Review Questions On Utilitarianism Set 2

Chapter IV

1. Mill opens Chapter IV with an argument for the principle of utility. Summarize this argument as best you can.

2. Following the argument, Mill makes what appears to be a big step back from his position in Chapters I-III when he says that happiness is only one of the criteria of morality and that other criteria, such as virtue, exist as well. Summarize Mill’s attempt to make this remark consistent with his earlier description of happiness as the only intrinsic good.

3. Consider carefully Mill’s remarks on the distinction and relationship of will, desire, and habit with respect to virtue. Summarize these remarks as best you can. How do they fit into Mill’s larger case that only happiness is desired for its own sake?

Chapter V

4. In the second paragraph of Chapter V, Mill observes “that a feeling is bestowed on us by nature does not necessarily legitimate all its promptings”. Consider this observation and those like it that follow and compare them to Hume’s position on the nature of moral sentiments.

5. Mill proposes to discuss the nature of justice by considering common features that occur across a range of cases where justice is at issue. Summarize the five types of cases Mill uses for this purpose. What core value or values does he draw from them? In what two features does he ultimately find that justice consists? (Note: a clearer statement answering this last question may be found a little later in the chapter where Mill recapitulates his position on justice.)

6. Consider what Mill says about rights throughout this Chapter. Is it consistent with his remarks about justice in the last two paragraphs of the Chapter? If Mill is inconsistent about rights, how serious a matter is this for his theory?

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