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Readings In Social Science - Essay Example

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The paper "Readings In Social Science" describes what John Stuart Mills was born in 1806 and was the eldest son of an already notable author who penned History of British India. It would be safe to assume through Mills’ Autobiography, that his most influential teacher was his own father…
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Readings In Social Science
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Download file to see previous pages Through adapting these works toward the social commentary of the day, we find that in the same article of work by The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy is that “Mill's defense of the view that we ought to pursue happiness because we do pursue happiness, has been the object of savage attack by, among others, F. H. Bradley in his Ethical Studies 1874 and G. E. Moore in Principia Ethica 1903.” This would be aptly served by the situation of today’s social policies in that it seems quite apparent in how his insight many years ago would have been a service to those governing today. “But others have argued that on this particular point, Mill was misinterpreted by his critics. His insistence that happiness was to be assessed not merely by quantity but by quality - the doctrine that a dissatisfied Socrates is not only better than a satisfied fool but somehow happier, too - has puzzled generations of commentators” (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy). Taking the above statement into consideration, it would be evident that the social system of governance that is clearly applicable today has been influenced partly in what Mill parlayed in his writings. It is a mandate of the social reformists to make society economically grounded through necessity and not indulgence. Adding to the fears of the time and how America was starting to engage in over-indulgences brought on by the industrial revolution, “Mill feared that it was also a society that cared nothing for individual liberty.”...
Adding to the fears of the time and how America was starting to engage in over-indulgences brought on by the industrial revolution, "Mill feared that it was also a society that cared nothing for individual liberty." (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy). This thinking would lead to a lack of "civil liberties" as Mill quoted in his writings On Liberty written in 1859.
Through the lack of civil liberties "Mill lays down "one very simple principle" to govern the use of coercion in society - and by coercion he means both legal penalties and the operation of public opinion" (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy) and through this analogy Mill points out that society needs to follow the utilitarian viewpoint on self-discretion and self-denial.
Utilitarianism and Its Impact
Utilitarianism is defined by the Bentham ideology a "a moral theory according to which an action is right if and only if it conforms to the principle of utility." (Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy) This basically means that an action is only correct in its definition if it relates to the consequences of that action. It is perceived that happiness of self applies to the welfare of self and utilitarian law implicates that happiness equates to the welfare of those best affected. The application of the word utilitarianism has been replaced by consequentialism by devotees of the movement.
Mill's Theories of Influence
It is apparent early philosophers had a great deal of influence over Mill and his social rhetoric on his viewpoints about social reform, but, there are those who have been guided by Mill themselves which include such individuals as: John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Karl Popper, Ronald Dworkin, H.L.A. Hart, Peter Singer. One such individual, John Rawls, was such a profound philosopher with respect ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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