John Stuart Mill's Philosophy Of Swine

975 Words4 Pages
John Stuart Mill called Jeremy Bentham’s idea of egoism the “philosophy of swine,” degrading it to something that only a lower species would ever consider partaking in. This original principle that Mill disagreed with was that of the pleasure principle, the evasion of pain and harm in favor of wanting pleasure. This coincides with the harm principle of the same regard; which advocates that anything that harms you or your personal goals is bad, whereas anything that does not harm you is good. Mill would subsequently alter this definition to be more concerned with the quality of said pleasure than just the pleasure itself, because so much of egoism is a situational affair that is difficult to rank on its own objective basis. The situational…show more content…
In my opinion, that strongly depends on how one defines selfishness. Is one selfish by following their desires, even if their own personal desire is to help others? If that were the case, an atheist could attempt to make a case for why Jesus could be an egoist, since he did so much to help others; but it was all meant to bring glory to God, which was His personal desire throughout his life on earth. I think such a definition of selfishness is heavily flawed, despite some philosophers, such as Thomas Hobbes, arguing that human beings always act in their own interests. He argues that humans may try to hide their selfishness behind a layer of altruism, but all are still selfish regardless. He would argue that despite you buying the boat for others, you still bought the boat, thus meaning that you wanted the boat for something personal. This psychological egoism is the form of this philosophy that I most disagree with, simply because I believe that the assumption of selfishness in any situation simply because it has to do with you is a bit contradictory to the S1 =/= S2 =/= S3 principle that we have studied. If these situations truly are different in every imaginable way, from a philosophical standpoint, then why should the definition of selfishness not shift in these circumstances as well? Egoism can still prove to be difficult, simply due to the amount of interpretation that is necessary to draw a substantial conclusion and attempt
Open Document