Two Models of Qualitative Hedonism? Hutcheson e Mill

Rivista di Filosofia 99 (3):373-396 (2008)
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In this paper, two different axiologies of pleasure are attributed to Hutcheson and Mill. Hutcheson endorsed a hedonist axiology, where quality of pleasure works as a still quantitative factor, able to counterbalance other quantitative features of pleasurable mental states - such as intensity and duration. By contrast, in Mill's view of value, the quality of pleasures is the only value-making feature, silencing any contribution from other quantitative elements. Therefore, the presence of certain qualitative characteristics - namely, the connection of certain pleasures with human active faculties - becomes a necessary and sufficient condition of value. Due to this unique role of quality, Mill's axiology opens the way to non-pleasurable experiences being valuable - for non-pleasurable exercises of the human active faculties meet the condition to be valuable states. Thus, Mill's theory of value is declared non-hedonistic - against the recent claims to the contrary put forth by W. Donner.



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Gianfranco Pellegrino
Luiss Guido Carli

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