In the history of philosophy, it has been assumed that man’s ultimate goal is happiness, and that the only way to achieve this goal is to live a moral or virtuous life. Living a virtuous life entails displaying and behaving in a morally upright manner.

As a result, man uses laws to legislate and protect the people with the goal of increasing the community’s overall happiness. The fact that some actions and measures cause suffering and pain does not imply that they are evil or wrong. There are some actions that are not pleasurable but are morally right and good. Besides, there are yet some other actions that are pleasurable but are evil and wrong.

Furthermore, because of its simplicity and confirmation of the majority’s ideology that pleasure and happiness are what everyone seeks, utilitarianism has captured the imaginations of (generations) of men more than any other way or system of thought.

As a result, the pursuit of pleasure becomes the driving force behind all of man’s actions.

Nonetheless, our concern here is to examine specific ethical theory and its solution to the central question of ethics: what is the yardstick for measuring the moral action of an individual; what is the moral standard of morality? Hitherto, the moral philosophy of John Stuart Mill is an attempt made or proposed as a guide to individual’s actions.

As previously stated, each ethical system has its own interpretation of what makes an individual’s action right or wrong, good or bad. There is no universal agreement on the content of morality or the standard of morality. Mill, however, did not allow any appeal to alleged rational intuition. He emphasized on the consequences of behaviour as the criterion for what is good instead of a dutiful obedience to formal rules of conduct.

He claimed that utilitarianism provides these justifications by determining which laws, in a particular situation, contribute to happiness or pleasure and which lead to sadness and pain. The test of a rule of conduct becomes thus, the extent of its conduciveness to happiness while pleasure and pain, the test of right and wrong actions. Utilitarianism, therefore, as a moral theory claims and proposes that the morality of an act consists essentially of its utility as means for attainment of happiness of man. Hence, an act is good if it is useful in achieving pleasure and diminishing pain. John Stuart Mill sets out to prove that the greatest happiness is the sole and ultimate end of man actions


There have existed lots of conflicts, disagreements and intolerable attitudes in matters of moral issues as individuals tend to resist the concerted actions demanded in a society. Indeed, from the dawn of philosophy, the question concerning the “Summum Bonum” or “the yardstick for measuring the morality of human actions” has been accounted the main problem in speculative thought. It therefore, gave rise to various sects and schools carrying on a vigorous warfare against one another.

The utilitarian principle is seen and has been held as the true standard of morality and most reliable measurement for distinguishing good actions from the bad actions.


Life in a society necessitates concerted activity. Simply put, moral terrain should be approached with the same mentality. We cannot survive, at least humanely, without some form of guidance. There should be a justification for human activities to be carried out in light of their end(s), such as the moral theory of utilitarianism.

It’s vital to remember that the subject of ethics is a human action seen from the perspective of moral rightness or wrongness. As a result, J.S Mill’s theory of utilitarianism is used as a social tool for controlling, designating, influencing, shaping, and redirecting other people’s attitudes.

As a result, the objective of this principle (utilitarianism) should be highlighted unequivocally as enabling human beings to live good and moral lives.

As a result, we will critically explore utilitarianism’s theory and proposition in order to assist individuals in approaching moral concerns with an open mind in order to construct a better society.


The utilitarian principle, as articulated by John Stuart Mill, is the focus of this research. Other thoughts and perspectives on utilitarianism, on the other hand, are encouraged.


In this study project, the manner of approach is explanatory. It also used analytical and evaluative forms to illustrate John Stuart Mill’s concept for judging and justifying individual actions as good or bad, right or wrong.


The general introduction is followed by four chapters in this research paper. The general introduction provides a quick overview of J.S Mill’s utility doctrine and influence, as well as a methodological analysis of the entire study project. The first chapter focuses on the concept, meaning, and forms of utilitarianism, while the second part investigates some related utilitarianism literature from philosophy’s history.

The third chapter focuses on J.S Mill’s brand of utilitarianism, as well as the theory’s vulnerability. The field of critical examination and conclusion is covered in the final chapter.



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