Chapter

MILL AND EVALUATIVE HEDONISM

David O. Brink

in Perfectionism and the Common Good

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780199266401
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600906 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199266409.003.0013

Series: Lines of Thought

MILL AND EVALUATIVE HEDONISM

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This chapter examines Green's discussion of evaluative hedonism, which focuses on Mill's (alleged) defence of that doctrine. Green not only criticizes the evaluative hedonism he finds in Mill, but also rejects evaluative hedonism outright. He argues that evaluative hedonism is actually inconsistent with psychological hedonism. Evaluative hedonism says that our ultimate aim ought to be to maximize net pleasure or to seek the largest sum of pleasures, whereas psychological hedonism claims that pleasurable experience is the ultimate object of desire. But a sum of pleasures is not itself a pleasure, thus, according to psychological hedonism, we could not act on the requirements of evaluative hedonism.

Keywords: T. H. Green; psychological hedonism; Mill; pleasurable experience; desire

Chapter.  3436 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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