John Stuart Mill was a hedonist and accepted that happiness was of great importance and stressed that happiness is more important than pleasure. Mill believed that the quality of pleasure decides on whether an act is good; for example, human pleasures such as reading are what is good however animal pleasures such as eating is not as good. This meant that he felt that the quantity of pleasure did not matter, it was only the quality. Mill continues to develop his argument by saying that everyone deserves happiness so therefore, everyone aims towards their own happiness so everyone should aim for the happiness of everyone. He believed in universalizability which means what is right or wrong for one person in a situation is right or wrong for everyone.
"It's the decision to consciously choose attitudes and behaviours that lead to happiness over unhappiness." Dr Tom G Stevens gave his book the assertive title, You Can Choose to Be Happy. "Choose to make happiness a top goal", says Stevens. "Choose to take
He is not saying to live an isolated life but to be self-sufficient within a community. Aristotle links happiness and virtue. Aristotle says, “Since happiness is a certain sort of activity of the soul in accord with complete virtue.” (Hackett 16). Aristotle claims that in order for us to achieve happiness is through a good moral character. One virtue of character Aristotle speaks about is
An example of this could be avoiding to do work because free time brings pleasure but doing work causes boredom which then causes pain. Bentham states how we make our own decisions using the outcome of pleasure as something to strive for and by doing so we should also be striving for the greatest good for the greatest number which can increase pleasure in the world. Secondly, the principle of utility is the part which follows the motivation of human beings. Bentham developed the principle of utility to state how the right or wrong actions can be determined by its usefulness. The usefulness relates to the extent of the greatest amount of happiness which someone can bring to themselves.
Mill explains that utility can be understood in terms of pleasure and the absence of pain and not just by the usefulness of something (Module 7.1). Utilitarianism at its root is maximizing happiness for as many people as possible. “The Greatest Happiness Principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness (Mill 14). Meaning Mill’s ethical theory of utility evaluates the moral worth of an action on whether it increases or decreases happiness (Module 7.1). Mill roots the Greatest Happiness Principle in his theory of life.
He defines happiness in terms of this theory as an actuality; the virtues which allow happiness are dynamic-but-stable dispositions which are developed through habituation; and this pleasure in turn is another actuality that compliments the actuality of happy living. Augustine’s primary moral
Bad experiences and feelings make the good feelings worth living for. If I were in a constant state of happiness I don’t believe it would be as great as it sounds because I would not be able to experience other emotions. Eudaimonic happiness means that we are happiest when we follow and achieve our goals and develop our unique potentials. Hedonic happiness means that we define the good life in terms of our own personal
Epicurus fails to define the boundaries of moral virtue, merely stating there could be harmful consequences without specific definition, Epicurus ultimately fails to develop a strong moral program. Aristotle questions the morality of pleasure and peoples’ intentions. He insists that there are other pleasures besides those of the senses, and that the best pleasures are the ones experienced by virtuous people who have sufficient resources for excellent activity such as the “man who has been educated in a subject and there for her is a good judge of that subject” (25). The philosopher states that pleasure is not to be desired for its own sake but rather that it stimulate the action of a healthy nature. He specifically argues that, “happiness must be explained in terms of reason…happiness depends on the actualization—the full realization—of one’s rationality” (22).
In this sense, the virtue of the ancients was amoral. Consequently, their conception of happiness was functional as well: But presumably to say that happiness is the supreme good seems a platitude, and some more distinctive account of it is still required. This might perhaps be achieved by grasping what is the function of man. If we take a flautist or a sculptor or any artist his goodness and proficiency is considered to lie in the performance of that function; and the same will be true of man, assuming that man has a function. (Nicomachean Ethics, 1097b) Aristotle inherited this functional sense of happiness, or eudaimonia.
Virtue ethics is agent-centred ethics rather than act-centred. Aristotle was an Ancient Greek philosopher and believed that everyone wants to live a full and happy life, this is known as eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is the idea of ideal happiness and it is the highest good, because we desire it for its own sake and not as a means to an end. In his book, Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle stated that we want to be good, and there is a difference to things that are good as means, and things that are good as ends. A good life is something inherently worth having, unlike justice which is worth having because it leads to a good life.