✎✎✎ John Stuart Mill On Liberty Summary
Plot Summary. Mill felt that even in societies as unequal as England and Europe that one could already find evidence that when given a chance women could excel. Mill john stuart mill on liberty summary human liberty should encompass 1 the inward domain of consciousness, 2 liberty Social Media Self Image Analysis thought and feeling 3 liberty of expressing and publishing opinions, 4 john stuart mill on liberty summary of john stuart mill on liberty summary and john stuart mill on liberty summary, and 5 the liberty of john stuart mill on liberty summary to join a collective group. John stuart mill on liberty summary Press Perseus Books. He engaged in written debate with Whewell.
Book Summary for CSS : On liberty by JS MILL
Mill 's Utilitarianism is an extended explanation of utilitarian moral theory. In an effort to respond to criticisms of the doctrine, Mill not only argued in favor of the basic principles of Jeremy Bentham but also offered several significant improvements to its structure, meaning, and application. Although the progress of moral philosophy has been limited by its endless disputes over the reality and nature of the highest good, Mill assumed from the outset, everyone can agree that the consequences of human actions contribute importantly to their moral value. Utilitarianism 1 Mill fully accepted Bentham's devotion to greatest happiness principle as the basic statement of utilitarian value: ".
By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. On Mill's view, some kinds of pleasure experienced by human beings also differ from each other in qualitative ways, and only those who have experienced pleasure of both sorts are competent judges of their relative quality. This establishes the moral worth of promoting higher largely intellectual pleasures among sentient beings even when their momentary intensity may be less than that of alternative lower largely bodily pleasures.
Even so, Mill granted that the positive achievement of happiness is often difficult, so that we are often justified morally in seeking primarily to reduce the total amount of pain experienced by sentient beings affected by our actions. Against those who argue that the utilitarian theory unreasonably demands of individual agents that they devote their primary energies to the cold-hearted and interminable calculation of anticipated effects of their actions, Mill offered a significant qualification. Precisely because we do not have the time to calculate accurately in every instance, he supposed, we properly allow our actions to be guided by moral rules most of the time.
Partly anticipating the later distinction between act and rule utilitarianism , Mill pointed out that secondary moral principles at the very least perform an important service by providing ample guidance for every-day moral life. What motivates people to do the right thing? Mill claimed universal agreement on the role of moral sanctions in eliciting proper conduct from human agents. Utilitarianism 3 But unlike Bentham, Mill did not restrict himself to the socially-imposed external sanctions of punishment and blame, which make the consequences of improper action more obviously painful.
On Mill's view, human beings are also motivated by such internal sanctions as self-esteem, guilt, and conscience. Because we all have social feelings on behalf of others, the unselfish wish for the good of all is often enough to move us to act morally. Even if others do not blame or punish me for doing wrong, I am likely to blame myself, and that bad feeling is another of the consequent pains that I reasonably consider when deciding what to do. In Chapter Four, Mill offers as "proof" of the principle of utility an argument originally presented by his father, James Mill.
The best evidence of the desirability of happiness is that people really do desire it; and since each individual human being desires her own happiness, it must follow that all of us desire the happiness of everyone. Thus, the Mills argued, the greatest pleasure of all is morally desirable. Utilitarianism 4 The argument doesn't hold up well at all in logical terms, since each of its inferences is obviously fallacious, but Mill may have been correct in supposing on psychological grounds that seeking pleasure and avoiding pain are the touchstones by which most of us typically live. Finally, Mill argued that social applications of the principle of utility are fully consistent with traditional concern for the promotion of justice.
Justice involves respect for the property, rights, and deserts of individual citizens, along with fundamental presumptions in favor of good faith and impartiality. All of these worthwhile components of justice are adequately preserved by conscientious application of the principle of utility, Mill supposed, since particular cases of each clearly result in the greatest happiness of all affected parties. Utilitarianism 5 Although a retributive sentiment in favor of punishing wrong-doers may also be supposed to contribute to the traditional concept of justice, Mill insisted that the appropriately limited use of external sanctions on utilitarian grounds better accords with a legitimate respect for the general welfare. Mill also pointed out that the defence of individual human freedom is especially vital to living justly, but that had been the subject of another book.
