Although philosophy and the business of news do tend to occupy their respective realms and often concern themselves with vastly different questions, once in a great while a debate within philosophy can shed light on a nagging issue in journalism. The relevant disagreement for our purposes concerns a difference of opinion between two giants of a strand of philosophy called utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham and his acolyte (and some-time critic) John Stuart Mill. In short, Mill would come to diverge from his predecessor's view that all types of pleasures were of equal value; as Bentham famously wrote in 1825, "Prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry. If the game of push-pin furnish more pleasure, it is more valuable than either."
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