⚡ Analysis Of John Stuart Mills Liberty Principle
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John Stuart Mill - On Liberty
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In particular, he discusses the ways in which the subordination of women negatively affects not only the women, but also the men and children in the family. This subordination stunts the moral and intellectual development of women by restricting their field of activities, pushing them either into self-sacrifice or into selfishness and pettiness.
This implies that if we change the experiences and upbringing of women, then their minds will change. This enabled Mill to argue against those who tried to suggest that the subordination of women to men reflected a natural order that women were by nature incapable of equality with men. If many women were incapable of true friendship with noble men, says Mill, that is not a result of their natures, but of their faulty environments. Mill intended the work as both a survey of contemporary economic thought highlighting the theories of David Ricardo, but also including some contributions of his own on topics like international trade and as an exploration of applications of economic ideas to social concerns.
These two interests nicely divide the text into the first three more technical books on production, distribution, and exchange and the last two books, which address the influences of societal progress and of government on economic activity and vice versa. The technical work is largely obsolete. In particular, Mill shared concerns with others e. Carlyle, Coleridge, Southey, etc. Though many welcomed the material wealth produced by industrialization, there was a sense that those very cornerstones of British economic growth—the division of labor including the increasing simplicity and repetitiveness of the work and the growing size of factories and businesses—led to a spiritual and moral deadening.
The permanency of the nation…and its progressiveness and personal freedom…depend on a continuing and progressive civilization. But civilization is itself but a mixed good, if not far more a corrupting influence, the hectic of disease, not the bloom of health, and a nation so distinguished more fitly to be called a varnished than a polished people, where this civilization is not grounded in cultivation, in the harmonious development of those qualities and faculties that characterize our humanity.
We must be men in order to be citizens. Coleridge , But, for Coleridge, civilization needed to be subordinated to cultivation of our humanity expressed in terms similar to those later found in On Liberty. This concern for the moral impact of economic growth explains, among other things, his commitment to a brand of socialism. In an essay on the French historian Michelet, Mill praises the monastic associations of Italy and France after the reforms of St. It was the desire to transform temporal work into a spiritual and moral exercise that led Mill to favor socialist changes in the workplace.
These co-operatives can take two forms: a profit-sharing system in which worker pay is tied to the success of the business or a worker co-operative in which workers share ownership of capital. The latter was preferable because it turned all the workers into entrepreneurs, calling upon many of the faculties that mere labor for pay left to atrophy. Though Mill contended that laborers were generally unfit for socialism given their current level of education and development, he thought that modern industrial societies should take small steps towards fostering co-operatives. Included among these steps was the institution of limited partnerships.
In so doing, religion elevates our feelings, cultivates sympathy with others, and imbues even our smallest activities with a sense of purpose. He felt, following his father, that the world as we find it could not possibly have come from such a God given the evils rampant in it; either his power is limited or he is not wholly benevolent. Beyond attacking arguments concerning the essence of God, Mill undermines a variety of arguments for his existence including all a priori arguments.
He concludes that the only legitimate proof of God is an a posteriori and probabilistic argument from the design of the universe — the traditional argument stemming from Aristotle that complex features of the world, like the eye, are unlikely to have arisen by chance, hence there must be a designer. Inspired by Comte, Mill finds an alternative to traditional religion in the Religion of Humanity, in which an idealized humanity becomes an object of reverence and the morally useful features of traditional religion are supposedly purified and accentuated.
Humanity becomes an inspiration by being placed imaginatively within the drama of human history, which has a destination or point, namely the victory of good over evil. As we begin to see ourselves as participants in this Manichean drama, as fighting alongside people like Socrates, Newton, and Jesus to secure the ultimate victory of good over evil, we become capable of greater sympathy, moral feeling, and an ennobled sense of the meaning of our own lives. The Religion of Humanity thereby acts as an instrument of human cultivation. His was not an ivory tower philosophy, even when dealing with the most abstract of philosophical topics. His work is of enduring interest because it reflects how a fine mind struggled with and attempted to synthesize important intellectual and cultural movements.
He stands at the intersections of conflicts between enlightenment and romanticism, liberalism and conservatism, and historicism and rationalism. In each case, as someone interested in conversation rather than pronouncement, he makes sincere efforts to move beyond polemic into sustained and thoughtful analysis. That analysis produced challenging answers to problems that still remain. Whether or not one agrees with his answers, Mill serves as a model for thinking about human problems in a serious and civilized way. Colin Heydt Email: cheydt cas. John Stuart Mill — John Stuart Mill profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse.