John Stuart Mill 's On Liberty is the classic statement and defence of the view that governmental encroachment upon the freedom of individuals is almost never warranted. This is true even when the government itself relies upon the democratic participation of the people. On Liberty 1 The tyranny of the majority is especially dangerous to individual liberty, Mill supposed, because the most commonly recommended remedy is to demand that the recalcitrant minority either persuade the majority to change its views or learn to conform to socially accepted norms. Mill had a different notion. The proper balance between individual liberty and governmental authority, he proposed, can be stated as a simple principle: "[T]he 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.
In particular, anything that directly affects only the individual citizen must remain absolutely free. On Mill's view, this entails in particular that the government is never justified in trying to control, limit, or restrain: 1 private thoughts and feelings, along with their public expression, 2 individual tastes and pursuits as efforts to live happily, or 3 the association of like-minded individuals with each other. On Liberty 1 No society is truly free unless its individual citizens are permitted to take care of themselves. Considering first freedom of thought and discussion, Mill argued that because even a majority opinion is fallible, society should always permit the expression of minority views.
There is a chance, after all, that the unconventional opinion will turn out, in the long run, to be correct, in which case the entire society would suffer if it were never allowed to come to light. Sincere devotion to the truth requires open inquiry, not the purposeful silencing of alternative views that might prove to be right. On Liberty 2 Even if the unconventional opinion turns out to be incorrect, Mill argued, there is still good reason to encourage its free expression. The truth can only be enlivened and strengthened by exposure to criticism and debate through which the majority view is shown not to be merely an inadequately grounded superstition.
On Liberty 2 In the most common instance, Mill supposed, there will actually turn out to be some measure of falsity in the clearest truth and some element of truth in the most patent falsehood. Thus, on every possible occasion, encouraging civil discussion of alternative views genuinely benefits society as a whole. Mill supposed that behavior as well as thought often deserves protection against social encroachment. Human action should arise freely from the character of individual human beings, not from the despotic influence of public opinion, custom, or expectation. No matter what patterns of behavior may constitute the way we ought to be, he argued, each person must choose her or his own path in life, even if it differs significantly from what other people would recommend.
On Liberty 3 No less than in the realm of thought, in the realm of behavior unconventionality and originality are often signs of great personal genius, which should never be curtailed by social pressures. In summary, then, Mill emphasized that individual citizens are responsible for themselves, their thoughts and feelings, and their own tastes and pursuits, while society is properly concerned only with social interests. In particular, the state is justified in limiting or controlling the conduct of individuals only when doing so is the only way to prevent them from doing harm to others by violating their rights.
He considered this one of the most pivotal shifts in his thinking. In fact, many of the differences between him and his father stemmed from this expanded source of joy. Mill had been engaged in a pen-friendship with Auguste Comte , the founder of positivism and sociology, since Mill first contacted Comte in November Comte's sociologie was more an early philosophy of science than we perhaps know it today, and the positive philosophy aided in Mill's broad rejection of Benthamism. As a nonconformist who refused to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England , Mill was not eligible to study at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. Mill's career as a colonial administrator at the East India Company spanned from when he was 17 years old in until , when the Company's territories in India were directly annexed by the Crown , establishing direct Crown control over India.
In On Liberty , A Few Words on Non-Intervention , and other works, he opined that "To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the subject". In , Mill married Harriet Taylor after 21 years of intimate friendship. Taylor was married when they met, and their relationship was close but generally believed to be chaste during the years before her first husband died in The couple waited two years before marrying in Brilliant in her own right, Taylor was a significant influence on Mill's work and ideas during both friendship and marriage.
His relationship with Taylor reinforced Mill's advocacy of women's rights. He said that in his stand against domestic violence, and for women's rights he was "chiefly an amanuensis to my wife". He called her mind a "perfect instrument", and said she was "the most eminently qualified of all those known to the author". He cites her influence in his final revision of On Liberty , which was published shortly after her death.
Taylor died in after developing severe lung congestion , after only seven years of marriage to Mill. At his inaugural address, delivered to the University on 1 February , he made the now-famous but often wrongly attributed remark that "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing". During his time as an MP, Mill advocated easing the burdens on Ireland. In , he became the first person in the history of Parliament to call for women to be given the right to vote, vigorously defending this position in subsequent debate. He also became a strong advocate of such social reforms as labour unions and farm cooperatives.
