Critique of mill utilitarianism

Aristotle argued at the beginning of his political philosophy that man is a political being.

Critique of mill utilitarianism

On Liberty Mill's On Liberty addresses the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. However Mill is clear that his concern for liberty does not extend to all individuals and all societies. He states that "Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians".

The thought of Karl Marx

He also argues Critique of mill utilitarianism individuals should be prevented from doing lasting, serious harm to themselves or their property by the harm principle.

Because no one exists in isolation, harm done to oneself may also harm others, and destroying property deprives the community as well as oneself. Though this principle seems clear, there are a number of complications. For example, Mill explicitly states that "harms" may include acts of omission as well as acts of commission.

Thus, failing to rescue a drowning child counts as a harmful act, as does failing to pay taxesor failing to appear as a witness in court. All such harmful omissions may be regulated, according to Mill. By contrast, it does not count as harming someone if — without force or fraud — the affected individual consents to assume the risk: Mill does, however, recognise one limit to consent: In these and other cases, it is important to bear in mind that the arguments in On Liberty are grounded on the principle of Utility, and not on appeals to natural rights.

The question of what counts as a self-regarding action and what actions, whether of omission or commission, constitute harmful actions subject to regulation, continues to exercise interpreters of Mill.

It is important to emphasise that Mill did not consider giving offence to constitute "harm"; an action could not be restricted because it violated the conventions or morals of a given society. On Liberty involves an impassioned defense of free speech.

Mill argues that free discourse is a necessary condition for intellectual and social progress. We can never be sure, he contends, that a silenced opinion does not contain some element of the truth.

He also argues that allowing people to air false opinions is productive for two reasons. First, individuals are more likely to abandon erroneous beliefs if they are engaged in an open exchange of ideas.


Second, by forcing other individuals to re-examine and re-affirm their beliefs in the process of debate, these beliefs are kept from declining into mere dogma. It is not enough for Mill that one simply has an unexamined belief that happens to be true; one must understand why the belief in question is the true one.

Along those same lines Mill wrote, "unmeasured vituperation, employed on the side of prevailing opinion, really does deter people from expressing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who express them. Helen was the daughter of Harriet Taylor and collaborated with Mill for fifteen years after her mother's death in Social liberty and tyranny of majority[ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message Mill believed that "the struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history".

He introduced a number of different concepts of the form tyranny can take, referred to as social tyranny, and tyranny of the majority.

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Social liberty for Mill meant putting limits on the ruler's power so that he would not be able to use his power on his own wishes and make decisions which could harm society; in other words, people should have the right to have a say in the government's decisions.

He said that social liberty was "the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual". It was attempted in two ways: However, in Mill's view, limiting the power of government was not enough.

He stated, "Society can and does execute its own mandates:Intuitively, utilitarianism is the simplest of all philosophies. Its mantra, “the greatest good for the greatest number,” seems like an obvious way to make decisions both large and small. By far and and away the most common criticism of utilitarianism can be reduced simply to: "I don't like it" or "It doesn't suit my way of thinking".

For an example of this, here's something from someone who might prefer to remain nameless. John Stuart Mill (–) was the most famous and influential British philosopher of the nineteenth century.

Critique of mill utilitarianism

He was one of the last systematic philosophers, making significant contributions in logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and social theory. SophiaOmni 1 Critique of Mill’s Utilitarianism G. E. Moore 39 I propose, then, to begin by an examination of Mill’s is a book which.

`Review of second edition: 'There is an effortless command of a range of arguments and theories, comprehensive and informed knowledge of the relevant sources, and a narrative which is highly accessible and at the same time organises the material intelligently.

Selected Criticisms of Mill, Hedonism, and Utilitarianism: Mill’s proof is a pragmatic one however, not a deductive one and what he wishes to show is that, given that we are in fact motivated in this direction, why it is the only intrinsic end.

Regarding utilitarianism, in particular, he maintains that for Mill.

Critique of mill utilitarianism

utilitarianism is.

John Stuart Mill - Wikipedia