Evaluation and Comparison of Aristotle, Mill and Kant's Philosophical Theories – Literature review Example

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper “ Evaluation and Comparison of Aristotle, Mill and Kant’ s Philosophical Theories“ is an intriguing variant of literature review on philosophy. Philosophy assessment is the ability to apply theory in the field. Philosophers use logic on the theory in coming up with solutions on various tasks. This essay focuses on Philosophers like Aristotle, Mill, and Kant. They bring ideas on ethics that are controversial and require different approaches. The philosophers perceive morality in different ways and it is, therefore, the responsibility of an individual to decide which of the theories proposed by philosophers is useful or helpful in dealing with different situations or ethical issues that they may be facing.

The essay takes the approach of evaluating and comparing theories of Aristotle, Mill, and Kant. First, I shall focus on the evaluation of the theories by philosophers that is; Utilitarianism, Deontology and Virtue ethics. The essay will also focus on the advantages and disadvantages while comparing them all together in regard to the relationship that these theories have with society and how society perceives and understand the theories. Finally, an overarching conclusion on the best philosophy sums up the essay.

Deontology emerges to be the best philosophy according to my opinion and my understanding. However, this is a subjective judgment and someone else may find another philosophy as the best. The principle of utility (utilitarianism) by John MillMill (1998) asserts the principle of utility (utilitarianism), that utility is the ability to satisfy a need that involves choice and preference. Utilitarianism is a philosophical view is open to the choices that an individual has in evaluating the things that are facing him or her. According to this philosophy which is generally referred to as the Greatest Happiness Principle (Sprigge 2011, p 140), when an action upholds happiness, for instance, pleasure and the lack of pain, it is the right action and when an action does not bring about happiness; that is, the presence of pain and misery, it is the wrong action.

This principle, therefore, is firmly grounded on measuring or evaluating actions on a ratio (Brink 2007, p. n.p. ).By presenting the UTILITY theory, Mill described that to be making an ethical decision, we need to agree on using the utility ethics, and a decision on which action brings about pleasure and thus happiness.

Theories like deontology hold that one is not supposed to lie. However, in the utility theory, one has the option of lying in some situations to avoid causing pain and suffering to someone. Therefore, according to utilitarianism, one can decide to lie in accordance with a particular situation or decide the situation in which, to tell the truth depending on which would bring the desired consequences to a lot of people (Elizabeth 1995, p.

31). The general welfare of believers is promoted by utilitarianism. This is done where the greatest happiness principle of the people is initiated where each person is accorded equal happiness. In fact, the happiness on utility is upheld as it has intrinsic good in itself. Moral actions are used to bring happiness as avowed by Roth (1995,p. 61 & 62). UTILITY, has few aspects, first, THE CONSEQUENCE PRINCIPLE: this principle, utility is not about the person’ s actions, but about the consequence of this action, which means that the moral worth of an action is determined by the outcome.

Second THE HAPPINESS: this principle represent that happiness is a goal and should be achieved. This goal can be identified by the promotion of pleasure. Mill recognizes that there is danger in seeing moral life exclusively in the terms of the pursuit of pleasure, especially if the pleasure is not properly understood, the avoidance of pain and the fulfillment of desires are other goals mentioned by Mill (George 2002, p. 7).


Brink, D. 2007. "Mill's Moral and Political Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),


Brooke, A. T. 2007.Judging Life and Its Value. P.60-75, accessed from, http://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=045009089115015003122100119094127088033043069002065054095099003092123077031012004123043028032104020043034080116071090067002084022034064058004082075026086013026110124037042054008107075069004113092081127008012127124097024069010124004027028070120070027&EXT=pdf&TYPE=2, on 31st, July 2015.

Elizabeth, A.1995.Value in Ethics and Economics. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.

Flynn, T. 2013. "Jean-Paul Sartre", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2013/entries/sartre/

George Sher, 2002. Utilitarianism. In Mill, J. S. (1998), New York, Hackett Publishing Co.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, A Peer-Reviewed Academic Resource, Accessed from, http://www.iep.utm.edu/anci-mod/, Accessed on 31st July 2015.

Jackson, R. A. 2007. Aristotle on What It Means To Be Happy, Richmond Journal of Philosophy 16, Accessed from, http://www.richmond-philosophy.net/rjp/back_issues/rjp16_jackson.pdf, Accessed on 31st July 2015.

Roth, P. 1994. The Professor of Desire. New York, Vintage.

Shoemaker, D. W. 1999. Utilitarianism and Personal Identity, The Journal of Value Inquiry 33: 183–199, Accessed from http://www.csun.edu/~ds56723/jvipaper.pdf, accessed on 30th July 2015.

Sprigge, T. L. S. 2011, The Importance of Subjectivity: Selected Essays in Metaphysics and Ethics. New York, Oxford University Press.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us