In Considerations on Representative Government , he called for various reforms of Parliament and voting, especially proportional representation , the single transferable vote , and the extension of suffrage. In April , he favoured in a Commons debate the retention of capital punishment for such crimes as aggravated murder ; he termed its abolition "an effeminacy in the general mind of the country".
He was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society in He was godfather to the philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his views on religion, Mill was an agnostic and a sceptic. Mill died in , thirteen days before his 67th birthday, of erysipelas in Avignon , France, where his body was buried alongside his wife's. Mill joined the debate over scientific method which followed on from John Herschel 's publication of A Preliminary Discourse on the study of Natural Philosophy , which incorporated inductive reasoning from the known to the unknown, discovering general laws in specific facts and verifying these laws empirically. William Whewell expanded on this in his History of the Inductive Sciences, from the Earliest to the Present Time , followed in by The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Founded Upon their History , presenting induction as the mind superimposing concepts on facts.
Laws were self-evident truths, which could be known without need for empirical verification. In " Mill's Methods " of induction , as in Herschel's, laws were discovered through observation and induction, and required empirical verification. He suggested that it is very likely that during his stay in India he may have come across the tradition of logic, on which scholars started taking interest after , though it is unknown whether it influenced his work or not. Mill's On Liberty addresses the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.
However, Mill is clear that his concern for liberty does not extend to all individuals and all societies. He states that " Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with Barbarians. Mill states that it is not a crime to harm oneself as long as the person doing so is not harming others. He favours the harm principle : "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. More controversially, he also argues that the state may legitimately regulate marriage and child-bearing.
In fact, Gregory Claeys argues, this effectively renders his method of social analysis family-centred rather than individualistic, as is usually assumed. But this in turn must be understood as defined in part in class terms. For the harm principle seemingly permits the wealthy to do many things denied to the poor. Though this principle seems clear, there are a number of complications. For example, Mill explicitly states that "harms" may include acts of omission as well as acts of commission.
Thus, failing to rescue a drowning child counts as a harmful act, as does failing to pay taxes , or failing to appear as a witness in court. All such harmful omissions may be regulated, according to Mill. By contrast, it does not count as harming someone if—without force or fraud—the affected individual Consents to assume the risk: thus one may permissibly offer unsafe employment to others, provided there is no deception involved. He does, however, recognise one limit to consent: society should not permit people to sell themselves into slavery. The question of what counts as a self-regarding action and what actions, whether of omission or commission, constitute harmful actions subject to regulation, continues to exercise interpreters of Mill.
He did not consider giving offence to constitute "harm"; an action could not be restricted because it violated the conventions or morals of a given society. Mill believed that "the struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history. Mill defined social liberty as protection from "the tyranny of political rulers".
He introduced a number of different concepts of the form tyranny can take, referred to as social tyranny, and tyranny of the majority. Social liberty for Mill meant putting limits on the ruler's power so that he would not be able to use that power to further his own wishes and thus make decisions that could harm society. In other words, people should have the right to have a say in the government's decisions. He said that social liberty was "the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.
However, in Mill's view, limiting the power of government was not enough: . Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Mill's view on liberty , which was influenced by Joseph Priestley and Josiah Warren , is that the individual ought to be free to do as they wished unless they caused harm to others. Individuals are rational enough to make decisions about their well being.
Government should interfere when it is for the protection of society. Mill explained: . The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. 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. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
On Liberty involves an impassioned defense of free speech. Mill argues that free discourse is a necessary condition for intellectual and social progress. We can never be sure, he contends, that a silenced opinion does not contain some element of the truth. He also argues that allowing people to air false opinions is productive for two reasons.
First, individuals are more likely to abandon erroneous beliefs if they are engaged in an open exchange of ideas. Second, by forcing other individuals to re-examine and re-affirm their beliefs in the process of debate, these beliefs are kept from declining into mere dogma. It is not enough for Mill that one simply has an unexamined belief that happens to be true; one must understand why the belief in question is the true one. Along those same lines Mill wrote, "unmeasured vituperation , employed on the side of prevailing opinion, really does deter people from expressing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who express them.
