How did Mill resolve tensions in Utilitarianism and Liberalism concerning the public/private distinction?


How does Mill defend utilitarianism?

Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” Mill defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain.

How did John Stuart Mill contribute to liberalism?

John Stuart Mill dominated liberal thought during the nineteenth century with insights offered into the harm principle, free will, the despotism of custom, experiments in living, utilitarianism, the marketplace of ideas and electoral reform.

How did John Stuart Mill contribute to utilitarianism?

The ethical theory of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) is most extensively articulated in his classical text Utilitarianism (1861). Its goal is to justify the utilitarian principle as the foundation of morals. This principle says actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote overall human happiness.

How does Mill respond to the accusation that utilitarianism is a swinish doctrine?

Mill’s Utilitarianism was accused of being a “swinish doctrine” since it only appeals to pleasure. Mill counters that this would only be the case if we imagined humans capable only of swinish pleasures. But humans can experience more that those, and these latter are superior.

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How does Mill prove that happiness is the ultimate goal?

Mill argues that the only proof that something is desirable is that people actually desire it. It is a fact that happiness is a good, because all people desire their own happiness. Thus, it is clear that happiness is at least one end, and one criterion, of morality.

How does Mill understand pleasure?

Mill’s Hedonism

Mill contends that pleasure is not merely one thing that contributes to our well-being, it’s the only thing. Similarly, only pain makes us worse off. Mill thinks that a person’s life goes well for her just insofar as she is happy. Mill defines “happiness” as pleasure and freedom from pain.

What type of liberal was John Stuart Mill?

John Stuart Mill (1806–73) was the most influential English language philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook.

What is John Stuart Mill best known for?

John Stuart Mill’s most important works include Principles of Political Economy (1848), On Liberty (1859), Utilitarianism (1861), and The Subjection of Women (1869).

How did John Stuart Mill impact society?

Mill’s most important contributions as a philosopher and economist was his advocacy for mandatory and widespread education for all citizens, including the poor, as a way to provide a fair start in what he called the “race of life” for all people so that everyone would have the opportunity to prosper.

How does Mill respond to the objection that genuine human happiness is impossible?

First, Mill replies that it is an exaggeration to state that people cannot be happy. He contends that happiness, when defined as moments of rapture occurring in a life troubled by few pains, is indeed possible, and would be possible for almost everybody if educational and social arrangements were different.

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