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Appears in Collections:Law and Philosophy Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: J. S. Mill’s Conception of Utility
Author(s): Saunders, Ben
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Keywords: J. S. Mill
Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873 Utilitarianism
Issue Date: Mar-2010
Date Deposited: 14-Jan-2011
Citation: Saunders B (2010) J. S. Mill’s Conception of Utility. Utilitas, 22 (1), pp. 52-69.;
Abstract: Mill’s most famous departure from Bentham is his distinction between higher and lower pleasures. This article argues that quality and quantity are independent and irreducible properties of pleasures that may be traded off against each other – as in the case of quality and quantity of wine. I argue that Mill is not committed to thinking that there are two distinct kinds of pleasure, or that ‘higher pleasures’ lexically dominate lower ones, and that the distinction is compatible with hedonism. I show how this interpretation not only makes sense of Mill but allows him to respond to famous problems, such as Crisp’s Haydn and the oyster and Nozick’s experience machine.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0953820809990380
Rights: Published in Utilitas. Copyright: Cambridge University Press. Permission granted by Cambridge University Press. Utilitas, Volume 22, Issue 1, March 2010, pp. 52 - 69, published by Cambridge University Press. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010. DOI: 10.1017/S0953820809990380

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