Download Mill on Liberty: A Defence (Volume 0) by John Gray PDF

By John Gray

Within the first version of this booklet grey deals an indirect-utilitarian interpretation of Mill's ethical conception, and argues that this offers an appropriate starting place for the freedom precept and Mill's liberalism extra as a rule. He contends that the ensuing place is a truly appealing one. it's a compelling piece of exgesis. within the moment variation he nonetheless continues this analyzing of Mill, yet now not unearths Mill's liberalism appealing. His fundamental criticism is its euro-centrism. He now additionally buys a few different objections which he mentioned at size and rejected within the first variation, and that i chanced on this a bit disappointing; it truly is something to claim you neglected some degree on your prior paintings, yet one other admit you made a number of undesirable arguments. And he's very speedy to brush aside his personal prior rebuttals; you have got the feel that after he gave up on Millian liberalism he felt he needed to accuse it of each attainable sin.

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Additional resources for Mill on Liberty: A Defence (Volume 0)

Example text

It does not mention rightness, let alone moral right and wrong. In fact, as I have already intimated, Mill’s criterion of right conduct is wholly distinct from the Principle of Expediency, even though that principle is among the principles which yield the criterion of right conduct. Second, we ought not to neglect the difficulties and implausibilities of taking the Principle of Expediency as being in whole or (in conjunction with the Principle of Utility) a part of a criterion of right conduct.

What needs to be shown now is that Mill’s doctrine of the Art of Life is a legitimate development of the theory of action to which he subscribed, and, more particularly, that Mill is correct in thinking that a morality which is maximally permissive with respect to liberty will be maximally productive of happiness. How, then, does Mill’s argument proceed? In the last chapter of Utilitarianism, whose saliency to On Liberty has so long been neglected, Mill presents morality as a branch of utility and justice as a branch of morality.

Now we find Mill bringing aesthetic-looking judgments (judgments of worthiness) about selfdevelopment within the moral area. These uncertainties in Mill’s formulation of the Art of Life suggest a difficulty in the indirect utilitarian interpretation I have given of it; how can Mill consistently give importance to the worth of character? How can his utilitarianism be squared with his apparent conviction that human worthiness can and should be appraised without reference to the good states of affairs that it produces?

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