John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) Utilitarianism (1863)


Intellectual Pleasures (pleasures which involve rational thought) are of a higher quality then bodily pleasures



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Intellectual Pleasures (pleasures which involve rational thought) are of a higher quality then bodily pleasures

  • ‘Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference […] that is the more desirable pleasure.’

  • HLPP: Pleasure 1 is better than Pleasure 2 if and only if competent judges prefer P1 to P2.

    Higher and Lower Pleasures (cont.)

    • Epistemic reading. E.g., the wine experts.

    • Constitutive reading

    • ‘From the verdict of the only competent judges there can be no appeal.’

    • There is nothing more to a pleasure’s being better than another than being preferred by competent judges.

    Higher and Lower Pleasures: Criticism

    • What makes a judge competent?

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