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The Philosophy of Happiness in Life

I will briefly provide background on the philosophers we have studied; Listing and explained their philosophic theories and contrast differences relating to the role of happiness.

John Stuart Mill was born in London in 1806, son of James Mill, philosopher, economist, and senior official in the East India Company. Mill was educated by his father. At the age of 20, he suffered a nervous breakdown. As a result, he decided that more was needed in life than devotion to the public good. He grew up as a utilitarian.

Later studying Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Goethe to cultivate his artistic awareness. From 1830 to his death, he tried to persuade the British public of the necessity of a scientific approach to understanding social, political, and economic change. He is best known for his related defenses of utilitarianism and liberalism.

Mill thought that there was a logic of proof, that would show how evidence proved the conclusions we draw from the evidence.

He completed Principles of Political Economy in 1848.

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This work explained reflections on the difference between what economics measured and what human beings really valued. His work on Utilitarianism, 1861 aimed to defend his view that, happiness was to be assessed not merely by quantity but by quality. Which explains morality.

Mill’s Utilitarianism Theory focuses on the premise that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. Happiness is pleasure and unhappiness is a pain.

Mill contributed to the development of philosophical views that influence different aspects of sociology, politics, and economy.

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Mill argues that the usefulness or moral worth of an action is determined by pleasure or satisfaction derived from the consequences of the action. Mill suggests that our emotions and desires form a basis on which we judge our morals. He links happiness with morality.

According to Utilitarianism, you’re morally responsible for the things you didn’t do but could have done to maximize happiness; the things that you could have prevented others from doing that decrease overall happiness; what you do to maximize/increase happiness.
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is one of the most influential philosophers in the history of Western philosophy.

Immanuel Kant’s views have had a negative influence on society, secular and Christian. He believed that he brought to philosophy a new method, which he called criticism. Ethics treats the practical use of reason as if it were concerned only with a sensible object; with their relation to pleasure and pain, according to Kant.

Kant argues, that the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience; limiting the mind’s access only to the empirical realm of space and time. He is an important proponent in the philosophical history of deontological, or duty-based, ethics. According to Kant, the solitary trait that gives an action moral worth is the motive that is behind the action.

In Kant’s ‘Metaphysics of Morals’, his view of morals is that our desires and emotions are categorically imperative; they are conscience-driven. Kant’s ethical view regarding happiness is, “You have a duty to pursue your happiness through the use of reason, as long as you’re not lying, breaking your promises, or committing suicide.” He pities happiness against morality. In Kant’s view, happiness is something that belongs to the world of experience. It is based on perceptual experience and obeys the rule of the kingdom of nature. Although happiness is what everyone wants to have, if only happiness without corresponding morality, it’s not real happiness.

Kant and Aristotle hold practically equal definitions of happiness; both require fortune, reason and neither is universal. Kant offers a more universally accessible route to morality; whose end is the happiness of others. He makes it very clear that “making a human happy is something entirely different from making a person “good”. From Kant’s point of view, some conditions and qualities of a “happy person” are not combined with any moral bases. A person must be worthy to be happy.

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The Philosophy of Happiness in Life. (2020, Sep 02). Retrieved from

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