4 posts

"John Stuart Mill," by Mitch Francis

Mill’s Utilitarianism

What Utilitarianism Is
According to the Greatest Happiness Principle… [hilite]the ultimate end[/hilite], with reference to and for the sake of which all other things are desirable (whether we are considering our own good or that of other people), [hilite]is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments[/hilite], both in point of quantity and quality; the test of quality, and the rule for measuring it against quantity, being the preference felt by those who in their opportunities of experience, to which must be added their habits of self-consciousness and self-observation, are best furnished with the means of comparison.

"John Stuart Mill," by Mitch Francis

Mill’s Hedonism

The selections come from Mill’s (1863) Utilitarianism.[oohcol][oohead]Chapter 2[/oohead] The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds 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. To give a clear view of the moral standard set up by the theory, much more requires to be said; in particular, what things it includes in the ideas of pain and pleasure; and to what […]

"John Stuart Mill," by Mitch Francis

Mill’s “On Liberty”

John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859: Harvard Classics Volume 25, 1909 P.F. Collier & Son).[oohcol] [commentary]This document is edited to about half its full length.[/commentary] [shadowbox] “The grand, leading principle, towards which every argument unfolded in these pages directly converges, is the absolute and essential importance of human development in its richest diversity.” Wilhelm von Humboldt,  Sphere and Duties of Government “To the beloved and deplored memory of her who was the inspirer, and in part the author, of all that is best in my writings—the friend and wife whose exalted sense of truth and right was my strongest incitement, and […]

"John Stuart Mill," by Mitch Francis

Mill’s Harm Principle

from John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859).[oohcol] [oohead]The Harm Principle[/oohead] The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that 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. [hilite bg=”#e5e5e5″]That the only purpose for which power can be […]