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Aristotle & Mill

Similarity: Feelings of morality bring about happiness at its highest station.

(Aristotle) Therefore, the human good turns out to be the souls activity that
expresses virtue.
(Mill) The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the
Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they
tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of
Difference: Aristotles philosophy, unlike Mills, is that it does not distinguish between
different types of happiness, but rather it views happiness as one broad good that is above
all else.
(Aristotle) Happiness, then, is apparently something complete and self-sufficient,
since it is the end of things pursued in action.
(Mill) Now it is an unquestionable fact that those who are equally acquainted
with, and equally capable of appreciating and enjoying, both, do give a most
marked preference to the manner of existence which employs their higher
Augustine & Epictetus
Similarity: Augustine & Epictetus believe we must detach ourselves from material goods
and from anything that is out of our control.
Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and
in one word, whatever are not our own actions.
Those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to
others...If you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and
what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel or
restrain you.
(Augustine) It will, then, be happy only when without other distractions it comes
to rejoice in that single Truth through which all things else are true.
Difference: Epictetus believes that everything that happens in the world is governed by
divine reason (logos) and is therefore good. However, Augustine believes in dualistic
cosmology, which is: life is a struggle between good & light/evil & darkness. This means
Epictetus believes everything that happens is good, while Augustine believes life is a
struggle between good and bad.
(Epictetus) Dont demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they
happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.
(Augustine) Is it then, certain that all men wish to be happy, since those who do
not wish to find their joy in thee--which is alone the happy life--do not actually
desire the happy life? Or, is it rather that all desire this, but because the flesh
lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, so that they prevent you

from doing what you would, you fall to doing what you are able to do and are
content with that. (Can/would be shortened)
Buddha & Schopenhauer
Similarity: Buddha and Schopenhauer both believe that happiness/tranquility can be
obtained by forgetting the self.
(Buddha) The attainment of truth is possible only when self is recognized as an
illusion. Righteousness can be practised only when we have freed our mind from
passions of egotism. Perfect peace can dwell only where all vanity has
All willing arises from want, therefore from deficiency, and therefore
from suffering.
For the moment at which, freed from the will, we give ourselves up to
pure will-less knowing, we pass into a world from which everything is
absent that influenced our will and moved us so violently through it.
Difference: Buddha believes that complete cessation of the Dukkha (suffering and
anxiety) is possible by following the 8 fold path that leads to enlightenment. However,
Schopenhauer believes that it is possible to fall from freedom of will back to willing and
suffering at any time if one allows themselves to.
Blessed is he who has understood the Dharma. Blessed is he who does no
harm to his fellow-beings. Blessed is he who overcomes wrong and is free
from passion. To the highest bliss has he attained who has conquered all
selfishness and vanity. He has become the Buddha, the Perfect One, the
Blessed One, the Holy One.
The Enlightened One saw the four noble truths which point out the path
that leads to Nirvna or the extinction of self: The first noble truth is the
existence of sorrow. The second noble truth is the cause of suffering. The
third noble truth is the cessation of sorrow. The fourth noble truth is the
eightfold path that leads to the cessation of sorrow.
(Schopenhauer) As soon as any single relation to our will, to our person, even of
these objects of our pure contemplation, comes again into consciousness, the
magic is at an end; we fall back into the knowledge which is governed by the
principle of sufficient reason; we know no longer the Idea, but the particular
thing, the link of a chain to which we also belong, and we are again abandoned to
all our woe.
His philosophy is not justified, because what if causing someone harm brings happiness
to others? His philosophy could lead to plenteous violations of human rights.
An action then may be said to be conformable to the principle of utility, or, for

shortness sake, to utility, (meaning with respect to the community at large) when
the tendency it has to augment the happiness of the community is greater than any
it has to diminish it.
By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves
of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency it appears to have to
augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question.
His philosophy is justified, because there is more to life than feeling pleasure. We want to
be someone, and do certain things that are limited to human created reality.
We are not empty containers or buckets to be stuffed with good things, with
pleasures or possessions or positive emotions or even with a rich and varied
internal life. Such a bucket has no appropriate structure within; how the
experiences fit together or are contoured over time is of no importance except
insofar as some particular arrangements make further happy moments more
The view that only happiness matters ignores the questions of what we--the very
ones to be happy--are like.
Their philosophy is that capitalism in its current state is flawed, and changes must be
made. Philosophers and economists must work together to create a new system of
The coexistence of great wealth and great poverty, especially in societies in
which there is enough for everyone, offends our sense of justice.
We need to bring together insights from both disciplines--economists for the
sake of its practical influence, philosophy for the sake of its ethical imagination.
Its time to revive the old idea of economics as a moral science, a science of
human beings in communities, not of interacting robots.
My own philosophy
I believe that being around loved ones and engaging in enjoyable activities brings
happiness. We should strive to rid our hearts from detest towards others, for this will
make it easier to appreciate and accept them. (Basing off of Russell)
The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let
your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible
friendly rather than hostile.
Any pleasure that does no harm to other people is to be valued.
To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of
all sources of personal happiness.
I also believe that going with the flow and letting things be brings a sense of tranquility

which leads into happiness, for we are usually happy when we are at peace. If something
is out of our control, we shouldnt stress over it since it is not our faults. We must do
what we can with what we have. (Based off Lao Tzu)
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, it is trying to
be like a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master
carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.
I also believe there is a distinction between higher and lower pleasures. While I believe
that lower pleasures do bring about momentary happiness, higher pleasures will make us
happier in the long run. (Based off of Mill)
Now it is an unquestionable fact that those who are equally acquainted with, and
equally capable of appreciating and enjoying, both, do give a most marked
preference to the manner of existence which employs their higher faculties.
It would be absurd that while, in estimating all other things, quality is considered
as well as quantity, the estimation of pleasures should be supposed to depend on
quality alone.
Bentham goes against my philosophy because he believes merely in quantity, not quality.
*See quotes for Bentham*