• Of course, the lesson here may just be corruption.
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  • 07/04/2010 · Discuss Utilitarianism Vs

How might the two philosophies (utilitarian and libertarian) defend this stance?

Philosophy, et cetera: Libertarian vs. Utilitarian Justice

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07/08/2014 · What is the place of utilitarianism in the broader libertarian ..
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As documented in his Autobiography (1873), Mill was groomedfrom birth by his father to become the ultimate Victorian intellectualand utilitarian reformer. As part of this apprenticeship, Mill wasexposed to an extremely demanding education, shaped by utilitarianprinciples. While Mill followed the strict intellectual regimen laiddown by his father for many years, he suffered a profound intellectualand emotional crisis in the period 1826–1830. Mill's recovery wasassisted by friendships he formed with Thomas Carlyle and SamuelColeridge, who introduced him to ideas and texts from the Romantic andConservative traditions. As Mill emerged from his depression, he becamemore concerned with the development of well-rounded individuals andwith the role of feeling, culture, and creativity in the happiness ofindividuals (see Capaldi 2004).

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Here we see Mill identifying utilitarian impartiality with thedemands of justice and morality itself (also see Crisp 1997:79–80).
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Sandel (pages 70 - 72) The Utilitarians: an introduction to the principles of morals and legislation By: Jeremy Bentham
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So Mill rejects the substantive doctrines of psychological egoismand hedonism that Bentham and his father sometimes defended orsuggested. This is really part of a larger criticism of the conceptionof psychology and human nature underlying Benthamite utilitarianism,which Mill elaborates in his essays on Bentham. Mill's desire todistance himself from Benthamite assumptions about human nature andpsychology are also reflected in his conception of happiness and hisdoctrine of higher pleasures.

A lawyer may be less certain that justice will be done, but his professional confidentialty is based on what is needed to protect the innocent, i.e.
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In attempting to distinguish between natural and social obstacles weshall inevitably come across gray areas. An important example is thatof obstacles created by impersonal economic forces. Do economicconstraints like recession, poverty and unemployment merelyincapacitate people, or do they also render them unfree? Libertariansand egalitarians have provided contrasting answers to this question byappealing to different conceptions of constraints. Thus, one way ofanswering the question is by taking an even more restrictive view ofwhat counts as a constraint on freedom, so that only a subset of theset of obstacles brought about by other persons counts as arestriction of freedom: those brought about intentionally. Inthis case, impersonal economic forces, being brought aboutunintentionally, do not restrict people's freedom, eventhough they undoubtedly make many people unable to do manythings. This last view has been taken by a number of market-orientedlibertarians, including, most famously, Friedrich von Hayek (1960,1982), according to whom freedom is the absence of coercion, where tobe coerced is to be subject to the arbitrary will of another. (Noticethe somewhat surprising similarity between this conception of freedomand the republican conception discussed earlier, in section 3.2)Critics of libertarianism, on the other hand, typically endorse abroader conception of constraints on freedom that includes not onlyintentionally imposed obstacles but also unintended obstacles forwhich someone may nevertheless be held responsible (for Miller andKristjánsson and Shnayderman this means morallyresponsible; for Oppenheim and Kramer it means causallyresponsible), or indeed obstacles created in any way whatsoever, sothat unfreedom comes to be identical to inability (see Crocker 1980;Cohen 1988; Sen 1992; Van Parijs 1995).

Does that make me a libertarian about ..

Hedonism is apparently introduced in the Proportionality Doctrine,when Mill identifies happiness and pleasure (U II 2). Inintroducing the doctrine of higher pleasures, Mill appears to want tomake some refinement within hedonism (II 3–5). But the higherpleasures doctrine appeals to the informed or idealized preferences ofa competent judge and identifies higher pleasures with the object oftheir preferences (II 5). Moreover, he treats this appeal to thepreferences of competent judges as final (II 8). But competent judgesprefer higher activities, and not just subjective pleasures caused bythose activities, and their preference for higher pursuits is based ontheir sense of the dignity inherent in a life lived that way (II 6).Moreover, in On Liberty and elsewhere he embraces a“progressive” conception of happiness in terms ofreflective self-examination and directive self-control. Since these arethree distinct and rival claims about Mill's conception of the finalgood, any reading must explain away inconsistency as best it can andsay something about how these three elements are to be reconciled withone another.

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This analysis of constraints helps to explain why socialists andegalitarians have tended to claim that the poor in a capitalistsociety are as such unfree, or that they are less free than the rich,whereas libertarians have tended to claim that the poor in acapitalist society are no less free than the rich. Egalitarianstypically (though not always) assume a broader notion thanlibertarians of what counts as a constraint on freedom. Although thisview does not necessarily imply what Berlin would call a positivenotion of freedom, egalitarians often call their own definition apositive one, in order to convey the sense that freedom requires notmerely the absence of certain social relations of prevention but thepresence of abilities, or what Amartya Sen has influentially called‘capabilities’ (Sen 1985, 1988, 1992). (Importantexceptions to this egalitarian tendency to broaden the relevant set ofconstraints include Waldron (1993) and Cohen (2011), who demonstrate,for the sake of argument, that relative poverty is in fact empiricallyinseparable from, and indeed proportional to, the imposition ofphysical barriers by other agents, and Steiner (1994), who grounds aleft-libertarian theory of justice in the idea of an equaldistribution of social freedom.)