Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Mills on Happiness and utility

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    Need Assistance to complete the following journal assignment:

    Write your journal entry for this unit's assignment. Your journal entry for this unit's assignment should

    - discuss Mill's concepts (such as happiness and utility)
    - their relevance to the modern world
    - what you think Mill is saying about the forces that drive ethical

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 9, 2019, 10:39 pm ad1c9bdddf

    Solution Preview

    John Stuart Mill was the son of James Mill, and one of Britain's major philosophers of the 19th century. The empiricist and liberal traditions for which his country was noted found in him formulations as admirable as those of John Locke.

    Knowledge and causality:
    For Mill all knowledge is based on experience, and this includes the knowledge of logic and mathematics. Mill thought that although the principles of logic and mathematics are taken to be apriori, one is justified on basing their claims on facts and the justification of those facts is aposteriori. In his book, the Logic, Mill discusses inferential knowledge and the rules of inference. He states that non inferential knowledge, i.e. immediate or intuitive knowledge belongs to metaphysics. In book 1 of the Logic, he states that although deductive reasoning or inference is not entirely useless, it nevertheless cannot tell us anything new because from a general principle one cannot infer any particulars except those which the principle in question assumes as known. Mill puts logic and mathematics in the same category.

    In the Logic he defends what is known as the regularity view of causality, defending the view that induction is the only source of general propositions. Through induction one derives the proposition that what has happened once will happen again if the conditions are sufficiently similar. When we note a few regularities, we can predict that they will hold in the future and if our predictions come true, we generalize. In all science, he says, there are two types of laws: empirical laws and laws of nature. Science tries to discover those laws and to connect them. In some sciences natural laws are discovered first while in others empirical laws are discovered first.

    It is through enumerative induction that one can establish regularities, Mill thought. It is this enumerative induction that gives rise to other methods used to detect regularities where enumerative induction is incapable of doing so. In this sense, we can only have knowledge of supposed objects external to consciousness based on ...