Mill: Utilitarianism, Chapters 1-3
In chapter number one titled “General Remarks” Mill starts off by talking about what is to be seen as morally right and morally wrong things, yet no one has a complete understanding for what is actually morally right and wrong. He then talks about “Moral Faculty” and two different views or opinions on the subject. Mill states in his text that “Our moral faculty, according to all those of its interpreters who are entitled to the name of thinkers, supplies us only with the general principles of moral judgments; it is a branch of our reason, not of our sensitive faculty; and must be looked to for the abstract doctrines of morality, not for perception of it in the concrete. The intuitive, no less than what may be termed the inductive, school of ethics, insists on the necessity of general laws.” The quote that Mill states is very outstanding for the reason of “applying the concept of law to ones certain case,” this is what Mill is trying to relate between the two different views. Mill also states that the differences between the two is where the “source from which they derive their authority” but yet they both agree on the concept of “moral law.” So as the chapter is coming to an end Mill comments on how “Utilitarianism has had a tremendous influence in shaping moral doctrines, even among the people who reject the principle.” Since our class had just been reading text from Kant his “idea of law” or “will” is still fresh in my mind and can easily be seen as a difference to what Mill is stating in the “Utilitarianism.” I can directly relate the two ideas because Kant’s “will” for a rational being may be thought of “the objective laws of reason and morality” or “subjective needs and interests,” which is what Mill is talking about in his two different views of “Moral Faculty.” Kant also states that “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” but Mill argues the...
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