Utilitarianism I


  1. Utilitarianism and the division of ethics. 


And so if we add that happiness is the exercise of virtue, then we get the idea that the exercise of virtue is maximizing virtue.  But this is plainly circular and leaves completely unclear what the point of the maximization of virtue is.

2. Mill starts off by surveying the state of ethics in the first chapter.  There have been disagreements among philosophers about the foundations of ethics for more than two thousand years, and we are no closer to agreement.

3. Mill, Chapter 2.  “By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain;  by unhappiness, pain and the privation of pleasure.”  (p. 7)