Questions tagged [john-stuart-mill]

John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873) was a British philosopher associated with classical liberalism. He was a proponent of utilitarianism.

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Was John Stuart Mill really influenced by the romantics?

In this passage from Individualism and economic order (1948) (Chapter 1, pp. 25-26), Hayek, although he does not use the term, seems to accuse/disdain Mill for defending an individualism very much ...
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Harm Principle and the Trolley Case

My question concerns what someone following the Harm Principle does when confronted with a trolley-like situation: where causing a couple people to die would save many more lives. This specifically ...
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Mill's methods - logic

Which Mill's method (not considering their limitations) would you use if you need to rule out the identity of a murderer based on the murders he already committed? The only possible answers are method ...
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Harm Principle and Duty to Rescue - Which "baseline" should an action be compared against when assessing harm?

Preface ("What isn't my question") As prominently articulated by Mill, liberalism (and the harm principle) asserts that it is always bad for aggregate utility to coercively interfere in ...
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Does Mill intend to identify attainment of desires and happiness?

Mill explcitly states that "in reality there is nothing desired except happiness", which I paraphrase as "if person X desires event Y, then X believes the attainment of event Y would ...
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Examples of inductivist theories of ethics?

In the "General Remarks" introduction to Mill's Utilitarianism, he distinguishes between "intuitive" and "inductive" schools of ethics. By "intuitive" I take ...
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Is there a version of the "harm principle" geared toward individual's actions?

I recently noticed that the Harm Principle was only intended for governance purposes. "The harm principle is not designed to guide the actions of individuals but to restrict the scope of criminal ...
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According to Utilitarianism, how do we define greater good?

Utilitarianism sets out to have "the greater good for a greater number of people," but what if someone's definition of good is committing something like mass genocide (something on the lines ...
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Question about Kenny’s critiques on Mill’s logic

Recently, I have read a book called New History of Western Philosophy by Anthony Kenny. In this book, he starts chapter 4 Logic with a section called Mill’s Empiricist Logic, which contains an ...
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Mill's On Liberty: Democracy and Diversity

I was wondering why J.S Mill believed that democracy hinders diversity (and societal improvement through that)? Or perhaps I've misunderstood him and he was really against populism? A more powerful ...
shine yang's user avatar
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How would Kant/Mill justify causing somebody discomfort when doing the righteous thing?

I was wondering how Kant, or even Mill might respond to the issue that when doing the righteous thing, say standing up for yourself against a bully, or somebody who wants to impede on your rights, you ...
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For Mill, is all speech ethical so long as it doesnt conflict with the harm principle?

I understand that Mill was a big advocate of freedom of speech and expression. Im just wondering whether he just saw that as state policy or if he thought that on an individual level all speech is ...
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Is there any act utilitarian philosopher?

According to the Greatest Happiness Principle […] the ultimate end […] is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments, both in point of quantity and quality;...
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What's the meaning of "Intermediate Generalizations"?

The phrase is from John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism. The context is: "The corollaries from the principle of utility, like the precepts of every practical art, admit of indefinite improvement, ...
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What were the "paradoxes of Rousseau"?

John Stuart Mill (1859, On Liberty): Thus, in the eighteenth century, when nearly all the instructed, and all those of the uninstructed who were led by them, were lost in admiration of what is called ...
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What is the meaning of "Philistine utilitarianism"?

I was wondering what is the meaning of "Philistine utilitarianism"? I saw this in a couple of articles and I wanna know that Is it a term or Should I read it literally; that is, anti-intellectual ...
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Maximizing freedom in a society

A friend and I were trying to come up with the most basic rule that, if followed, would lead to a functional (and preferably good) society. He said: "People should be free to do whatever they want, ...
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Reconciling Utilitarianism and Rawls's Theory of Justice as Fairness

I will argue that John Stuart Mill's greatest happiness principle (GHP) should be revised to avoid problematic implications and to better fit humans' intuitive sense of morality. Furthermore, the ...
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Gun control and classical liberalism

Is gun control consistent with classical liberalism? Can a classical liberal case be made for restricting this liberty?
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John Stuart Mill " On Liberty" Chapter 1 Introductory

After reading John Stuart Mill " On Liberty" Chapter 1 Introductory, I was wondering if this would be a good conclusion of his chapter "Freedoms negates society’s propensity to compel compliance."
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How did Wordsworth's poetry cure J.S. Mill (medical?) depression?

I'm not sure Mill signified medical psychiatric depression with his use of 'depression'. Unlearned in poetry, I still don't understand this elixir of Wordsworth's poetry, after reading Mill's own ...
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What are some cases that involve moral themes?

I am searching for a specific case that interests me, where I can discuss Kantian ethics, Utilitarianism (Mill and Bentham), and Aristotle's Virtue Ethics. So far, the cases I have come across on the ...
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What is an appropriate way to solve a Mill's method table, if it exists?

I'm being asked to determine the cause of a phenomenon using Mill's methods and a table of relevant factors. Below is the table: A B C D E Event * * * * * ...
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Mill's Proof and Nozick's Experience Machine

I'm trying to grasp how Mill's claim that the only good is happiness/pleasure is able to respond to Nozick's though experiment. Humans strive for virtue and other goods only if they are associated ...
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Can we separate ideas (utilitarianism, social contract) from their primary associated philosophers (Mill, Rousseau)?

I've run into some difficulty discussing utilitarianism and the social contract because the typical response is something specific to Mill or Rousseau. It's not quite ad hominem argument -- they're ...
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Mill's proof of utilitarianism: moving from the individual to the aggregate

OK, so: In Utilitarianism, specifically Chapter IV, Mill claims that ...each person’s happiness is a good to that person, and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of all ...
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Is John Stuart Mill's quality/quantity of pleasure distinction consistent with utilitarian hedonism?

Source: p 82 Middle, Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (2001) by Simon Blackburn. There is something a bit deflating about Bentham’s picture. It suggests a life of monotonous hedonism, fit only ...
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Are there others that hold the same opinion on Freedom of Speech that Mill holds?

“In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a ...
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Did Easterlin paradox and Scitovsky joyless economy disprove utilitarianism?

Utilitarianism is defined as follows: Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the best moral action is the one that maximizes utility. Utility is defined in various ways, but is ...
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Why did Mill reference those who inhabit the more, rather than LESS, civilized parts of the world?

Preface: First encountering this quote on p 150, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof. Sharon Kaye MA PhD (in Philosophy, U. Toronto), I already tried the paraphrase on p 40 of 78 of the ...
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What are some alternatives to Mill's induction methods?

I have been taught that Mill's methods for identification of causes (agreement, difference, etc.) only apply when we can define our universe of possible causes very strictly (i.e., when we know all ...
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Why should you remain committed to a principle if it succeeded in the past, but not if you know not its efficacy?

CAUTION: Please edit this question's title, which I probably miswrote as I do not understand the quote below. Source: pp 49-50, Philosophy ; A Very Short Introduction (2002) by Edward Craig.   So ...
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