John Stuart Mill essay

For John Stuart Mill, the highest good in life is the acquisition of happiness. He even wrote a fellow named Carlyle that he is still a utilitarian but in a personal way uncommon to other people who claim as such (Jacobson, 3, 2003). The main criticism of John Stuart Mill on the principles of utilitarianism includes his outright rejection of the conception of the good by Benthamite (Jacobson, 3, 2003). John Stuart wanted to focus more on the development of a person’s personal moral character.

He also supports hedonism in some aspect in order to answer those people who object his arguments. He meant that hedonism is a vital element in utilitarianism as it is the foundation of the theory itself. 2. How does John Stuart Mills define utility? Provide an example. Mills explained that the principle of utility is the ability to consider happiness as desirable, and the sole thing to be desirable as an end purpose for everything (Bass, 2008, p. 1). In that sense, all other aspects in life are only desirable as means to that purpose of achieving happiness.

For example, two men who loved the same woman try to do everything just to be chosen by the woman herself. The ultimate purpose of each man is to be happy with the woman for the rest of his life. His end is to marry the woman and have children to enjoy life and achieve happiness. In order to achieve such goal, each man would perform acts that would persuade the woman such as giving her gifts, giving her time and attention, and even promising her material things and emotional matters.

When the woman has already chosen her man, then happiness will be achieved by the man she had chosen. The ultimate goal had been achieved through doing other necessary things for the woman. 3. How does John Stuart Mills differentiate between higher and lower quality pleasures? Provide an example. Mill wrote that pleasure is the ultimate end of achieving happiness. It means that man should experience the absence of pain in this life. However, pleasure may be classified as higher quality pleasure and lower quality pleasure (Vallicella, 2005, p. 1).

The way Mills differentiate these two pleasures is very accurate, since he wrote that not all pleasures are equal and that one pleasure maybe superior compared to another. What John Stuart Mill needs to demonstrate is that the superior pleasures of mental power, thoughts, and emotion are greater in their inherent nature and not simply in their incidental recompense (Vallicella, 2005, p. 1). Mills wants to confirm that the higher pleasures are better for every person and should be taken for their own sake and not simply because they are advantageous to all individuals (Vallicella, 2005, p.

1). For example, the idea of achieving a college degree is better than not having an education at all. 4. What sanctions does utilitarianism impose upon those who do not abide by it? Provide examples. John Stuart Mills wrote that there are possibilities that there are more people would not follow utilitarianism than expected. Hence, there are sanctions imposed to that effect. There are also two kinds of sanctions: the first is external sanction, and the second is internal sanction.

The meaning of external sanction is that it exists externally to the human agent as an individual. Besides, external sanction reflects a form of peer pressure which is the fear of other people’s disapproval and as well as divine pressure which is the fear of rage or fury. The second type of sanction which is internal sanction stems from one’s sense of right and wrong. These include of feelings in a person’s personal mind that generate uneasiness when one violates moral responsibility.

An example of external factor is when an individual hates another person for stealing his wife from him. As a result, such individual would file an appropriate charge in court against such person. On the other hand, the feeling of a person who stole another person’s personal property is guilt and fear of being caught by the authorities. 5. According to Mills what are the two components to justice? John Stuart Mills also wrote on the two components of justice. The first component is the will of a person to impose punishment for any violator of one’s right.

The reason behind such punishment is the harm inflicted by the culprit against another. However, this component of justice is in line with man’s nature to sympathize others. Thus, every imposition of punishment comes with it a pound of sympathy. The second component of justice is that there is an identifiable victim who suffers if justice is infringed upon. In other words, justice should not be taken lightly in order to avoid irreparable damage and injury to any victim of its violation. 6. Do you believe agree with this theory?

Provide a basis for your response. I agree with the theory of justice written by John Stuart Mills. As basis, I would present a scenario wherein a member of a family is being killed by another person. Such killer must be punished in accordance with law despite that some people may give sympathy to him for any greater punishment like death penalty or life imprisonment. The rationale behind such imposition of punishment is to give retribution and promote justice in favor of the heirs of the victim.The law must be implemented for the peace and security of all people, hence, extending the theory of general utility being explained by Mills.

References Bass, R. Geocities. com. (2008). Mills Proof of Utility. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from http://www. geocities. com/amosapient/mill. html. Jacobson, D. Philosopher’s Imprint. (June 2003). John Stuart Mill. Retrieved July 21, 2009, from http://quod. lib. umich. edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx? c=phimp;cc=phimp;rgn=main;idno=3521354. 0003. 002;didno=3521354. 0003. 002;view=image;seq=00000001.