John stuart mills views of paternalism essay

John Stuart Mill (1806—1873)

Harvard University Press, He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. Mill claims that hypotheses about unobserved entities made in an effort to explain empirical observations can provide useful suggestions, but that entitlement to believe can only be provided by reasoning based on the principle of enumerative induction.

John Stuart Mill

If the question is what policies are likely to increase the ratio of true to false belief, we would seem to be justified in censoring opinions for whose falsity there is especially clear, compelling, and consistent or stable evidence. Each person acts only or predominantly to promote his own interests.

If I am asked, what I mean by difference of quality in pleasures, or what makes one pleasure more valuable than another, merely as a pleasure, except its being greater in amount, there is but one possible answer. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

Chapter II, we saw, is where Mill purports to say what the doctrine of utilitarianism does and does not say.

A special case of this perceived conflict between categorical rules and utility is the perceived tension between utility and rights. Intensity, duration, and extent would appear to be the most relevant variables here.

For instance, reformist utilitarians, such as Peter Singerhave argued that utilitarianism entails extensive duties of mutual aid that would call for significant changes in the lifestyles of all those who are even moderately well off.

He begins by noting, with fairly obvious reference to Bentham, that the hedonist can defend higher pursuits as extrinsically superior on the ground that they produce more pleasure II 4. But this might seem to imply that while the aggregate should pursue or promote the general happiness individuals should pursue or promote their own happiness.

He concluded that a stationary state could be preferable to unending economic growth: Bentham is not unaware of this tension. Such propositions convey information that is not already included in the names or terms employed, and their truth or falsity depends on whether or not they correspond to relevant features of the world.

We might call a -type pleasures subjective pleasures and b -type pleasures objective pleasures. But our focus here is on right action or duty.

To understand the different strands in his conception of utilitarianism, we need to distinguish between direct and indirect utilitarianism.

And Bernard Williams has argued that the demandingness of utilitarianism threatens the sort of personal projects and partial relationships that help give our lives meaning.

But if it be meant that in such cases the pleasure or pain is consciously referred to self, I take this to be a mistake. John Taylor died inwith Harriet and Mill marrying in —though not before the perceived scandal had caused a rift between Mill and many of his friends.

Liberty and Paternalism

By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever, according to the tendency which it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question ….

If we correctly value one more than another, it must be because the first produces more numerous, intense, or durable pleasures than the other.

Mill's Moral and Political Philosophy

Now it is an unquestionable fact that those who are equally acquainted with and equally capable of appreciating and enjoying both do give a most marked preference to the manner of existence which employs their higher faculties. Syllogistic reasoning, he argues can elicit no new truths about how the world is: Mill distinguishes between happiness and contentment, claiming that the former is of higher value than the latter, a belief wittily encapsulated in the statement that "it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.

In that same chapter, he focuses on the felicific tendencies of actions and assigns a significant role to rules within moral reasoning, both of which have been taken to commit him to a rule utilitarian doctrine. As he matured, his father and Bentham both employed him as an editor.

The analogy between individuals and groups would suggest that happiness should be a good for the aggregate. The question that concerns us here is what kind of utilitarian standard Mill endorses.

He also became interested in criticisms of urbanization and industrialization. Though Mill does not treat secondary principles as mere rules of thumb in utilitarian calculation, he does not think that they should be followed uncritically or independently of their consequences.

No new knowledge is therefore acquired in reasoning from premises to conclusion. Indeed, later, in Chapter V, Mill identifies impartiality and its progressive demands with both justice and morality.

That would involve a compositional fallacy. But if the right action is the best action, and secondary principles are just a reliable though imperfect way of identifying what is best, then Mill is an act utilitarian.

So Mill rejects the substantive doctrines of psychological egoism and hedonism that Bentham and his father sometimes defended or suggested.

In his three years in Parliament, he was more willing to compromise than the "radical" principles expressed in his writing would lead one to expect. I will be discussing John Stuart Mill’s views on paternalism. I will argue how I feel about the subject. Then I will try my best to put myself into Mill’s shoes, argue back and try to see if I can understand where he is coming from with his arguments on paternalism.

I plan on saying that there. John Stuart Mill (–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.

John Stuart Mill (—) John Stuart Mill () profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse. His substantial corpus of works includes texts in logic, epistemology, economics, social and political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, religion, and current affairs.

Liberty And Paternalism John Stuart Mill and Gerald Dworkin have distinctly opposing views on legal paternalism in that Mill is adamantly against any form of paternalism, whereas Dworkin believes that there do exist circumstances in which paternalism is justified.

Mill's Moral and Political Philosophy

Essay Utilitarianism, By John Stuart Mill In “Utilitarianism,” John Stuart Mill argues that consequences of an action are all that really matter.

Defining utilitarianism at its core, is a theory holding that the moral rightness and/or wrongness of an action depends entirely on the consequences of that action. I will be discussing John Stuart Mill’s views on paternalism. I will argue how I feel about the subject.

Then I will try my best to put myself into Mill’s shoes, argue back and try to see if I can understand where he is coming from with his arguments on paternalism. I plan on saying that th.

John stuart mills views of paternalism essay
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Mill, John Stuart | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy