John Stuart Mill And Mill's Philosophy Of Right Action

913 Words4 Pages
A deed that is morally good is called the “right action”. In this paper, I argue that Kant’s method for distinguishing “right action” is better than Mill’s view because Mill’s view is based on the consequences of the action, whereas Kant defines “right action” by its motives.
English Philosopher, John Stuart Mill, emphasized utilitarianism. The concept is that “the purpose of morality is to make life better by increasing the amount of good things in the world and decreasing the amount of bad things” (Nathanson). By following this concept, we understand that the “right action” is determined only by its consequence and nothing prior. If the action increases pleasure and reduces pain, it is considered right. Likewise, if the action produces more pain than pleasure, it is considered wrong. I will now explain this in an example. Our bodies experience awful discomforts when we go a long time without eating or sleeping. So, in efforts to reduce that hunger pain, we increase pleasure by eating food. To reduce exhaustion, we sleep. “Right action” not only involves self, but it also affects those that are in proximity. For example, sharing your meal with the homeless reduces their hunger pain. In this case, Mill is not concerned about why you may have shared the meal, but only the simple fact that the homeless is pleasured. This is the principle of utility.
Conversely, German Philosopher, Immanuel Kant, stated that right actions are not based on principles of utility, but “right

More about John Stuart Mill And Mill's Philosophy Of Right Action

Open Document