The concept of Happiness according to Kant ( with the categorical imperative) and Mill (with the utilitarianism).

Essay by zaffiro29University, Bachelor's August 2003

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Kant vs. MIll


In two words the concept of happiness exemplifies the "American dream". People go to any means by which to obtain the many varied materials and issues that induce pleasures in each individual, and ultimately in the end, the emotion remains the ultimate goal. John Stewart Mills, a nineteenth century philosopher, correctly supported the pursuit of happiness, and maintained the concept that above all other values, pleasure existed as the utmost objective. Mills promoted his views of natural human tendency and his arguments supporting his theory that above all else, happiness was the most important dream to be fulfilled. Although Mills believed so strongly in his idea of happiness, another philosopher, by the name of Immanuel Kant, proposes a counter argument based on the principles of metaphysics. Immanuel Kant, in " Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals," defends his strong beliefs in the issue of a good will.

In my paper I will discuss the different claims made by each Mills and Kant on happiness's role in moral life, and present the issue that diminishes to a clash between emotions and pleasures verses rationality and logic.

Kant's moral theory and Utilitarianism are similar in the respect that they both attempt to explain how one can go about acting ethically, however they differ in areas of measuring morality and their usage of rules. Both Kant and Mills measure morality in different ways. Kant says that an act is deemed moral for two reasons: if it's done for the sake of duty and if its maxim can be willed as a universal law. If one completes an action based on their duty to perform, they do the right thing because it is what they feel they ought to do as their duty. Therefore, this act would...