Private Vices Analysis

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In this Smith, seems to have been influenced by Bernard Mandeville (1670 - 1733) , another prominent personality of Scottish Enlightenment known for his work, ‘The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Public Benefits’ where he argues that private vices such as greed often transforms into public benefit and therefore it is desirable to harbour and promote such vices. This again marks a very clear shift in position from the ancient and the Christian philosophers where self-interest and greed were held to be shameful and to be overcome, here is a call to cultivate them as a means for public good. Tranquillity as happiness Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) Schopenhauer is considered to be one of the important philosophers of 19th century. The…show more content…
The principle of utility holds that an action is worthwhile, if and only, if it produces the good as an end result. The good that is being anticipated has to be the good of the greatest number. By greatest number it means more number of good (experiences) for oneself and more number of such experiences for the majority of the members of a concerned society. Happiness here is that greatest good. What follows as a necessary consideration is maximization: maximization of good experiences for oneself and for the maximum number of people. It is important to note that under the ‘test of utility’ only the end is of consequence and not the means. If the end result is the good of greatest number then an action is ‘morally’…show more content…
Influenced by Hobbes and Hume, he maintained that humans were controlled by two sovereign masters – pleasure and pain: Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand, the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. (Bentham, 1823, p. 1) Keeping in line with the principle of utilitarianism, for Bentham, maximization of happiness meant maximization of pleasure. However, he maintained that pleasurable sensation need not be confined only to eating, drinking and sex but could include multitude of other things varying from wealth acquisition to kindness for other beings. (He identifies about fourteen kinds of pleasures that human nature is susceptible to.) (Bentham, 1823, p.
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