Quality and Competence: An Analysis of the Role of Mill's Qualitative Hedonism on his Conception of Representative Democracy
Miller, J. Joseph
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Traditionally, John Stuart Mill has been described as a transitional thinker who fails to fully understand the values he espouses. Critics contend that he cannot simultaneously espouse both utility maximization and the protection of individual choice-making as a non-trumpable value. Like his moral philosophy, Mill's political thought is also rejected for interspersing, seemingly at random, elements of utilitarianism with concerns about respecting individual choice-making. More recent attempts to bring Mill's commitment to utilitarianism into line with his respect for individual choice-making are not wholly successful. In this thesis, I offer an interpretation of Mill's moral philosophy which reconciles the tension between utility maximization and respect for individual choice-making as a non-trumpable value. In addition, I argue that my interpretation of Mill's moral philosophy also allows us to interpret his political thought.
- Masters Theses