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Utilitarismus

Utilitarismus

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Utilitarismus

Bewertungen:
4/5 (6 Bewertungen)
Länge:
141 Seiten
2 Stunden
Freigegeben:
19. Jan. 2009
ISBN:
9783787320875
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

In seiner 1861 zunächst in Frazer's Magazine publizierten und zu seinen Lebzeiten in weiteren vier Auflagen vorgelegten Schrift »Utilitarianism« verteidigt John Stuart Mill das Nützlichkeitsprinzip als das grundlegende Kriterium für die Beurteilung der Moralität aller Handlungen, sei es der freien Handlungen der Individuen, sei es der Einschränkungen dieser Freiheit durch von Gesellschaft und Staat vorgegebene Regeln.

Dabei geht es ihm vor allem darum, den Utilitarismus vor dem Einwand zu retten, er gebe dem hedonistischen Eigennutz Vorrang vor der ethischen Maxime einer gerechten Verteilung der Güter. So glaubt er, aus dem Prinzip des »größten Glücks der größten Zahl« ein Modell der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit ableiten zu können, das das Nützlichkeitsprinzip als das erste Prinzip der Moral erweist.

Die hier in neuer deutscher Übersetzung vorgelegte Schrift gilt als das Hauptwerk der klassischen utilitaristischen Ethik.
Freigegeben:
19. Jan. 2009
ISBN:
9783787320875
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

John Stuart Mill was an English philosopher, politician and economist most famous for his contributions to the theory of utilitarianism. The author of numerous influential political treatises, Mill’s writings on liberty, freedom of speech, democracy and economics have helped to form the foundation of modern liberal thought. His 1859 work, On Liberty, is particularly noteworthy for helping to address the nature and limits of the power of the state over the individual. Mills has become one of the most influential figures in nineteenth-century philosophy, and his writings are still widely studied and analyzed by scholars. Mills died in 1873 at the age of 66.


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Utilitarismus - John Stuart Mill

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  • (5/5)
    The trouble with Mill is that you if read a few of his then-contemporary critics, and then you think you have his measure with all your modern day access to knowledge, but all along he was throwing "mind grenades" set on "delay" and they sit in your head while you go on thinking you are rather smart. So Mill mentions the Stoics and how virtue is only a means to happiness and that there are other things, too. He mentions the Sophists and how Socrates (allegedly) challenged their ancient equivalent of what is happening in higher education today. But in mentioning the development of utilitarianism from Epicurus to Bentham (and unfortunately I have not read Bentham cover-to-cover as I will do in the future), so just when I think to myself: "Mill, you really are 'drawing a long bow here' [a favourite saying of one of my favourite professors]", the mind grenade goes off and my hubris is dashed and I am glad I didn't say it out loud but there you have it - it was certainly there. There is no mention of Aristotle and the "golden mean" and how achieving a mean across the spectrum of virtues achieves happiness, but, as Mill says, there are many things that amount to happiness in addition to leading a virtuous life, so bringing up Aristotle doesn't make a good deal of sense. One interesting aspect of the essay is the long note in the last few pages where Mill extends a good deal of courtesy to Herbert Spencer, someone I have read more about in Jack London's Martin Eden than I ever did in all the other secondary sources I have read put together. While Mill does not quite agree with Spencer, Spencer claims (according to Mill) that he was never against the doctrine of utilitarianism. So the Greatest Happiness Principle it is but if we do not also take into account Mill's ideas of liberty (in On Liberty), then the present-day situation where we are told what to like and what will make us happy and many of us go along with that and eat our smashed avocado, living in our high density housing, and paying for cups of coffee that we could make at home for a fraction of the price, which are not only much better, but we could also be happier because we were actually doing something for ourselves, while, as Tolstoy or even my mother would say, "in reality", we are succumbing to the biggest scam ever and then wondering why we are not happy at all. And J.S. Mill says all this in just under 122 pages of thick paper dating from 1895, which is nice, but with each cover-to-cover completion of classic works I edge ever-closer to the abyss of what I don't know and it scares me.
  • (4/5)
    Mill's inspired attempt to rescue, revive, & update Bentham's raw Enlightenment utilitarianism. As fundamental to modern ethics as On Liberty is to modern political thought, Utilitarianism surely is a more controversial & flawed text. Notably, Mill's attempt to found "higher" vs "lower" forms of pleasure philosophically, essential to his entire project, is not just unconvincing; its thinness is conspicuously at odds with the robustness built into so much of his other work.
  • (4/5)
    Not my favorite of Mill's writings, but this one is definitely a bit more complex than the excerpts in textbooks would suggest. It is not a long read, and if not entertaining, it is at least well enough written to be readable without too much tedium. Mill does tend to repeat himself a lot, as do a lot of authors from his time, but it is interesting to see what ideas he promotes besides the notion of utilitarianism in this document.
  • (2/5)
    Okay, I'm not sure what to say about this. It's like milk; it's good for you, but can leave you bloated and gassy and the cover is totally uninspiring. Most of the writing is equally uninspiring. I recommend 2 minutes of Utilitarianism followed by 20 minutes of Googling gossipy facts about Mill.
  • (4/5)
    Okay, so in one way Utilitarianism is the manifesto, the ludicrous 19th-century positivist lego castle where Mill tries - as-fucking-if - to construct his expediency argument from first principles, and On Liberty is where he gets real with you, like "but of course in the actual non-theoretical world it's more like-a this. Minority rights." But on the other hand, there's this: "The truths which are ultimately accepted as the first principles of a science, are really the last results of metaphysical analysis, practised on the elementary notions with which the science is conversant; and their relation to the science is not that of foundations to an edifice, but of roots to a tree, which may perform their office equally well though they be never dug down to and exposed to light."Oooooooooh. What an amazingly utilitarian approach to theory and the foundations of knowledge in your utilitarianism book, John. This essay puts its own discomfort with isms aside in the name of a systematic sanity that's probably the only kind that had a chance of going over with Mill's Victorian peers. It sure as shit isn't the last word in morals that it postures at being, but hey, man: Do something that leads to an increase of pleasure and a decrease of pain in your world today. You won't be sorry. Hug a seal.
  • (5/5)
    Dense at some points, but an interesting read that's a perfect primer on the foundations of utilitarianism. If you're at all interested in the topics considered, particularly intersections of ideas of justice with utilitarian principles, I recommend this. Mill also gives an interesting look at perceptions and basis of the idea of "justice" that might be of interest to readers who aren't directly interested the utilitarian philosophy.