Reissued here in its corrected second edition of 1864, this essay by John Stuart Mill argues for a utilitarian theory of morality. Originally printed as a series of three articles in Fraser's Magazine in 1861, the work sought to refine the 'greatest happiness' principle that had been championed by Jeremy Bentham, defending it from common criticisms, and offering a justification of its validity. Following Bentham, Mill holds that actions can be judged as right or wrong depending on whether they promote (...) happiness or 'the reverse of happiness'. Although attracted by Bentham's consequentialist framework based on empirical evidence rather than intuition, Mill separates happiness into 'higher' and 'lower' pleasures, arguing for a weighted system of measurement when making and judging decisions. Dissected and debated since its first appearance, the essay is Mill's key discussion on the topic and remains a fundamental text in the study of ethics. (shrink)
Collected here in a single volume for the first time, On Liberty, Utilitarianism, Considerations on Representative Government, and The Subjection of Women show Mill applying his liberal utilitarian philosophy to a range of issues that remain vital today - issues of the nature of ethics, the scope and limits of individual liberty, the merits of and costs of democratic government, and the place of women in society. In his Introduction John Gray describes these essays as applications of Mill's doctrine of (...) the Art of Life, as set out in A System of Logic. Using the resources of recent revisionist scholarship, he shows Mill's work to be far richer and subtler than traditional interpretations allow. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism is one of the most important, controversial, and suggestive works of moral philosophy ever written. Mill defends the view that all human action should produce the greatest happiness overall, and that happiness itself is to be understood as consisting in "higher" and "lower" pleasures. This volume uses the 1871 edition of the text, the last to be published in Mill's lifetime. The text is preceded by a comprehensive introduction assessing Mill's philosophy and the alternatives to utilitarianism, (...) and discussing some of the specific issues Mill raises in Utilitarianism. (shrink)
Mill predicted that "[t]he Liberty is likely to survive longer than anything else that I have written...because the conjunction of [Harriet Taylor’s] mind with mine has rendered it a kind of philosophic text-book of a single truth, which the changes progressively taking place in modern society tend to bring out in ever greater relief." Indeed, On Liberty is one of the most influential books ever written, and remains a foundational document for the understanding of vital political, philosophical and social issues. (...) In addition to its many useful appendices, this new edition includes a chronology, bibliography, and a substantial introduction which outlines Mill’s life and works, and sets this central work of 1859 in the context of both his own intellectual development and of the play of ideas and political forces in Victorian society. (shrink)
This was scanned from the 1909 edition and mechanically checked against a commercial copy of the text from CDROM. Differences were corrected against the paper edition. The text itself is thus a highly accurate rendition. The footnotes were entered manually.
The defects of any form of government may be either negative or positive. It is negatively defective if it does not concentrate in the hands of the authorities power sufficient to fulfil the necessary offices of a government; or if it does not sufficiently develop by exercise the active capacities and social feelings of the individual citizens. On neither of these points is it necessary that much should be said at this stage of our inquiry.
British philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill is the author of several essays, including Utilitarianism - a defence of Jeremy Bentham's principle applied to the field of ethics - and The Subjection of Women, which advocates legal equality between the sexes. This work, arguably his most famous contribution to political philosophy and theory, was first published in 1859, and remains a major influence upon contemporary liberal political thought. In it, Mill argues for a limitation of the power of government and (...) society over the individual, and defines liberty as an absolute individual right. According to the still much debated 'harm principle', power against the individual can only be exercised to prevent harm to others. Full of contemporary relevance, this essay also defends freedom of speech as a necessary condition of social and intellectual progress. (shrink)
Reissued in its revised 1866 second edition, this work by John Stuart Mill discusses the positivist views of the French philosopher and social scientist Auguste Comte. Comte is regarded as the founder of positivism, the doctrine that all knowledge must derive from sensory experience. The two-part text was originally printed as two articles in the Westminster Review in 1865. Part 1 offers an analysis of Comte's earlier works on positivism in the natural and social sciences, while Part 2 considers its (...) application in areas such as religion and ethics. Mill states that Comte is the first philosopher who has attempted to extend positivism 'to all objects of human knowledge'. Despite being critical of a number of Comte's views, such as the exclusion of psychology from positivist science, Mill acknowledges his fellow philosopher's influence in the face of common negative perceptions of the positivist movement. (shrink)
v. 1. Autobiography and literary essays.--v. 2-3. Principles of political economy.--v. 4-5. Essays on economics and society, 1824-1879.--v. 6. Essays on England, Ireland, and the Empire.--v. 7-8. A system of logic; ratiocinative and inductive.--v. 9. An examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy.--v. 10. Essays on ethics, religion and society.--v. 11. Essays on philosophy and the classics.--v. 12-13. The earlier letters, 1812-1848.--v. 14-17. The later letters, 1849-1873.--v. 18-19. Essays on politics and society.--v. 20. Essays on French history and historians.--v. 21. Essays (...) on equality, law, and education.--v. 22-25. Newspaper writings.--v. 26-27. Journals and debating speeches.--v. 28-29. Public and parliamentary speeches.--v. 30. Writings on India.--v. 31. Miscellaneous writings.--v. 32. Additional letters of John Stuart Mill.--v. 33. Indexes to the collected works of John Stuart Mill. (shrink)
'it is only the cultivation of individuality which produces, or can produce, well developed human beings'Mill's four essays, 'On Liberty, 'Utilitarianism', 'Considerations on Representative Government', and 'The Subjection of Women' examine the most central issues that face liberal democratic regimes - whether in the nineteenth century or the twenty-first. They have formed the basis for many of the political institutions of the West since the late nineteenth century, tackling as they do the appropriate grounds for protecting individual liberty, the basic (...) principles of ethics, the benefits and the costs of representative institutions, and the central importance of gender equality in society.These essays are central to the liberal tradition, but their interpretation and how we should understand their connection with each other are both contentious. In their introduction Mark Philp and Frederick Rosen set the essays in the context of Mill's other works, and argue that his conviction in the importance of the development of human character in its full diversity provides the core to his liberalism and to any defensible account of the value of liberalism to the modern world. (shrink)
In diesem Essay von 1859, seinem Hauptwerk, streitet John Stuart Mill für das Recht jedes einzelnen, seine Überzeugungen frei zu bilden und das eigene Leben nach diesen Überzeugungen frei zu gestalten. Für ihn gibt es daher nur einen Grund, der es Staat und Gesellschaft erlaubt, dieses Recht auf individuelle Selbstbestimmung zu beschneiden, und den sieht er in dem Grundsatz, "daß der einzige Zweck, um dessentwillen man Zwang gegen den Willen eines Mitglieds einer zivilisierten Gemeinschaft rechtmäßig ausüben darf, der ist: die (...) Schädigung anderer zu verhüten".Dieser Essay Mills bleibt – ganz unabhängig davon, ob man seine Verteidigung des Utilitarismus teilen kann oder nicht – ein Meilenstein in der Geschichte der philosophischen Begründungen des Rechtes auf Selbstbestimmung, das jedem einzelnen zugestanden werden muß. (shrink)
This volume brings together for the first time all the writings of John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill on equality between the sexes, including John Stuart Mill's The Subjection of Women, a classic in the history of the women's rights ...
The three major essays collected in this volume were written in the latter half of Mill's life (1806-1873) and were quickly accepted into the canon of European political and social thought. Today, when liberty and representative government collide with other principles and when women still experience prejudice, Mill's essays reveal his sense of history, intelligence, and ardent concern for human liberty, and continue to shed light on politics and contemporary society.
The dominant figure of mid-nineteenth-century British political economy, John Stuart Mill exercised a lasting influence on philosophical thought. This compact statement of Mill's doctrines starts with an informative Introduction by editor Ernest Nagel and proceeds with extracts from A System of Logic that clarify Mill's processes of reasoning. The following five-part treatment draws upon the philosopher's major works to consider names and propositions; reasoning; induction; operations subsidiary to induction; and the logic of the moral sciences. Selections from An Examination of (...) Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy conclude the text, along with an essay on the definition of political economy and its methods of investigation. (shrink)
Bentham.--Coleridge.--M. de Tocqueville on democracy in America.--On liberty.--Utilitarianism.--From Considerations on representative government.--From An examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy, volume 1.--From Three essays on religion.--John Stuart Mill, a select bibliography (p. -530).