John Stuart Mill: Ethics - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Mill's utilitarian justification of secondary principles is intendedas a contrast with the intuitionism of William Whewell and others. Ashe makes clear in his essay “Whewell on MoralPhilosophy”(CW X), Mill thinks that the intuitionistwrongly treats familiar moral precepts as ultimate moral factors whosejustification is supposed to be self-evident. By contrast, Mill'saccount of secondary principles recognizes their importance in moralreasoning but insists that they are neither innate nor infallible; theyare precepts that have been adopted and internalized because of theiracceptance value, and their continued use should be suitably regulatedby their ongoing comparative acceptance value. Far from underminingutilitarian first principles, Mill thinks, appeal to the importance ofsuch moral principles actually provides support for utilitarianism.
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But Mill was not content with this "departmental" view, taken by itself: he proceeded to build two further "bridges" between his new and his old opinions. In an essay, written for the most part in 1830, and published in the in 1836, Mill had laid down with the utmost stringency that the only method appropriate to political economy, to the Ricardian economics, was the or deductive one. Between this and the method of Observation recommended by Comte it might have been thought that there was a sufficiently wide gulf. But Mill now proceeded to describe "the historical method,"—whereby "general" Sociology was to be built up according to Comte and himself alike,—in such terms as permitted him to designate even that a "Deductive Method," though indeed an Deductive Method." Thus the evident contrast in method was softened down into the difference simply between "direct" and "inverse" deduction.
Some of the titles have been modified or added, as explained above; the full titles in their various forms will be found in the headnotes. The dates added to the titles are those of first publication. When footnotes to the titles gave bibliographic information, these have been deleted, and the information given in the headnotes. In two places a line space has been inserted between paragraphs where there is a page break in the copy-text; in both cases the space is justified by other editions and parallel cases. On 200, where Mill added part of another essay, a series of asterisks replaces a rule; square brackets are deleted; and the explanatory paragraph is raised to normal type size. (In the same essay, at 176.9, “first part” is altered to “First Part” to conform to earlier and adjacent usage.)
On Liberty Essay | Human Nature | GradeSaver
Two years after Mill founded the Utilitarian Society, Bentham and a few friends launched the as an official organ for utilitarian ideas. In its first four years (1824-28) Mill, despite his youth, was a frequent contributor on a wide range of themes, which he treated in the spirit of utilitarian orthodoxy. He criticized the follies of aristocratic rule in Britain and Ireland, the illusions of chivalry formerly associated with aristocracy, the vested interests of great landowners in corn and game laws, and the ills of a faulty journalism. He strove to liberate the English press from the trammels of an abused and arbitrary law of libel and the burden of press duties. Mill like his father and other contemporary Radicals saw in the freedom of the press the essential instrument for mobilizing opinion, breaking down resistance to reform, and creating that degree of popular discontent which would compel the aristocratic government to make substantial concessions. He was naturally inspired by his father’s famous essay on “Liberty of the Press,” first published in 1821 as a supplement to the He accepted his parent’s uncompromising belief that no special laws should exist to hamper the freedom of newspapers to print facts and advance opinions to protect the people against the tyranny of a government.