Works Mill wrote on a startling number of topics. As Mill says in his Autobiography when discussing his important treatise of , A System of Logic : The notion that truths external to the mind may be known by intuition or consciousness, independently of observation and experience, is, I am persuaded, in these times, the great intellectual support of false doctrines and bad institutions. Other Topics of Interest There are some other topics covered in the System of Logic that are of interest. As Mill puts it in the Autobiography in discussing the conflict between the intuitionist and a posteriori schools: The practical reformer has continually to demand that changes be made in things which are supported by powerful and widely spread feelings, or to question the apparent necessity and indefeasibleness of established facts; and it is often an indispensable part of his argument to shew, how these powerful feelings had their origin, and how those facts came to seem necessary and indefeasible.
Primary Texts Bentham, Jeremy. Edited by Amnon Goldworth. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Bentham, Jeremy. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. The Works of Jeremy Bentham. Edited by John Bowring. New York: Russell and Russell, Carlyle, Thomas. A Carlyle Reader. Edited by G. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. Philadelphia: Casey and Hart, Past and Present. London: Ward, Lock, and Bowden, Ltd. Coleridge, S. London: William Pickering, Comte, Auguste. A General View of Positivism. Dubuque, Iowa: Brown Reprints, Mill, James. An Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind. Edited and with Notes by John Stuart Mill. London: Longmans, Green and Dyer, John M. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Mill, John Stuart.
A System of Logic. On Liberty. Peterborough, Canada: Broadview Press, Paley, William. The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy. Indianapolis: Liberty Press, . Secondary Texts Britton, Karl. John Stuart Mill: A Biography. Carlisle, Janice. John Stuart Mill and the Writing of Character. Collini, Stefan. Oxford: Clarendon, Very valuable work on nineteenth century British political discourse; includes discussion of the Philosophic Radicals. Donner, Wendy. Ithaca: Cornell Univ.
Press, Harrison, Brian. New York: St. The Growth of Philosophical Radicalism. Translated by Mary Morris. Boston: The Beacon Press, Though originally published in , this is still a seminal work in the history of utilitarianism. Hamburger, Joseph. Mill Presented to John M. Robson , edited by Michael Laine, Toronto: Univ. Harrison, Ross. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Hedley, Douglas. Heydt, Colin. I Jan. London: Continuum Press, Volume II, Political Economy , Jenkyns, Richard.
The Victorians and Ancient Greece. Cambridge, Mass. Jones, H. Kuklick, Bruce. History, Man and Reason. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. An excellent intellectual history of Europe in the nineteenth century; contains very valuable discussions of Mill. Matz, Lou. Millar, Alan. The Life of John Stuart Mill. New York: MacMillan Company, Raeder, Linda C. John Stuart Mill and the Religion of Humanity. In , Mill sent an anonymous letter which came to be known under the title " The Negro Question " ,  in rebuttal to Thomas Carlyle 's anonymous letter to Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country in which Carlyle argued for slavery.
Mill supported abolishing slavery in the United States , expressing his opposition to slavery in his essay of , The Subjection of Women : . This absolutely extreme case of the law of force, condemned by those who can tolerate almost every other form of arbitrary power , and which, of all others, presents features the most revolting to the feeling of all who look at it from an impartial position, was the law of civilized and Christian England within the memory of persons now living: and in one half of Anglo-Saxon America three or four years ago, not only did slavery exist, but the slave trade, and the breeding of slaves expressly for it, was a general practice between slave states.
Yet not only was there a greater strength of sentiment against it, but, in England at least, a less amount either of feeling or of interest in favour of it, than of any other of the customary abuses of force: for its motive was the love of gain, unmixed and undisguised: and those who profited by it were a very small numerical fraction of the country, while the natural feeling of all who were not personally interested in it, was unmitigated abhorrence. Mill corresponded with John Appleton , an American legal reformer from Maine , extensively on the topic of racial equality. Appleton influenced Mill's work on such, especially swaying him on the optimal economic and social welfare plan for the Antebellum South.
Mill's view of history was that right up until his time "the whole of the female" and "the great majority of the male sex" were simply "slaves". He countered arguments to the contrary, arguing that relations between sexes simply amounted to "the legal subordination of one sex to the other — [which] is wrong itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality. With this, Mill can be considered among the earliest male proponents of gender equality , having been recruited by American feminist, John Neal during his stay in London circa — In his proposal of a universal education system sponsored by the state, Mill expands benefits for many marginalized groups, especially for women.
