John Stuart Mill's A Crisis In My Mental History: One Stage Onward?

Topics: Ethics, Happiness, Morality, Human, Utilitarianism, Virtue / Pages: 3 (585 words) / Published: May 23rd, 2017
John Stuart Mill makes various claims in his autobiography, A Crisis in My Mental History: One Stage Onward.Mill explains that happiness is not an end goal, but rather something that is obtained along the way to an “external end”(Mill, Autobiography). To support his claims, he states, “Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.” The quote embodies the idea that people in this day and age are becoming too focused on material joy, presenting the idea that dwelling on the question of happiness will only make it harder to achieve. Consistently, Mill continues to debate that contentment is acquired through the emotions shared between one’s close friends and one’s self. In the end, Mill’s argument concerning the concept of not pursuing happiness, but rather being …show more content…
Mill mentions, “Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on an object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end”(Mill, Autobiography). This notion is further exemplified by the real life figure, Mr.Happy Man. Mr.Happy Man, or Johnny Barnes, spreads the delight of life by simply greeting people and spreading the love. Not only do people earnestly receive his love, but Johnny Barnes himself is also being filled with glee. Mill’s ideas are shown in this example as Johnny Barnes works to give joy to other people, yet he receives joy as well. The people simply love him to the extent that he has a statue in his honor, which fills Johnny with even more love. Similarly, a woman in Denmark that lives in a co-housing community also demonstrates Mill’s belief. A woman with several children would have suffered from depression if not for her co-tenants cheering her up in her co-housing community. This represents Mill’s

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