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John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism Research Papers

John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism research papers explicate Mill's philosophy on utilitarianism. Philosophy research papers look at how a philosophical work influenced an era or a way of thinking. Paper Masters custom writes all research on Mill and utilitarianism.

One of John Stuart Mill’s more famous works of philosophy is Utilitarianism, an exploration of normative ethics that maintains the idea that an individual’s proper course of action is that which maximizes happiness and reduces suffering. Utilitarianism was first developed by Jeremy Bentham (a friend of Mill’s father), which is differentiated from hedonism by its insistence on the maximum happiness of the group or society, and not just the individual. Both Mill and Bentham argued that utilitarian government was possible with democracy.

John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism

Mills Book

Mill’s book, which first appeared as three separate articles in 1861, formulates the substance of what Mill believed utilitarianism was. This is what has become known as the Greatest-Happiness Principle, which states that actions are correct when they promote happiness (pleasure or the absence of pain). However, it is not the happiness of the individual, but the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people.

Mill differed from Bentham in that Bentham did not categorize levels of happiness. Mill's utilitarianism was outlined in the following tenants:

  • Mill divided it into higher and lower forms.
    • Intellectual and moral happiness are characteristic of the higher forms of happiness
    • Physical pleasures are relegate to the lower forms
  • Mill believed that when one was familiar with both higher and lower forms of happiness, the individual would choose the higher forms.

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