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Happiness and the Moral Sentiment of Justice

  • Jonathan Riley
Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)

Abstract

Human happiness consists of feelings of pleasure, including relief from pain, John Stuart Mill insists, but it must be distinguished from mere physical gratification as well as from mere subjective contentment.1 Human beings, besides having physical senses, instincts, and appetites also possessed by other animals, ‘have faculties more elevated than the animal appetites, and, when once made conscious of them, do not regard anything as happiness which does not include their gratification’ (CW X, pp. 210–11). These ‘more elevated’ human faculties, though they require to be developed, enable humans to experience higher kinds of pleasant feelings than beasts can experience, namely, ‘the pleasures of the intellect, of the feelings and the imagination, and of the moral sentiments’ (CW X, p. 211). The more elevated faculties apparently include mental capacities to form and recall complex ideas, embody them in propositions, and reason about them, capacities to imagine novel and more perfect things and feel the aesthetic emotions associated with them, and capacities to form ideas of right and wrong and experience the moral sentiments associated with them.

Keywords

Civil Society Social Rule Moral Sentiment Legal Sanction Social Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Jonathan Riley 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Riley

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