John Stuart Mill had strong sympathies with a liberal form of market socialism based on worker-owned and worker-managed firms. He thought that only very few government interventions were needed to trigger a peaceful and spontaneous transition to such an economic system. This article recapitulates his thesis and argument by focusing on his major work Principles of Political Economy, which is rather neglected by philosophers, especially in the German-speaking world. I will argue that Mill was too optimistic in his hope for a spontaneous transition without government intervention. Since it is possible to reconstruct how Mill thought this transition would proceed, it is also possible to identify at what point the transition did not advance in the way envisioned by him, but was blocked by antagonistic forces. I will argue that this insight is not only of historical value, but still poses a serious problem for John Rawls’s theory of justice. Rawls follows Mill closely in his discussion of the proper economic system and he faces the same problem of transition.
Keywords John Rawls  John Stuart Mill  liberal socialism  market socialism  property-owning democracy  social transition
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/dzph-2018-0023
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,107
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

10 Ein Systematischer Rückblick Auf John Stuart Mills Denken.Otfried Höffe - 2015 - In Thomas Schramme & Michael Schefczyk (eds.), John Stuart Mill: Über Die Freiheit. De Gruyter. pp. 181-194.
5 Mills deontische Konkretisierung des Freiheitsprinzips.Markus Stepanians - 2015 - In Thomas Schramme & Michael Schefczyk (eds.), John Stuart Mill: Über Die Freiheit. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 75-92.
John Stuart Mills doppelte Vaterschaft für den Britischen Emergentismus.Achim Stephan - 1996 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 78 (3):277-308.
Additional Letters of John Stuart Mill.John Stuart Mill - 1991 - University of Toronto Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #353,989 of 2,454,643 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,377 of 2,454,643 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes