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the motive, it must be qua pleasure—that is to say, either the greatest apparent pleasure, or the greatest present pleasure, is the motive. If difference of quality be admitted, we are introducing a determining factor other than pleasure. Certain kinds of pleasure may be better than others for the race or for the state. But these differences must be reducible which psyto terms of individual pleasure admitting of purely hedonism quantitative comparisons, before they become motives to action. From the point of view of the whole, we may say that one action leads to a greater sum of pleasure than another. But, in judging the action of individuals, all that we can say of it is, that to one man one class of actions gives pleasure, to another another : each man is equally following the course of action which either (a) will bring, or (6) seems to him likely to bring, the greatest pleasure, or (c) is actually most pleasant at the time. From the nature of the individual we can evolve no end beyond egoistic hedonism. And even this end can only be made his at each occurrence of action (assuming the first alternative (a) to be incorrect) by enlightening his intellect so that (6) will correspond with the actual greatest pleasure, or by also
does not admit of.
1 Cf. J. Grote, “Utilitarian Philosophy,' p. 20, note : “ One kind of pleasure may be, systematically, to be preferred to another, but it must be because the pleasures classified under it generally exceed those under the other in intensity, or some other of the elements of value.”
enlivening his imagination of future pleasures and pains so that (c) will correspond with it; and this, as has been shown, could only be effected under conditions which are inconsistent with the principles of human action.
It still remains possible, of course, to fix an ethical 1. Different end in some other way than by studying individual a human nature. We may, for instance, looking from and state the point of view of the community, fix its greatest happiness, instead of his own, as the individual's end. But the difficulty then arises of persuading the individual—or, indeed, making it possible for him—to regard this impersonal goal as the end of his conduct. For this purpose, Bentham seemed to look to the exercise of administrative control which, by a system of rewards and punishments, will make the greatest happiness of the individual coincide so far as possible with that of the community.1 J. S. Mill, on the other hand, with his eyes turned to the
standpoints of individual
1 Professor Bain distinguishes with greater clearness than his predecessors, first, legal duty, or that the contravention of which is punished by the ministers of the state ; secondly, moral duty, enforced by the unofficial punishment of social disapprobation ; and thirdly, the conduct which society leaves to individual choice, without censuring either its commission or omission. Moral duty is further distinguished by him from the meritorious, or conduct
subjective springs of action, saw in the gradual growth of sympathetic pleasures and pains the means by which an individual's desires would cease to conflict with those of his neighbours.
It is in some such way that the transition is made from Egoism to Utilitarianism. The transition is made: Bentham and his school are an evidence of the fact. But it is not therefore logical. It is, indeed, important to notice that we only pass from the one theory to the other by changing our original individualistic point of view. Having already fixed an end for conduct regardless of the difference between the individual at the time of acting and at subsequent times, we proceed to take the much longer step of ignoring the difference between the agent and other individuals. The question is no longer, What is good or desirable for the person who is acting ? but, What is best on the whole for all those whom his action may affectthat is to say, for the community ?
But while it is comparatively easy to see how this transition is effected as a matter of fact, it is. difficult to establish any logical connection between its different stages, or to offer any considerations fitted to convince the individual that it is reasonable for him to seek the happiness of the community rather than his own. Only that conduct, it
cannot be logically connected
which society encourages by approval, without censuring its omission.
may seem, can be reasonable which directs and perfects the natural striving of each organism towards its own pleasure. We may, of course, let our point through of view shift from the individual to the social “ or- state o inganism.” And in this case, if the “natural” end di of each human being is his own greatest pleasure, the end of the community, or organised body of pleasure-seekers, will naturally be concluded to be the greatest aggregate pleasure of its members. Thus, if we can hypostatise the community, and treat it as an individual with magnified but human wants and satisfactions, then, for this leviathan, the ethical end will correspond to what is called Utilitarianism or Universalistic Hedonism. But, when Difference we remember that the community is made up of one units distinct from one another in feeling and action,
, the pleasure the difficulty arises of establishing it as the natural of others end, or as a reasonable end, for each of these units to strive after the greatest pleasure of all. For it is evident that the pursuit of the greatest aggregate pleasure may often interfere with the attainment by the individual of his own greatest pleasure. On the other hand, the self-seeking action of the individual may no doubt lead to a loss of pleasure on the whole; but then it is not his own pleasure that is lost, only other people's. To the outsider — as to the community-it may seem irrational that a small increase in the pleasure of one unit should be allowed at the expense of a loss of greater pleas