Life and happiness. What is this?

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Aristotle was stating that the subject of his ethics was happiness which he determines as the soul activity in the completeness of virtue. So, virtue becomes the means for reaching happiness. It is between two extremes (generosity is between the extremes of stinginess and wastefulness) and contained in moderation (the ability to find “the golden mean”).

Mill thought that real goal of all human’s actions is pleasure and objective content of drive is not a goal, it’s only means for getting pleasure. This means that in the basis of all human actions is egoism. The quality of pleasures from the point of view of their value and desirability is proportionally to rather their kinds than quantity. A big quantity of pleasures is better than small quantity if the kinds of pleasures are not different. In that case if the kinds of pleasures are not different, the less quantity of one kind can be preferred to the quantity of another kind of pleasure.

The lowest pleasures can be more intensive but the mental pleasures are more qualitative, more permanent, more pure and cheaper. The statement that they are more preferable doesn’t mean that they are more pleasant. It is possible to say that with the equal quantity the intellectual pleasures are more preferable than physical.

And according to the utilitarianism, the single standard of morality is the greatest happiness. That’s why it is necessary to define the definition of happiness. The small pleasure of the highest kind is more preferable than the big pleasure of the lowest kind. The quality is defined by that person who knows both pleasures. Mill tied the highest delights with the highest abilities but he didn’t think that the highest value of intellectual pleasures is logically resulting from the functional superiority of the intellectual abilities. Rather he appealed to the feelings and opinions of people who knew these pleasures.

So, Mill thought that the pleasure is the main stimulating beginning of any human behavior. In contract to Kant, he attached more importance to the human freedom and personality’s upbringing.

One scholars state that human wishes and actions are strictly conditioned. Others, on the contrary, are sure that the will is not defined like other phenomena by the previous circumstances, and so, will as itself is dictating some commands.

In whole, Mill holds the predefined will. According to his opinion, the theory of freedom of will appeared because the polar point of view (the acknowledgement of human action is necessary) seemed incompatible with instinctive consciousness of every person. And actually, if the motives are given which were summed up in the person’s soul, then we can predict his behavior with the same confidence like when we forestall any physical phenomenon.

However, Mill states that there is no any mystic compulsion for our wishes. The person’s character is formed under the influence of circumstances. We are able to create our own character if we want this.

Therefore, according to Mills point of view, that person is morally free who is aware of the fact that he is ruled not by the habits and lusts but he, himself, is directing these inclinations. The freedom of will is in forming of your character. And this excludes the arbitrariness of will, but anyway this is creating the huge space for personality’s self-expression.

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