Florida International University Utilitarianism Exegesis Paper


Exegesis Paper

Imagine you have already written an introduction to a paper. Your imagined thesis statement in this paper is: “I will argue that Mill’s account is superior to Kant’s.” For this assignment you will be writing your exegesis (or background) section on MILL. You will need to write a multi-paragraph paper (double spaced 2-2.5 pages, 12 pt font, minimum 800 words) laying out the important features of Mill’s utilitarian account.


-You must use citations for quotes and paraphrasings! You can cite like this (Mill, 96). Use the page numbers assigned in our book.

-The point of this assignment is to prove to me you understand the assigned reading, not that you understand Crash Course or other YouTube videos on Mill! Make sure you stay close to this text!

More help for this assignment can be found here: http://myweb.fiu.edu/escarbro/wp-content/uploads/sites/427/2016/10/paper_exegesis_pwc.pdf (Links to an external site.)

The following are quotations of important part of the chapater

Qutation 1

  • According to Mil, after deciding your preference, it is your moral obligation to choose between either the higher or the lower pleasure. Mil is therefore stating that pleasure is going to be associated with choosing the better choice of the highest pleasure.

Quotation 2

  • Few humans would consent to be an animal.
  • We would prefer to be a dissatisfied human rather than a satisfied pig.
  • Intellectual pleasures are better than lower pleasures
  • Higher pleasure committed under temptation is a just postponing lower pleasure
  • Being someone with higher faculties force you to need more in order to be happy.

Quotation 3

  • People require more stimulating experiences, like higher pleasures, but sometimes they will opt for a lower pleasure.
  • You are aware that your choice is not necessarily the best one, but you make a lower pleasure choice because it is a temptation.

Quotation 4

  • For those who can make a decision on this topic, there should be no objection to their decision.
  • Apart from morality and consequences, which of the two pleasures (higher and lower) would be worth having (best for your feelings).
  • To know which is worth more, you must have knowledge of both pleasures and that they differ.
  • People have to be less scared to accept the fact that some pleasures are better than others

Quotation 5

  • Happiness for everyone.
  • People must not only think of their own happiness but the happiness of “all concerned”.
  • People must focus on universal happiness.

Quotation 6

  • Emphasizes the significance of the correct way for the utilitarian standards to be increased.
  • One’s own happiness is not the most important however is just as equally important.
  • Utilitarianism requires the person to be strictly impartial as a spectator and happiness should be in harmony with interest to the whole of society
  • Promotes happiness within society in addition to individual happiness.

Quotation 7

  • In other words, utilitarianism isn’t always a bad thing although it can be shown in a bad light at times.

Quotation 8

“He who saves a fellow creature from drowning does what is morally right…”

In other words, this means that, to do good or act in a good way to help others is the most important thing. Knowing the motifs of why doing such an action, is not as important as the morality of the act itself.

-That statement is directly related to what would be considered Altruism (Doing good at all times, no matter the circumstances).

-The “Whys” behind the actions do not have the same weight as of the action itself.


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