Examination of Mill and Dworkin
Looking at the legal status of drugs, and one's own liberty for that matter, I examined the works of Mills and Dworkin. There are many different views, and in the end, as in all philosophical issues, there is no one answer. It then boils down to which one, if either, of these two different points of view is correct. Each of the works is presented in the book Contemporary Moral Problems by James White. After careful examination of both views, I will discuss each and decide if Dworkin's criticism of Mill's is correct.
To begin this essay one needs to understand the Harm Principle. The Harm Principle states that in order for one to be coerced they have to be inflicting harm on someone else. Mills is careful to say that harming someone else, by harming oneself does not count. Furthermore, Mills mentions that there are two types of persons that should not be included in the Harm: children and those adults who are unable to care for themselves (low mental capacities, low IQ). Although, the Harm Principle does allow for the use of persuasion, reason and sometimes threats. So how does the Harm Principle apply to life? In class we used safety belts as an example. By not wearing a safety belt, one is only harming themselves and therefore should not be punished when they do not wear one. In regards to this essay the obvious example is drug use. Why have drugs be illegal if they do not harm anyone but the user? That is what we are about to examine.
Mill's argues for the Harm Principle based on liberty. He says that liberty must be protected and that is why we must follow the Harm Principle. He argues for the Harm Principle based on freedom of speech. Basically, what I got out of it, he says that no matter how badly the speech may seem immoral, it should be allowed regardless. It might help to add that we learned that Mills is a libertarian. Overall, Mills thinks that the government should not coerce people in to not...
...Mill - Dworkin debate
1. Mill’s utilitarian argument against paternalism
"I forego any advantage which could be derived to my argument from the idea of abstract right as a thing independent of utility. I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions; but it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being". Mill does not argue that liberty is a right but rather that giving people liberty has beneficial consequences. Mill thinks that paternalism does not serve the utilitarian purpose (to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people) because the extent that “the most ordinary man or woman” knows about him or herself “immeasurably surpassing” anyone else. Any effort from the state to interfere, even from good intention, tends to lead to “evil” rather than good, since no one knows or cares more about his own interest than himself. As a result, “Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest”. The state should not interfere at all, except for when the act can harm others (Mill’s Harm Principle).
Dworkin’s reply to MillDworkin thinks that Mill actually employs two arguments against paternalism. The first argument, explicit, is utilitarian as Mill claims it to be....
Kant or Mill
14 November 2011
The topic of Kant and John Stuart Mill produces much debate. Both scholars have their own beliefs that they deem to be appropriate point of views in the way man should view a moral life. In this paper I plan on elaborating on both Kant and Mill’s point of views. This paper will first talk about John Stuart Mill’s beliefs on morality and what he deems appropriate. Then in the next segment of the paper, Kant views will be dissected and discussed. Only after careful consideration of both men points of view, will I take a stance on the philosopher that I deem to be the more just. In concluding my results I will state my closing remarks on the topic of Mill and Kant.
John Stuart Mill believed in what he called Utilitarianism. I want to say utilitarianism was the belief in doing what is good solely for the greater good of the masses. Now with that definition of the term being stated. I asked myself how could that be achieved. Mill’s belief is that happiness of the masses should result in happiness throughout. That happiness should be attainable because of his belief that we were all born with a clean slate and all we had in our heads are sense perceptions (Mil –block 1Page 3 Paragraph 4). Okay, if that is true all we would have to do is teach our kids that we should do the right thing and the world would be fixed. Unfortunately, the block material states...
...John Stuart Mill-Enlightenment and the freedom of thought
John Stuart Mill was born in 1806, after the Enlightenment and after the American Declaration of Independence, but his interpretation of the basic ideas of liberty, individual rights, women's rights, and other issues contribute to the continuing development of democratic ideas.
Mill was a philosopher, economist, and (like his friend Jeremy Bentham) was a proponent of Utilitarianism. Utilitarians believed that an action is right if it tends to promote happiness and wrong if it tends to produce the reverse of happiness -- not just the happiness of the person involved in the action but also the happiness of everyone affected by it. In other words, things that produce the greatest happiness for the most people are good. He particularly approves of common sense morality. There are things people do without systematic thought.
Mill believed that ethically, a person needs to be concerned for how the individual action affects society. Rights are ultimately founded on utility. In On Liberty Mill made the statement that self-protection alone could excuse or justify either the states tampering with the liberty of the individual or any personal interference with someone else's freedom.
John Stuart Mill believed that there is an intellectual elite. Without men of genius, society would become a "stagnant pool." He...
...personal liberty ensures the development of the individual and society' Assess the validity in this claim.