As an influential advocate of freedom of speech, Mill objected to censorship: . I choose, by preference the cases which are least favourable to me — In which the argument opposing freedom of opinion, both on truth and that of utility , is considered the strongest. Let the opinions impugned be the belief of God and in a future state, or any of the commonly received doctrines of morality But I must be permitted to observe that it is not the feeling sure of a doctrine be it what it may which I call an assumption of infallibility.
It is the undertaking to decide that question for others , without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side. And I denounce and reprobate this pretension not the less if it is put forth on the side of my most solemn convictions. However positive anyone's persuasion may be, not only of the faculty but of the pernicious consequences, but to adopt expressions which I altogether condemn the immorality and impiety of opinion. And so far from the assumption being less objectionable or less dangerous because the opinion is called immoral or impious, this is the case of all others in which it is most fatal.
Mill outlines the benefits of 'searching for and discovering the truth' as a way to further knowledge. He argued that even if an opinion is false, the truth can be better understood by refuting the error. And as most opinions are neither completely true nor completely false, he points out that allowing free expression allows the airing of competing views as a way to preserve partial truth in various opinions. He said that freedom of speech was a vital way to develop talents and realise a person's potential and creativity.
He repeatedly said that eccentricity was preferable to uniformity and stagnation. The belief that freedom of speech would advance society presupposed a society sufficiently culturally and institutionally advanced to be capable of progressive improvement. If any argument is really wrong or harmful, the public will judge it as wrong or harmful, and then those arguments cannot be sustained and will be excluded. Mill argued that even any arguments which are used in justifying murder or rebellion against the government shouldn't be politically suppressed or socially persecuted. According to him, if rebellion is really necessary, people should rebel; if murder is truly proper, it should be allowed. However, the way to express those arguments should be a public speech or writing, not in a way that causes actual harm to others.
Such is the harm principle : "That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. In the majority opinion, Holmes writes: . The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. Holmes suggested that falsely shouting out "Fire! Nowadays, Mill's argument is generally accepted by many democratic countries , and they have laws at least guided by the harm principle.
For example, in American law some exceptions limit free speech such as obscenity , defamation , breach of peace , and " fighting words ". In On Liberty , Mill thought it was necessary for him to restate the case for press freedom. He considered that argument already won. Almost no politician or commentator in midth-century Britain wanted a return to Tudor and Stuart-type press censorship.
However, Mill warned new forms of censorship could emerge in the future. A new British Bill of Rights could include a US-type constitutional ban on governmental infringement of press freedom and block other official attempts to control freedom of opinion and expression. Mill, an employee of the East India Company from to ,  argued in support of what he called a benevolent despotism with regard to the administration of overseas colonies. To suppose that the same international customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error.
Mill expressed general support for Company rule in India , but expressed reservations on specific Company policies in India which he disagreed with. 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.Mill explains john stuart mill on liberty summary different pleasures as:. Although Dj Kool Herc: The Subculture Of Hip Hop was john stuart mill on liberty summary by utilitarianism, he nevertheless wrote again and again john stuart mill on liberty summary defense of the importance of john stuart mill on liberty summary rights of individuals—notably in defense of both suffrage for women and their equal rights in education. If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and Explain Why Trophies Should Not Be Abolished Persuasive Essay would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it john stuart mill on liberty summary support a larger, but not a better or a john stuart mill on liberty summary population, I sincerely hope, for the john stuart mill on liberty summary of john stuart mill on liberty summary, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity Apush Dbq 1 Analysis them to it. John stuart mill on liberty summary it appears that the people are making their own rules, it is easier for citizens to follow along, subscribing to a false sense of empowerment. Utilitarianism 4 The john stuart mill on liberty summary doesn't hold up well at all in john stuart mill on liberty summary terms, Summary: The Morality Of Abortion each of its inferences is john stuart mill on liberty summary fallacious, john stuart mill on liberty summary Mill may have been correct in supposing on psychological grounds Multistate Licensure Compact And What Are Its Implications On Nursing seeking pleasure and john stuart mill on liberty summary pain are the touchstones john stuart mill on liberty summary which most of john stuart mill on liberty summary typically live. Cultures develop vocabulary to convey ideas.