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What is the most telling objection to Mill's Greatest Happiness Principle?

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  • Essay length: 1605 words
  • Submitted: 22/12/2003
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AS and A Level Philosophy

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What is the most telling objection to Mill's Greatest Happiness Principle?

Jeremy Bentham founded utilitarianism in the nineteenth century as an ethical principle. In its original form utilitarianism had numerous deficiencies and was heavily criticised by philosophers and advocates alike. John Stuart Mill later refined and modified utilitarianism as to make it more accessible to society.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) a philosopher and Economist was one of the most influential liberal thinkers of the nineteenth century. The son of James Mill, John was given an intensive private education, in which he began Greek at the age of three, and Latin at the age of eight. John Stuart Mill was an advocate of utilitarianism, "The Greatest Happiness Principle". The doctrine was key in the naissance of many humanitarian landmarks in the nineteenth century. The reform acts of 1832 and 1867 were spearheaded by ideals of utility. Utilitarianism was the spine upon which democracy was built. This very simple doctrine has been at the centre of much criticism. This essay aims to explore whether such criticism is founded and if so why? The following essay will encompass the major objections leveled at utilitarianism.

Contemporary views on morality centre on

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