Notes on Introduction to Philosophy -- Phil A201

William Jamison - Instructor

Lecture 12

Twelfth lecture notes for Introduction to Philosophy:

These notes are under construction. The following are only the slides used in the presentations:

John Stuart Mill 1806 - 1873

Slide 1:

Follows Jeremy Bentham - Utilitarian

Hedonistic Calculus

Governmental reforms to help the poor

1823 Mill followed his father into the employ of the British East India Company, which he served continuously until 1858.

Mill's mental crisis when in his 20's.

1830, Mill meets Harriet Taylor

Slide 2:

Mill's Life and Work

one term in Parliament (1865-68)

System of Logic (1843)

Principles of Political Economy (1848)

On Liberty (1859)

Utilitarianism (1863) -the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

The Subjection of Women (1869)

Slide 3:

Mill's Methods



Joint Method of Agreement and Difference

Concomitant Variations

Replicability and controls

Slide 4:

Utilitarian Ethics

There is one supreme principle of morality: an act is right or wrong depending on the total good or evil it produces.

Consequentialist -- ends justify means

Justice implies something which it is not only right to do, and wrong not to do, but which some individual person can claim from us as his moral right.

Slide 5:


No one has a moral right to our generosity or beneficence. 

Security is the most vital of all interests.

The principle, therefore, of giving to each what they deserve, that is, good for good as well as evil for evil, is not only included within the idea of Justice as we have defined it, but is a proper object of that intensity of sentiment.

Slide 6:


Any ethical theory whatever may lead to unsatisfactory outcomes if one assumes that idiocy is widespread.

Mistake is made by incorporating a conception of the right that requires an agent to abandon his or her own projects and plans, any time some alternative set of activities would be productive of a better overall state of affairs. (Rawls)


Ludwig Feuerbach 1804 - 1872

Slide 1:

The object of religious devotion is really the capacities which make up human nature.

Those capacities were attributed to a Being who was completely 'other,' outside of the world.

In comparison humanity seemed contemptible. Humanity was repressed for the sake of sacrificial service to God.

Slide 2:

Young Hegelians

Max Stirner:

Feuerbach's assertion that the predicates of God and humanity are really the same is simply and obviously wrong.

To say that it is the subject, God, that is exaggerated and not the predicates, so that the predicates are still applicable to humanity, is nonsense because the subject only has a nature through the predicates applied to it.

Slide 3:

Feuerbach's influence on Marx

When an ideal has psychological power over a person, it becomes something Holy. Feuerbachian humanism was a new religion.

Marx made this religion Communism

but he says: "If I know religion as alienated human self-consciousness what I know in it as religion is not my self-consciousness but my alienated self-consciousness confirmed in it."

Slide 4:

Karl Marx 1818 - 1883

Primarily social and economic influence

Naturalized Hegelianism - man as a "species being."

Dialectical Materialism

Concept of alienation

self-consciousness (religion)

objective being (production)

labor (capitalism)


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