An analysis of the john stuart mill philosophy between law and morality

It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do… By the principle of utility is meant that principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever according to the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question:

An analysis of the john stuart mill philosophy between law and morality

Of the Connection between Justice and Utility Part 1 Summary Mill says that throughout history, one of the biggest barriers to the acceptance of utility has been that it does not allow for a theory of justice.

In this chapter, then, Mill will determine whether the justice or injustice of an action is something intrinsic and distinct from questions of utility. In examining this it is necessary to determine whether a sense of justice exists in itself, or is derivative and formed by a combination of other feelings; is this sense explicable by our emotional make-up, or is it a "special provision of nature"?

To answer this, we must ascertain what the distinguishing quality of justice is, if there is such a quality. Mill begins by trying to pin down the meaning of justice, by coming up with a list of those things that are commonly classified as just or unjust. First, it is considered unjust to deprive someone of his legal rights.

However, this concept has exceptions. For example, a person may have legal rights he should not have--his rights may be the provision of a bad law.

An analysis of the john stuart mill philosophy between law and morality

While people vary on whether bad laws can be justly disobeyed, all people agree that laws can be unjust. Therefore, law cannot be the ultimate standard of justice. A second form of injustice comes from depriving someone of something he has a moral right to possess.

A fourth form of injustice is to violate an agreement with someone or disappoint expectations that one knowingly nurtured. Fifth, it is considered unjust to show favoritism and preference in inappropriate circumstances. The claim is rather that a person should only be influenced by those considerations that should apply in a given circumstance.

Finally, the idea of equality is seen by many to be a component of justice; some people may make an exception for the sake of expediency, however.

Given so many different applications of the concept of justice, it is hard to find what links them all together, and on what concept the sentiment of justice is based.

Nevertheless, people do see justice as a unified concept, and do feel a sentiment of justice regardless of whether they understand its foundation.

Mill says that some help may come from looking at the history of the word. Thus, the most primitive element of justice is the idea of conformity to law. The Greeks and Romans realized that there could be bad laws, and thus justice came to be associated only to those laws that ought to exist, including those that should exist but do not.

Mill also recognizes, however, that the idea of justice is often applied to areas about which we would not want legislation: At this point, Mill observes that while this discussion has given a true account of the origin and development of justice, it does not show a distinction from other forms of morality.

Thus, moral obligation in general comes from the idea of duty, the idea that a person may rightly be compelled to do something. He argues that this concept of deserving or not deserving punishment is the essence of moral thinking in general.

Mill argues that justice can be distinguished from other forms of morality by looking at the difference between perfect and imperfect obligations.

Imperfect obligations are those that no one person has the right to require of another. Perfect obligations are those that a person may demand of another. Justice corresponds with the idea of perfect obligation: In cases of justice, the person who has been wronged has had his or her moral right impinged upon; it is thus his or her moral right to seek restitution.

Commentary Here Mill responds to the claim that utilitarianism is opposed to justice. This section is mostly descriptive, as Mill writes about the definition of justice and its historical origins. It is significant that Mill does not present his own theory about what justice requires.

Thus, in defining justice Mill looks to what other people mean by the term. It exists because people believe it exists, and it means what they believe it to mean. Starting from the popular conception of justice, Mill theorizes about what links a diverse set of ideas about justice.

Ultimately, he argues that they are united by the concept of rights, a notion he introduces in his claims about perfect and imperfect obligations. This section is the first time that Mill spends any time writing about rights. In the next section, he will go into the idea in greater detail.Morality and religion have been closely tied to one another for thousands of years.

Until quite recently, religion was the primary, if not the only, source of morals. Religion generally disseminated its ethical guidelines through sacred texts, oral traditions and/or important figures (e.g. prophets). John Stuart Mill (–) was the most famous and influential British philosopher of the nineteenth century.

He was one of the last systematic philosophers, making significant contributions in logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and social theory. John Stuart Mill (—) John Stuart Mill () profoundly influenced the shape of nineteenth century British thought and political discourse.

e-books in Philosophy category Resemblance and Representation: An Essay in the Philosophy of Pictures by Ben Blumson - Open Book Publishers, The strategy of the book is to argue that the apparently compelling objections raised against the platitude that depiction is mediated by resemblance are manifestations of more general problems, which are familiar from the philosophy of language.

Mill’s Naturalism

John Stuart Mill was one of the most important writers on the subject intellectual and personal freedom. His writings are voluminous in many areas of philosophy. Social Choice Theory and J. S. Mill's Philosophy, Cambridge: CUP. Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey, , “Mill's 'Proof' of the Principle of Utility: A More than Half-Hearted Defense”, in: Social Philosophy & Policy 18, Skorupski, John, , John Stuart Mill.

Utilitarianism - Wikipedia On Liberty Mill's On Liberty addresses the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. However Mill is clear that his concern for liberty does not extend to all individuals and all societies.
Macaire, Robert John Stuart was educated by his father, with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place.
Academic Tools James Mill, a Scotsman, had been educated at Edinburgh University—taught by, amongst others, Dugald Stewart—and had moved to London inwhere he was to become a friend and prominent ally of Jeremy Bentham and the Philosophical Radicals. For this, at least, it prepared him well.

The Arguments of the Philosophers, London & New York: Routledge.

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