, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 187-201
Date: 22 Jun 2011

Reinterpreting the Qualitative Hedonism Advanced by J.S. Mill

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The qualitative hedonism advanced by John Stuart Mill has been subject to much controversy. Jonathan Riley has offered an interpretation certain aspects of which have become standard orthodoxy.

. See Jonathan Riley, “On Qualities and Quantities of Pleasure,” Utilitas, vol. 5, no. 2, (1993); see also “Is Qualitative Hedonism Incoherent?,” Utilitas, vol. 11, no. 3 (1999); “Millian Qualitative Superiorities and Utilitarianism, Part I,” Utilitas, vol. 20, no. 3 (2008); “Millian Qualitative Superiorities and Utilitarianism, Part II,” Utilitas, vol. 21, no. 2 (2009); and “Justice as Higher Pleasure,” in Georgios Varouxakis and Paul Kelly, eds., John Stuart Mill – Thought and Influence: The Saint of Rationalism (Abingdon, England: Routledge, 2010).

In a recent discussion, Christoph Schmidt-Petri has challenged several features of Riley’s interpretation and Riley has responded to his criticisms.

See Christoph Schmidt-Petri, “Mill on Quality and Quantity,” The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 53, n