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Online_Lecture_19 - PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics Out of e...

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PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics Out of t e crooked T mber of humani ± no s ² aight t ing was ever made .” Immanuel Kan ³ 1 John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty
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2 From Utilitarianism to On Liberty Mill’s Utilitarianis m was published in 1861 the same year Lincoln became President and the Civil War broke out and is assigned in ethics classes everywhere Mill is most easily interpreted as an act utilitarian, but it is a complicated matter, as we’ve seen, and he may in fact be a rule - utilitarian Either way, Utilitarianis m is Mill’s attempt to construct a moral theory, an account of right and wrong on a par with its competitors: Divine Command, Cultural Relativism, and so on
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3 From Utilitarianism to On Liberty Mill’s On Liberty was published several years earlier ( 1859 ) and is no t assigned in ethics classes everywhere The question Mill addresses in OL is much narrower than the broad moral questions tackled in Utilitarianis m Mill makes his project clear in the opening line of the work:
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4 The subject of this essay is not the so-called liberty of the will. ..but civil [liberty], or social liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. A question seldom stated, and hardly ever discussed, in general terms, but which profoundly influences the practical controversies of the age by its latent presence, and is likely soon to make itself recognized as the vital question of the future. As contemporary philosophers would put it, Mill is in search of a Liberty - Limiting Principl e
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5 But why recognize limits on liberty at all? Why not say that individual freedom is absolute?
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6 Some Easy ( ? ) Questions Should your neighbor be free to play music as loudly as he wishes at any time that he wishes?
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This note was uploaded on 06/09/2011 for the course PHIL 4 taught by Professor Chandler during the Fall '08 term at UCSB.

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Online_Lecture_19 - PHIL 4: Introduction to Ethics Out of e...

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