Comparsion of John Stewary Mill and Emanuel Kants Philosophies on Morality

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Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are philosophers who addressed the issues of morality in terms of how moral traditions are formed. Immanuel Kant has presented one viewpoint in The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals that is founded on his belief that the worth of man is inherent in his ability to reason. John Stuart Mill holds another opinion as presented in the book, Utilitarianism that is seemingly contradictory with the thoughts of Kant. What is most distinctive about the ethics of morality is the idea of responsibilities to particular individuals. According to Kant and Mill, moral obligations are not fundamentally particularistic in this way because they are rooted in universal moral principles. Mill and Kant are both philosophers whom have made great impact on their particular fields of philosophy and a discussion of their theories pitted against each other may help develop a better understanding to them and their theories individually.

Mill holds an empiricist theory while Kant holds a rationalist theory. Kant grounds morality in forms that he believes, are necessary to free and rational practical judgment. Mill's utilitarian theory is a form of consequentialism because the rightness or wrongness of an act is determined by the consequences. Kant's ethics of pure duty is the basis for his categorical imperative, which provides the basis for his universal duty based theory. Mill's theory of utilitarianism is a primary form of consequentialism.

John Stuart Mill, who made utilitarianism the subject of one of his philosophical theory Utilitarianism is a most proficient defender of this doctrine. His contribution to the theory consists in his recognition of distinctions of quality, in addition to those of intensity, among pleasures. Mill contended that "it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied," that is, human discontent is better...