• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain the difference between Bentham and Mills forms of utilitarianism

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked Explain the difference between Bentham and Mill?s forms of utilitarianism Bentham started the theory of utilitarianism. He based his theory on pain and pleasure. He used hedonism- the maximising of pleasure and the minimising of pain, and the principle of utility- the greatest pleasure for the greatest number. In order to judge actions he came up with the hedonic calculus. Mill developed his theory but instead, he focused on happiness for everyone, each individual. Mill also believed in higher and lower pleasures. Bentham is usually associated with Act utilitarianism, Mill is associated with Rule utilitarianism. Bentham?s belief that an action is right if the number of people who benefited was higher than those who didn?t was what Mill criticised. ...read more.

Middle

Bentham is usually associated with Act utilitarianism, whilst Mill is associated with Rule utilitarianism. Act and Rule utilitarianism are both relative and consequential- the judgement is based upon the outcome. Strong Act utilitarianism (Bentham) is teleological, so it is based on the outcome of the action. However Rule utilitarianism is deontological which means that rules/laws have to be prioritised to benefit society as a whole. Mill was a weak rule utilitarianism so he would say that rules can be broken in some circumstances where it would bring higher happiness to more people. Bentham used his hedonic calculus to measure pleasure. The hedonic calculus asks seven questions about the pleasure to see whether it is maximised. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, if there was more than one murderer and only one victim, Bentham and Mill would disagree with each other. Bentham would say that the greatest number, in this case the murderers should get their pleasure. There is only one victim so Bentham would say the pleasure that the murderers get from killing the victim outweighs the pain of the victim. Whilst Mill would argue that the pleasure of the murderers is low and so cannot outweigh the real pain of the victim. For Mill the two murderers should be killed in order to make a healthier society. To conclude, Bentham focused on the quantity of pleasure, whilst Mill focused on the quality. Bentham is associated with Act utilitarianism whilst Mill is associated with Rule utilitarianism. However they both focused on the principle of utility and maximisation of happiness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Compare, contrast and evaluate Plato and Mill on the relationship between individual and society

    The fundamental difference between Mill and Plato is that while Plato wished to radically change the structure of society in order to condition and force the people to behave and think in a certain way, Mill would leave the people to develop naturally, yet offer them all the education and

  2. Explain the difference between Act and rule utilitarianism

    of the hedonic calculus which has 7 criteria's which are used as a guide to weigh up the pleasure of pains in a situation, this is so that they know how to act regarding a situation and know how much pleasure would be produced, therefore they would hope the consequence

  1. Compare and Contrast the Philisophical Contributions of Nietzsche and Mill to our understanding of ...

    The herd are not in control of their lives, for they live by a set of principles that are not their own. Christianity as a form of tyranny takes over the individual. We self mutilate when we feel guilty. Nietzsche says we shouldn't feel guilty, as its better to do

  2. Nietzsche and Mill on Conventional Morality

    action, even though the result of these judgements would come out almost exactly the same as Conventional Morality for any given individual action. In order to understand Nietzsche's view on morality, it is perhaps helpful to look at what he says in the first chapter of Beyond Good and Evil - On the Prejudices of Past Philosophers.

  1. Plato's Theory of Forms

    we know that we have never seen with our senses any examples of perfect goodness, but we have plenty of particular examples which approximate goodness and we know that they are 'good' when we see them because of the way in which they correspond to our innate notion of the Form of the Good.

  2. Plato Essay on his theory of 'Forms'

    One day one of the prisoners is permitted to leave the cave; he turns to face the fire and is momentarily blinded. Once his eyes become accustomed he exits the cave (the ascent to the outside world is a painful procedure)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work