A universal education holds the potential to create new abilities and novel types of behavior of which the current receiving generation and their descendants can both benefit from. Mill was hopeful of the autonomy such an education could allow for its recipients and especially for women. Through the consequential sophistication and knowledge attained from it, individuals are able to properly act in ways that recedes away from those leading towards overpopulation. Aiming help for marginalized groups such as the poor and working class would only stand to reward them of being in that status thus incentivizing them for their lack of vast contribution to the aggregate and encourage fertility which at its extreme could lead to overproduction.
He talks about the role of women in marriage and how it must be changed. Mill comments on three major facets of women's lives that he felt are hindering them:. He argues that the oppression of women was one of the few remaining relics from ancient times, a set of prejudices that severely impeded the progress of humanity. The canonical statement of Mill's utilitarianism can be found in his book, Utilitarianism.
Although this philosophy has a long tradition, Mill's account is primarily influenced by Jeremy Bentham and Mill's father James Mill. John Stuart Mill believed in the philosophy of utilitarianism , which he would describe as the principle that holds "that actions are right in the proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness". By happiness he means, "intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure". However, Mill asserts that upon reflection, even when we value virtues for selfish reasons we are in fact cherishing them as a part of our happiness. Bentham's famous formulation of utilitarianism is known as the greatest-happiness principle.
It holds that one must always act so as to produce the greatest aggregate happiness among all sentient beings , within reason. In a similar vein, Mill's method of determining the best utility is that a moral agent, when given the choice between two or more actions, ought to choose the action that contributes most to maximizes the total happiness in the world. Happiness , in this context, is understood as the production of pleasure or privation of pain. Given that determining the action that produces the most utility is not always so clear cut, Mill suggests that the utilitarian moral agent, when attempting to rank the utility of different actions, should refer to the general experience of persons.
That is, if people generally experience more happiness following action X than they do action Y , the utilitarian should conclude that action X produces more utility than action Y , and so is to be preferred. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist ethical theory, meaning that it holds that acts are justified insofar as they produce a desirable outcome. The overarching goal of utilitarianism—the ideal consequence—is to achieve the "greatest good for the greatest number as the end result of human action. To that extent, the utilitarianism that Mill is describing is a default lifestyle that he believes is what people who have not studied a specific opposing field of ethics would naturally and subconsciously use when faced with a decision.
Utilitarianism is thought of by some of its activists to be a more developed and overarching ethical theory of Immanuel Kant 's belief in goodwill, and not just some default cognitive process of humans. Where Kant would argue that reason can only be used properly by goodwill, Mill would say that the only way to universally create fair laws and systems would be to step back to the consequences, whereby Kant's ethical theories become based around the ultimate good—utility.
Mill's major contribution to utilitarianism is his argument for the qualitative separation of pleasures. Bentham treats all forms of happiness as equal, whereas Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures higher pleasures are superior to more physical forms of pleasure lower pleasures. He 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.
And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. This made Mill believe that "our only ultimate end"  is happiness. One unique part of his utilitarian view, that is not seen in others, is the idea of higher and lower pleasures. Mill explains the different pleasures as:. 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. Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference […] that is the more desirable pleasure.
He defines higher pleasures as mental, moral, and aesthetic pleasures, and lower pleasures as being more sensational. He believed that higher pleasures should be seen as preferable to lower pleasures since they have a greater quality in virtue. He holds that pleasures gained in activity are of a higher quality than those gained passively. Mill defines the difference between higher and lower forms of pleasure with the principle that those who have experienced both tend to prefer one over the other.
This is, perhaps, in direct contrast with Bentham's statement that "Quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry",  that, if a simple child's game like hopscotch causes more pleasure to more people than a night at the opera house , it is more incumbent upon a society to devote more resources to propagating hopscotch than running opera houses. Mill's argument is that the "simple pleasures" tend to be preferred by people who have no experience with high art , and are therefore not in a proper position to judge.
He also argues that people who, for example, are noble or practise philosophy, benefit society more than those who engage in individualist practices for pleasure, which are lower forms of happiness. It is not the agent's own greatest happiness that matters "but the greatest amount of happiness altogether". In the General Remarks portion of his essay, he speaks how next to no progress has been made when it comes to judging what is right and what is wrong of morality and if there is such a thing as moral instinct which he argues that there may not be.
However, he agrees that in general "Our moral faculty, according to all those of its interpreters who are entitled to the name of thinkers, supplies us only with the general principles of moral judgments". In What Utilitarianism Is , he focuses no longer on background information but utilitarianism itself. He quotes utilitarianism as "The greatest happiness principle", defining this theory by saying that pleasure and no pain are the only inherently good things in the world and expands on it by saying that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. He also says in this chapter that the happiness principle is based not exclusively on the individual but mainly on the community. Mill also defends the idea of a "strong utilitarian conscience i. This causes us to care about the happiness of others, as well as the happiness of complete strangers. But this desire also causes us to experience pain when we perceive harm to other people.