Within Mill's 'On Liberty' it is clear that he has a high regard for the issues surrounding freedom and it's limits. Mill is an advocate of negative freedom, as a liberal he believes that there should be no restraints on an individual's freedom unless it is hindering the freedom or health of another person. One of the main reasons as to why Mill values liberty is because it contributes to personal development. Thus Mill argues that in order for individuals to develop they should be able to perform 'experiments' in living', which allow individuals to go through a system of trial and error until they find their own appropriate way of life. Moreover, experiments in living are beneficial to society as they provide a different way of living different from that of custom and help tackle the tyranny of public opinion. Thus it can therefore be argued that Mill's account on personal liberty does in fact ensure the development of society and the individual.
The first way in which Mill's account of freedom ensures the development of the individual and society, is that it promotes the truth. The link between personal freedom and truth is one of vital importance to Mill. Personal liberty allows people to come to opinions and ideas that that they can then go and share and spread with other individuals. Thus creating a...
...A poor worker encouraged to come forward, complained, and took a stand to oppose inadequate capitalism, and also woman fought against injustice in order to claim rights as men. These were shape of Europe in 1800s. In 1806, John Stuart Mill was born in Pentonville, then a suburb of London. He was a son of James Mill, who became leading figure in the group of philosophical radicals and Jeremy Bentham’s discipline and friend. Mill co-wrote “On liberty” with his wife, Helen Taylor and published in 1958. On the other hand, Jeremy Bentham who was philosopher and jurist was born in 1748 in London. He brought utilitarianism about 19 century. His maximizing happiness on great number of people might inspire the working classes that they claim right for happiness gave government reestablished policies for all citizen weather workers or capitalist. Based on Mill and Bentham’s theory, society should protect individual’s individuality and liberty; government should promote everyone’s happiness to reduce pains.
In ancient, such as Greece, Rome, and England, the people and ruler held hostile relationships because the people protected themselves from ruler’s authority, as a result, the liberty meant, “Protection against the tyranny of political rulers.” (Mill, 5) However, as time went on, people relied on a common authority to be protected their own property and body from each other’s competitive actions. Therefore,...
...1. John Stuart Mill: Freedom
Freedom is generally defined, by a dictionary, as the condition or right of being able or allowed to do, say, think, etc. whatever you want to, without being controlled or limited (Cambridge). This means there is no interference or influence in ones’ actions or opinions by anyone else. There is no domination or dictatorial government who affects these actions or opinions. John Stuart Mill, an English philosopher and economist, gives a similar view on freedom as the Cambridge dictionary, and looks at the ‘nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual’ (Mill, 6).
Mill’s view of freedom, as he writes in his book On Liberty, is that “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign,” (Mill, 13). By this he means that an individual is free when they make independent choices, have independent opinions and have independent actions. When a person thinks and acts without the influence of outside opinion, a person exercises his or her own freedom. Mill divides human liberty into three regions. The first is the ‘domain of the conscience’ and ‘liberty of thought and feeling,’ (Mill, 15). The second is the ‘liberty of tastes and pursuits,’ and ‘framing the plan of your life’ (Mill, 16). The third region is ‘the freedom to unite, for any purpose not involving harm to others’...
...lot of attention and focus from both Rousseau and Mill, although they tackle the subject from slightly different angles. Rousseau believes that the fundamental problem facing people's capacity to leave the state of nature and enter a society in which their liberty is protected is the ability to "find a form of association that defends and protects the person and goods of each associate with all the common force, and by means of which each one, uniting with all, nevertheless obeys only himself and remains as free as before" (Rousseau 53). Man is forced to leave the state of nature because their resistance to the obstacles faced is beginning to fail (Rousseau 52). Mill does not delve as far back as Rousseau does and he begins his mission of finding a way to preserve people's liberty in an organized society by looking to order of the ancient societies of Greece, Rome and England (Mill 5). These societies "consisted of a governing One, or a governing tribe or caste, who derived their authority from inheritance or conquest" (Mill 5). This sort of rule was viewed as necessary by the citizens but was also regarded as very dangerous by Mill as the lives of citizen's were subject to the whims of the governing power who did not always have the best interests of everyone in mind. Mill proposes that the only time "power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his...
...Comparative Analysis of Devlin and Mill
It can be assumed that if J.S. Mill and Lord Devlin ever coexisted some intoxicating deliberations regarding the role of morality in society would transpire. However, time has a peculiar habit of erecting boundaries amid centuries, allowing us only to presume discourse between the contemporary and the historical. Consequentially, each individual has an obligation to formulate his or her own appraisal established through the logistic unification of the particular instant and one's own conception of idealistic righteousness. But the acquisition of an infallible and tangible philosophy with universal application would be as obstinate to create as it would to fathom. In such regard, the apparatus on which debate must rest is well constructed. If each were to believe in the intricate purity of his inspiration than no philosophy but his own would be received. It is subsequently the responsibility of that creature to sell his faculty, ensuing the continued survival of dispute. It is the function of this formula to patiently arrive at a conciliated truth in which the majority of a society can divulge. If the perceived truth were to have an impact on the thirst and fertility of an entire society than it would be in that institution's interest to create a fountain from which everyone could drink. It is this motive that has justifiably birthed meticulous curiosity in the works of both Lord Devlin and John Stuart...