Pleasure is changeable and instantaneous. In the words of Muirhead, “Pleasure is the feeling which accompanies the satisfaction of particular desires; happiness is the feeding which accompanies the sense that apart from the satisfaction of momentary.
Desires and even in spite of the pain of refusal or failure to satisfy them the self as a whole is being realized.” In the words of Green, happiness or self realization is a state of self satisfaction.
2. Partial ultimate aim:
To treat pleasure as the ultimate aim is to manifest completely partial view point Sidgwick treats knowledge, beauty, etc. merely as means of pleasure. This assumption is neither logical nor is upheld by experience. Self has both affective and rational aspects.
No theory which emphasizes one and violates or overlooks the other aspect can satisfy the integral self. In the self, feeling is not everything, reason and volition also being its important constituents. To call pleasure the desirable consciousness is to profess ignorance. A rational person will not treat pleasure as desirable because pleasure alone, will not satisfy reason. How can reason accept irrational pleasure as the ultimate good? Pleasure is merely a feeling of value. Real value is hi the object; the ultimate good satisfies all aspects of personality.
Thus, pleasure cannot be the ultimate good. Senses themselves are blind. Without being directed by reason they are incapable of achieving any adjustment thus the commands of reason will show the way because lust for pleasure cannot be allowed or lead die way Reason and feeling complement each other even though conceding the importance of reason Sidgwick could not explain the fundamental defect of hedonism.
3. Contradiction between hedonism and rationalism:
Actually Sidgwick failed signally in making a compromise stand between hedonistic affective good and the ultimate good of Intuitionism or Intellectual ism. He could not fill up the gulf of the “Dualism of Prudence.” Sidgwick has given license for resolving the conflict between egoism and altruism by means of comparison but it is not possible to discern the greater of the two by measuring egoism and altruism.
4. Lack of compromise between egoism and altruism:
In this way, Sidgwick did not succeed in harmonizing between altruism and egoism. Sidgwick is a hedonist and egoism and altruism simply cannot meet on a hedonistic basis. As Martineau has said, “There is no road from each to him to each for all.” Altruism can be established only on Perfectionism Benevolence cannot be accompanied by self-love. It makes self sacrifice indispensable, the more egoistic a person the less will he be benevolent Actually, as a person tends more and more towards benevolence, he sacrifices more and more of his individual interests. A person can attain naturalness in benevolence only when he can realize his self in all beings. Society and the individual are both two forms of the same universal self.
That the universal self is just as much in us as in others, is a fact which must be realized before the conflict between egoism and altruism can be resolved.
5. Mistake on the subject of the nature of moral consciousness:
Sidgwick misunderstood the form of moral consciousness. According to him its nature is affective but in fact feeling is only a part of human consciousness. Thought, feeling and will are three inseparable parts of human consciousness. Any state of consciousness can be seen from the viewpoint of these three. Every state is assimilation of these three. None of these can be extracted from it.
A state of pleasure alone is meaningless and it is not the subject of ethical study. Real self satisfaction can result only on the combination of these three. Only such a state can provide happiness. Pleasure itself is not moral consciousness being only the affective aspect of it.
6. Knowledge and ethical values are not merely means to pleasure:
Thus, it is obvious that it is fallacious to look upon knowledge and ethical values as mere means to pleasure. Knowledge and will are no less important than the sensation of pleasure.
They are ends in themselves. They have their own intrinsic importance and they satisfy the intellectual aspect. Thus, even if pleasure is not obtained they can still be the objectives. Morality is not merely the means of obtaining pleasure. Moral quality and character are ends in themselves. Character is dependent upon organising or controlling volition. It also has its affective aspect but reason and will are its prominent parts.
Moral qualities arise from the control of reason over desires. Morality is objective and universal. It is normative. It is related to ideals. It does not depend on interest. It looks for the ideal of interest. Reason is not the “slave of passions.
” It determines the objectives itself. Hedonism stresses the result whereas the measure of reason is ethical superiority, not result Actually, Sidgwick failed to comprehend the moral importance of character. Taking conduct and character to be different, he treated conduct as superior to character. According to him, conduct is the object of moral judgment. Results are of prime importance hi actions. All these assumptions on the part of Sidgwick are grounded in prudence and do not explain morality. According to Ethics, it is just an opposite thing to say that character is the means of conduct.
Actually conduct is the manifestation of character and moral aim is the perfection of character.
7. Difference between pleasure and happiness:
Sidgwick makes the mistake of looking upon pleasure and pleasant as the same. He could not free himself from the mistakes of Mill. As was in the case of Mill, his theory also has many inconsistencies.
He could not give a rational foundation to his theories. Even though desired, pleasure cannot be treated as the aim. Even though desired the aim is above desire. It is the ultimate good. The desired alone cannot be called aim.
8. Quantitative Principles do not guide in qualitative distinctions:
For the distribution of pleasure Sidgwick propounded three principles-justices, prudence and benevolence all these are quantitative principles. In the words of Wright, “They do not state what is good in specific instances.
They merely teach that a greater amount of good, whenever or wherever, or to whomever it is available is always morally preferable to a lesser amount persons, places and times are to be viewed impartially.’ But quantitative principles can distribute only objects. In the context of qualitative distinctions they do not give any directions.
Internal defects and contradictions:
In the theory of Sidgwick, there are numerous internal mistakes and contradictions. At one time he emphasizes the desirability of objects and at others their rationality. In fact, he does not succeed in compromising Hedonism and Rationalism and also does not combine Intuitionism and Utilitarianism. “Rational Utilitarianism” or “Intuitional Utilitarianism”‘ evinces an internal paradox.
This paradox can be explained only in the light of Perfectionism. The theory of Sidgwick, cannot by any means be declared more successful than that of Mill and other Utilitarians.