a1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
J. S. Mill's distinction between higher and lower pleasures is often thought to conflict with his commitment to psychological and ethical hedonism: if the superiority of higher pleasures is quantitative, then the higher/lower distinction is superfluous and Mill contradicts himself; if the superiority of higher pleasures is not quantitative, then Mill's hedonism is compromised.
* This article emerged from research supported by a Humane Studies Foundation Summer Residential Fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. I would like to thank Jeremy Shearmur for supervising that research and for providing valuable suggestions and discussion. For helpful comments and criticism, I am also grateful to David Schmidtz, and to the participants of a Harper Library Seminar at the Institute for Humane Studies, including my commentators Jonathan Riley and Alan Ryan.