the appropriate judge must be acquainted with both pleasures (or at least, both kinds of pleasure.) If all or most people who know pleasure A and pleasure B rank A higher, then A is the higher pleasure. It is surely right that thoughtful people who are acquainted with both sides of the question will rank some activities that involve a lot of discontent higher than some simple pleasures. In other words, people who are familiar with both kinds of pleasure, the pleasures of the intellect and the pleasures of "mere sensation," are the competent judges who can decide which pleasures are more desirable. Whatever kind of pleasure they prefer is the more valuable kind. It is the intellectual pleasures which, according to Mill, these knowledgeable individuals invariably prefer.…
- PHIL 201 Essay on Utilitarianism
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