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Kant, Mill and Protagoras

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  1. Introduction
  2. Kant's method for distinguishing what is moral
  3. Mill's belief that morality is derived from intensions
  4. The contrasting views of Kant and Mill
  5. The allusion to the divine figures
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

When following the determining factors of morality for either Kant or Mill one would generally arrive to the same conclusion on whether an action is moral or not. Although Kant believes that his method of deriving morality is best, Mill believes that Kant's process is lacking. ?But when he (Kant) begins to deduce from this precept any of the actual duties of morality, he fails, almost grotesquely, to show that there would be any contradiction?. Although the end result is generally the same, there is a large difference between Kant's and Mill's views on the determining factors of human morality.

[...] According to Mill's definition, happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure?. When considering pleasure as happiness, one must also consider the qualities of pleasures in order to know which pleasure to chose. Mill distinguishes quantitative pleasures (where utility goes up as a larger quantity is consumed; example: beer) as related to the physical and thus the short term. On the other side of the spectrum are the qualitative pleasures (pleasures of higher quality; example: reading a book). [...]


[...] Kant and Mill have very contrasting views as to what actions one should take to act morally. Kant believes that it is solely based on motivation/duty and that the end result does not matter. Mill, on the other hand, believes that the intension is all that is necessary for morality. As long as the end result leads to the increase in the common good (happiness), the reason for the action is not important. Although they both provide in depth explanations about their ideas, no one philosopher is correct in the matter. [...]

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