The Objection from Justice and the Conceptual/Substantive Distinction

In , Mill on Justice. Palgrave Macmillan. 198 (2012)
Abstract
I begin this chapter by outlining Mill's thinking about why justice is a problem for utilitarians. Next, I turn to Mill's own account of justice and explain its connection with rights, perfect duties, and harms. I then examine David Lyons' answer to the question of how Mill's account is meant to answer the Weak Objection from Justice. Lyons maintains that Mill's account of justice has both a conceptual side and a substantive side. The former provides an analysis of such concepts as 'justice' and 'rights'. The latter, based on the Principle of Utility, provides an explanation of when these concepts apply. As a result, utilitarians can allow for circumstances in which actions are wrong because they are unjust, while also claiming that the standards of right and wrong (as well as justice and injustice) are determined by the Principle of Utility. However, the main thesis of this paper is that Lyons' interpretation is flawed. The distinction between the conceptual and the substantive levels of Mill's thinking does not hold up to scrutiny, and even if it did, it would not support Lyon's reading of Mill. It would instead support a debunking interpretation of justice, an interpretation recently explored by Roger Crisp. Such a debunking interpretation suggests a very different response to the Weak Objection from Justice, one that many, but not all, utilitarians will find unwelcome.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-10-01

    Total downloads

    31 ( #47,424 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.