PHL 204-07

Response to “Swine Objection,” previous class session

Deny premise 1:
Using our distinctive human mental capacities gives pleasure; these pleasures are better than the pleasures we have in common with pigs

Why are distinctively human pleasures better than the pleasures we have in common with pigs?

Bentham’s answer: circumstantial advantages — they just happen to lead to more and longer-lasting pleasures later on

Bentham’s account of pleasure:
quantitative hedonism: the view that pleasure is simply one distinctive mental state that varies only according to strength and duration (total pleasure = strength X duration)

Mill’s answer:
Certain pleasures are intrinsically better; their very natures are better. If you were to compare two pleasures of equal strength which lasted an equal length of time, (1 mental/higher pl. 1 physical/lower pl.)

Why does Mill say this?
Thought experiment — “The Remarkable Pig”

  • Einstein — live into 80’s, exp pleasure, love life
  • Pig — happy through entire life, no matter how long life is (million years), will experience minimal pain

Mill’s account of pleasure
qualitative hedonism: pleasures are not just one distinctive mental state. instead some pleasures are, by their very nature, higher than others.

    Pleasure vary according to:

  • whether high or low
  • strength
  • duration
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