Mill proving that pleasure is desirable
SparkNotes: Utilitarianism: Chapter 2: What Utilitarianism Is (Part 1)
Mill's Moral and Political Philosophy
John Stuart Mill: Hedonism
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Mill argues that you can't strictly 'prove' that something is good or not. That is, it is is desirable. So what Mill wants to show, first, is that happiness is desirable.
Description:By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. We do not call anything wrong unless we mean to imply that a person ought to be punished in some way or other for doing it—if not by law, by the opinion of his fellow creatures; if not by opinion, by the reproaches of his own conscience. These distinctions allow Mill to defend a categorical approach to liberal rights. If utilitarianism is based on the psychological make-up of human beings, then to what degree is it merely descriptive? One might wonder how to interpret and whether to accept the psychological realist constraint. It is generally thought that by applying this categorical approach to liberty and its permissible restrictions Mill is led to offer a fairly extensive defense of individual liberties against interference by the state and society.