He believes in internal sanctions that make us experience guilt and appropriate our actions. These internal sanctions make us want to do good because we do not want to feel guilty for our actions. Happiness is our ultimate end because it is our duty. He argues that we do not need to be constantly motivated by the concern of people's happiness because most of the actions done by people are done out of good intention, and the good of the world is made up of the good of the people.
He starts this chapter off by saying that all of his claims cannot be backed up by reasoning. He claims that the only proof that something brings one pleasure is if someone finds it pleasurable. Next, he talks about how morality is the basic way to achieve happiness. He also discusses in this chapter that Utilitarianism is beneficial for virtue. He says that "it maintains not only that virtue is to be desired, but that it is to be desired disinterestedly, for itself.
He contemplates the question of whether justice is something distinct from Utility or not. He reasons this question in several different ways and finally comes to the conclusion that in certain cases justice is essential for Utility, but in others, social duty is far more important than justice. Mill believes that "justice must give way to some other moral principle, but that what is just in ordinary cases is, by reason of that other principle, not just in the particular case. The qualitative account of happiness that Mill advocates thus sheds light on his account presented in On Liberty.
As he suggests in that text, utility is to be conceived in relation to humanity "as a progressive being", which includes the development and exercise of rational capacities as we strive to achieve a "higher mode of existence". The rejection of censorship and paternalism is intended to provide the necessary social conditions for the achievement of knowledge and the greatest ability for the greatest number to develop and exercise their deliberative and rational capacities.
Mill redefines the definition of happiness as "the ultimate end, for the sake of which all other things are desirable whether we are considering our own good or that of other people is an existence as free as possible from pain and as rich as possible in enjoyments". While Mill is not a standard act utilitarian or rule utilitarian , he is a minimizing utilitarian, which "affirms that it would be desirable to maximize happiness for the greatest number, but not that we are not morally required to do so".
Mill believed that for the majority of people those with but a moderate degree of sensibility and of capacity for enjoyment happiness is best achieved en passant, rather than striving for it directly. This meant no self-consciousness, scrutiny, self-interrogation, dwelling on, thinking about, imagining or questioning on one's happiness.
Then, if otherwise fortunately circumstanced, one would "inhale happiness with the air you breathe. Mill's early economic philosophy was one of free markets. However, he accepted interventions in the economy, such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. He also accepted the principle of legislative intervention for the purpose of animal welfare. Given an equal tax rate regardless of income, Mill agreed that inheritance should be taxed. A utilitarian society would agree that everyone should be equal one way or another.
Therefore, receiving inheritance would put one ahead of society unless taxed on the inheritance. Those who donate should consider and choose carefully where their money goes — some charities are more deserving than others. Considering public charities boards such as a government will disburse the money equally. However, a private charity board like a church would disburse the monies fairly to those who are in more need than others.
Later he altered his views toward a more socialist bent, adding chapters to his Principles of Political Economy in defence of a socialist outlook, and defending some socialist causes. Nonetheless, some of his views on the idea of flat taxation remained,  albeit altered in the third edition of the Principles of Political Economy to reflect a concern for differentiating restrictions on "unearned" incomes, which he favoured, and those on "earned" incomes, which he did not favour.
In his autobiography, Mill stated that in relation to his later views on political economy, his "ideal of ultimate improvement His views shifted partly due to reading the works of utopian socialists , but also from the influence of Harriet Taylor. Mill's Principles , first published in , was one of the most widely read of all books on economics in the period. In the case of Oxford University it was the standard text until , when it was replaced by Marshall's Principles of Economics. Mill's main objection to socialism focused on what he saw its destruction of competition.
He wrote, "I utterly dissent from the most conspicuous and vehement part of their teaching — their declamations against competition. According to Mill, a socialist society would only be attainable through the provision of basic education for all, promoting economic democracy instead of capitalism , in the manner of substituting capitalist businesses with worker cooperatives. He says:. The form of association, however, which if mankind continue to improve, must be expected in the end to predominate, is not that which can exist between a capitalist as chief, and work-people without a voice in the management, but the association of the labourers themselves on terms of equality, collectively owning the capital with which they carry on their operations, and working under managers elected and removable by themselves.
