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

How does Mill respond to utilitarianism?

Mill’s reply: Utilitarianism does no such thing; it simply declares that feelings don’t enter into the rightness of actions, though it’s perfectly all right for a person to have feelings. Right actions do not always indicate a good character, because such actions might proceed from bad motives.

What did John Stuart Mill do for 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 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.

What is Mill’s proof of the truth of utilitarianism?

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 respond to the objection that utilitarianism is a moral theory fit for swine since it only focuses on pleasure?

It is, according to the objection, a view of the good that is fit only for swine. Mill responds that it is the person who raises this objection that portrays human nature in a degrading light, not the utilitarian theory of right action.

What is the main idea of utilitarianism according to Mill and Bentham?

utilitarianism, in normative ethics, a tradition stemming from the late 18th- and 19th-century English philosophers and economists Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill according to which an action (or type of action) is right if it tends to promote happiness or pleasure and wrong if it tends to produce unhappiness or

What is Mill’s liberty principle?

Mill’s (1993: 78) liberty principle states 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‘.

Did John Stuart Mill believe in classical liberalism?

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873) was an English philosopher, political economist, Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy.

When did John Stuart Mill write utilitarianism?


Mill’s work Utilitarianism, originally published in Fraser’s Magazine (1861), is an elegant defense of the general utilitarian doctrine and perhaps remains the best introduction to the subject.

How is Mill’s version of utilitarianism different from that of Jeremy Bentham?

What are the main differences between Bentham and Mill’s utilitarianism and which theory is better? Both thought that the moral value of an act was determined by the pleasure it produced. Bentham considered only quantity of pleasure, but Mill considered both quantity and quality of pleasure.

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.

Why does Mill distinguish between so called higher and lower pleasures?

Mill delineates how to differentiate between higher- and lower-quality pleasures: A pleasure is of higher quality if people would choose it over a different pleasure even if it is accompanied by discomfort, and if they would not trade it for a greater amount of the other pleasure.

On what grounds does Mill think some pleasures can be judged higher or better than others?

Mill argues that all pleasures are qualitatively the same. Mill argues that we are incapable of choosing a good we know to be less valuable than some alternative. Mill believes that utilitarianism is compatible with Christian moral principles. According to Mill, moral rules admit of no exceptions.

Is Mill’s utilitarianism elitist?

Mill’s Utilitarianism is thus rather elitist when compared to its Benthamite counterpart, which is why the latter is more suitable for those Utilitarians like Peter Singer, who want to use the theory to make the case for the better treatment of non-human animals.

Was John Stuart Mill a liberal?

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.