The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Recent critics of Mill’s qualitative hedonism

Recent critics of Mill’s qualitative hedonism
Recent critics of Mill’s qualitative hedonism
Two recent critics of Mill’s qualitative hedonism, Michael Hauskeller and Kristin Schaupp, argue that Mill’s distinction between higher and lower pleasures was largely unsuccessful. They allege that Mill failed to demonstrate that some pleasures are lexically preferred to others, and indeed that this can be shown false by the fact that most people would not renounce supposedly lower pleasures, such as chocolate or sex, even for greater amounts of higher pleasures, such as reading or opera. I respond that many of these criticisms rest on uncharitable assumptions or interpretations of Mill’s position. We need not suppose that Mill was even trying to do the things he supposedly failed to do. However, considering these objections may lead us to a more plausible interpretation of Mill’s views, according to which the quality of pleasures, along with their quantity, contributes towards happiness. There is no need to suppose that ‘higher pleasures’ must be lexically preferred to lower ones, or even to be dogmatic about which pleasures are higher.
0031-8191
503-521
Saunders, Ben
aed7ba9f-f519-4bbf-a554-db25b684037d
Saunders, Ben
aed7ba9f-f519-4bbf-a554-db25b684037d

Saunders, Ben (2016) Recent critics of Mill’s qualitative hedonism. Philosophy, 91 (4), 503-521. (doi:10.1017/S0031819116000437).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Two recent critics of Mill’s qualitative hedonism, Michael Hauskeller and Kristin Schaupp, argue that Mill’s distinction between higher and lower pleasures was largely unsuccessful. They allege that Mill failed to demonstrate that some pleasures are lexically preferred to others, and indeed that this can be shown false by the fact that most people would not renounce supposedly lower pleasures, such as chocolate or sex, even for greater amounts of higher pleasures, such as reading or opera. I respond that many of these criticisms rest on uncharitable assumptions or interpretations of Mill’s position. We need not suppose that Mill was even trying to do the things he supposedly failed to do. However, considering these objections may lead us to a more plausible interpretation of Mill’s views, according to which the quality of pleasures, along with their quantity, contributes towards happiness. There is no need to suppose that ‘higher pleasures’ must be lexically preferred to lower ones, or even to be dogmatic about which pleasures are higher.

Text
PHILOSOPHY style - recent critics of Mill.docx - Accepted Manuscript
Download (51kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 August 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 September 2016
Published date: October 2016
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399417
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399417
ISSN: 0031-8191
PURE UUID: 13bc6941-8c49-475b-94a4-d3d434bd948e
ORCID for Ben Saunders: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5147-6397

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Aug 2016 13:01
Last modified: 10 Jan 2022 03:03

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×