David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):231-251 (2001)
Critics have charged that John Stuart Mill''s discussion as of paternalism in On Liberty is internally inconsistent, noting, for example, the numerous instances in which Mill explicitly endorses examples of paternalistic coercion. Similarly, commentators have noted an apparent contradiction between Mill''s political liberalism – according to which the state should be neutral among competing conceptions of the good – and Mill''s condemnation of non-autonomous ways of life, such as that of a servile wife. More generally, critics have argued that while Mill professes an allegiance to utilitarianism, he actually abandons it in favor of a view that values personal autonomy as the greatest intrinsic good. This paper presents an interpretation of Mill that provides a viable and consistent treatment of paternalism, thereby refuting each of the aforementioned critiques. Mill''s views, it argues, are consistently utilitarian. Moreover, the interpretation accounts for all of Mill''s departures from his otherwise blanket prohibition of paternalistic legislation. In particular, it explains his most notorious example, the condemnation of voluntary contracts for slavery. The interpretation emphasizes Mill''s conceptual linkage between autonomy and utility, noting his implicit use of at least three different senses of the notion of autonomy.
|Keywords||Mill solidadridad liberalismo etica|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
David Schwan (2013). JS Mill on Coolie Labour and Voluntary Slavery. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4):754-766.
Similar books and articles
Deni Elliott (2007). Getting Mill Right. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 22 (2 & 3):100 – 112.
Daniel Jacobson (2003). J.S. Mill and the Diversity of Utilitarianism. Philosophers' Imprint 3 (2):1-18.
John Stuart Mill (2009). Utilitarianism. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Christoph Schmidt-Petri (2006). On an Interpretation of Mill's Qualitative Utilitarianism. Prolegomena 5 (2):165-177.
S. Evan Kreider (2011). Mill on Happiness. Philosophical Papers 39 (1):53-68.
Dale E. Miller (2004). On Millgram on Mill. Utilitas 16 (1):96-108.
John D. Hodson (1981). Mill, Paternalism, and Slavery. Analysis 41 (1):60 - 62.
Dale E. Miller (2010). Brown on Mill's Moral Theory: A Critical Response. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (1):47-66.
John Gray (2000). Mill's Liberalism and Liberalism's Posterity. Journal of Ethics 4 (1-2):137-165.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads78 ( #25,777 of 1,696,615 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #63,666 of 1,696,615 )
How can I increase my downloads?