Asked by: Aleksandrov Cheng
asked in category: General Last Updated: 4th January, 2020

What does pushpin is as good as poetry mean in regards to Bentham's thought?

What does Bentham mean by claiming "pushpin is as good as poetry"? If pushpin creates as much pleasure for a child as poetry does, then pushpin is as good as poetry. Bentham holds that any two pleasures of equal intensity and duration have equal value.

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Also to know is, what does pushpin is as good as poetry mean?

"If the quantity of pleasure be the same, pushpin is as good as poetry." Bentham holds the above to be true. He lays against Bentham that his system does not take into account the power of a single pleasure agaisnt a thousand smaller pleasures. One side is Pushpin, or quantity. The other is poetry, or quality.

Subsequently, question is, what is the difference between Bentham and Mill's version of utilitarianism? Bentham considered only quantity of pleasure, but Mill considered both quantity and quality of pleasure. Bentham's utilitarianism was criticised for being a philosophy "worthy of only swine". For Mill, higher pleasures are more valuable than lower pleasures, because of their "intrinsic superiority".

Subsequently, one may also ask, who argues a game of pushpin is as good as poetry?

Push-pin was immortalized by Jeremy Bentham when he wrote in The Rationale of Reward that: "Prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry." John Stuart Mill, who disagreed with Bentham on this point, misquotes Bentham as saying, "Push-pin is as good as poetry."

Who out of Bentham and Mill believed that some pleasures are different in kind from others?

1It is often claimed that John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham – probably the two most famous Utilitarians in history – held fundamentally opposed views concerning the way “the value” of different pleasures should be estimated.

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