John Stuart Mill Happiness

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John Stuart Mill starts off his essay by claiming that many believe that the “greatest-happiness Principle holds that actions are right as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (book, pg 1, p 258). This principle is often called the utility/utilitarian concept and it’s the foundation of morals. Stuart argues that more needs to be discussed concerning this theory, in particular what counts as pain and pleasure, and to what extent its left an open question (book, pg 1, p 258). However, Stuart goes on to explain that the clarifications needed do not affect the theory of life this theory of morality is based on. Nor does it affect the fact that (1) pleasure and freedom from pain are the only desirable…show more content…
Happiness has not been proven as the only end or the only criteria. In order to make happiness the only true end, Stuarts believes that it needs to be proven that people don’t just desire happiness, but that they don’t desire anything else. People infact desire virtues, “not as universal but it is as authentic a fact, as the desire of happiness” (book, pg 11, 261). Opponents of the Utilitarians claim that happiness is not the only end, and its is not the standard of approbation and disapprobation (book, pg 11, 261). However, Utilitarian don’t claim virtue is not desired by itself Stuart’s explains. In fact they believe that everyone must love virtue as a desirable thing in itself, if not the person is not sane (book, pg 12, 261). “The ingredients of happiness are very various and each of them is desirable in itself”(book, pg 12, 261). Many things help a person achieve happiness. One of the ingredients that lead to happiness is money, Stuart explains. Money, like virtue, is one of the ingredients that is desired not just by itself, however it’s mainly a means to an end (book, pg 13, 261). However, people realize how much happiness money can bring, thus it’s seen as more than just an ingredient because it “was once desired as an instrument for the attainment of happiness [but] came to be desired for its own sake” (book, pg 13, 261). Stuart brilliantly explains that “happiness is not an abstract idea, but a concrete whole” with a pothole of ingredients that make life more interesting; without the added ingredients life would dull (book, pg 13,
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