Study Guide:
John Stuart Mill - Utilitarianism

1. What is the Greatest Happiness Principle?
2. According to Mill, what are the only things desirable as ends?
3. What objection to Utilitarianism is made by those that claim it is a view fit only for swine?  How does Mill answer this objection?
4. Does Mill consider only the quantity of happiness produced by an action or is anything else relevant? Explain.
5. If Mill were offered a choice between being a blissfully happy pig, or a relatively unhappy man, which would he choose? Why?
6. How does Mill respond to the objection that many people prefer bodily pleasures over mental ones?
7. How does Mill respond to the objection that it is asking too much to require people to always act so as to promote the general interests of society?
8. What sort of proof does Mill believe is possible in order to illustrate that people desire to be happy?
9. Think of some moral decisions in which the Greatest Happiness Principle seems to provide good guidance on what you should do, and some moral decisions in which it seems to provide questionable guidance.