Mill's major work on political democracy , Considerations on Representative Government , defends two fundamental principles: extensive participation by citizens and enlightened competence of rulers. However, in another chapter he argues cogently for the value of participation by all citizens. He believed that the incompetence of the masses could eventually be overcome if they were given a chance to take part in politics, especially at the local level. Mill is one of the few political philosophers ever to serve in government as an elected official. 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.
Mill was a major proponent of the diffusion and use of public education to the working class. He saw the value of the individual person, and believed that "man had the inherent capability of guiding his own destiny-but only if his faculties were developed and fulfilled", which could be achieved through education. The power of education lay in its ability to serve as a great equalizer among the classes allowing the working class the ability to control their own destiny and compete with the upper classes.
Mill recognized the paramount importance of public education in avoiding the tyranny of the majority by ensuring that all the voters and political participants were fully developed individuals. It was through education, he believed, that an individual could become a full participant within representative democracy. In Principles of Political Economy , Mill offered an analysis of two economic phenomena often linked together: the laws of production and wealth and the modes of its distribution. Regarding the former, he believed that it was not possible to alter to laws of production, "the ultimate properties of matter and mind Once each member has an equal amount of individual property, they must be left to their own exertion not to be interfered with by the state.
Regarding inequality of wealth , Mill believed that it was the role of the government to establish both social and economic policies that promote the equality of opportunity. The government, according to Mill, should implement three tax policies to help alleviate poverty: . Inheritance of capital and wealth plays a large role in development of inequality, because it provides greater opportunity for those receiving the inheritance. Mill's solution to inequality of wealth brought about by inheritance was to implement a greater tax on inheritances, because he believed the most important authoritative function of the government is Taxation , and taxation judiciously implemented could promote equality.
Mill demonstrated an early insight into the value of the natural world—in particular in Book IV, chapter VI of Principles of Political Economy : "Of the Stationary State"   in which Mill recognised wealth beyond the material, and argued that the logical conclusion of unlimited growth was destruction of the environment and a reduced quality of life. He concludes that a stationary state could be preferable to unending economic growth :. I cannot, therefore, regard the stationary states of capital and wealth with the unaffected aversion so generally manifested towards it by political economists of the old school.
If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compel them to it.
According to Mill, the ultimate tendency in an economy is for the rate of profit to decline due to diminishing returns in agriculture and increase in population at a Malthusian rate. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. British philosopher, political economist and feminist. For the town in Australia, see Stuart Mill, Victoria. The Honourable. Mill c. Serving with Robert Grosvenor. Harriet Taylor. Key proponents. Hare Peter Singer. Types of utilitarianism. Key concepts. Demandingness objection Mere addition paradox Paradox of hedonism Replaceability argument Utility monster. Related topics. Rational choice theory Game theory Neoclassical economics Population ethics Effective altruism. Economic systems.
Economic theories. Related topics and criticism. Anti-capitalism Capitalist state Consumerism Crisis theory Criticism of capitalism Critique of political economy Cronyism Culture of capitalism Evergreening Exploitation of labour Globalization History History of theory Market economy Periodizations of capitalism Perspectives on capitalism Post-capitalism Speculation Spontaneous order Venture philanthropy Wage slavery. Main article: A System of Logic. Age of Enlightenment List of liberal theorists contributions to liberal theory.
Schools of thought. Regional variants. Main article: On Liberty. Main article: Utilitarianism book. Main article: Principles of Political Economy. John Stuart Mill, of his own free will, On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill. Charles Babbage: Pioneer of the Computer. Princeton University Press. What effect did Babbages Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers have? Generally his book received little attention as it not greatly concerned with such traditional problems of economics as the nature of 'value'. Actually the effect was considerable, his discussion of factories and manufactures entering the main currents of economic thought.
Mill's reception of Tocqueville". History of Political Thought. JSTOR Retrieved 11 June Mises Institute ed. Psychology Press. ISBN Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 26 January Retrieved 8 March Max Weber and His Contemporaries. Stuart Mill 4th ed. Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 23 JulyIn the third chapter, The Giver Movie And Movie Essay. Analysis Of John Stuart Mills Liberty Principlea spacious hall, twice as long Analysis Of John Stuart Mills Liberty Principle broad, for public business and the administration of justice, originally open to the sky, but eventually covered in, and with the judge's bench at the end opposite the entrance, in a nagasaki bomb name apse added to it. No argument, we may Analysis Of John Stuart Mills Liberty Principle, can now be Analysis Of John Stuart Mills Liberty Principle, against permitting a legislature or an executive, not identified in interest with the people, to prescribe opinions to them, and determine what doctrines or what arguments Analysis Of John Stuart Mills Liberty Principle shall be allowed to hear. Philosophy and Public Affairs—.