Download Reforming Liberalism: J.S. Mill's Use of Ancient, Religious, by Professor Robert Devigne PDF

By Professor Robert Devigne

In Reforming Liberalism, Robert Devigne demanding situations triumphing interpretations of the political and ethical considered John Stuart Mill and the theoretical underpinnings of recent liberal philosophy. He explains how Mill drew from historic and romantic concept in addition to earlier spiritual practices to reconcile conflicts and antinomies (liberty and advantage, self-interest and morality, equality and human excellence) that have been hobbling conventional liberalism. The e-book indicates that Mill, considered as a seminal author within the liberal culture, evaluations liberalism’s weaknesses with a forcefulness often linked to its recognized critics. Devigne explores Mill’s writings to illustrate how his suggestion has been misconstrued--as good as oversimplified--to the detriment of our realizing of liberalism itself.

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Additional resources for Reforming Liberalism: J.S. Mill's Use of Ancient, Religious, Liberal, and Romantic Moralities

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The dialectic mainly reveals our ignorance and what kinds of criteria a good argument must meet. It shows how our moralities do not derive from reason and that reason itself could not constitute the ultimate source of authority. 23 Empiricism’s restricted psychology, Mill concludes, contributes to the inability of both Plato and the contemporary liberal tradition of Hobbes, Locke, and Hume to discover the foundation of morality. What distinguishes Plato from contemporary empiricists is his recognition that his attempts to exclude belief in anything that could not be demonstrated by methodological observation and logic are failing.

28 For instance, Mill argues that Plato’s concept of the Ideas contradicts the suppositions of the dialectic. It assumes that ultimate understandings are exogenous creations of nature or the gods, existing by themselves, belonging to another world, and that the conventional opinions we construct are imperfect attempts to conform with these absolute truths. Mill notes that in the Phaedrus, Phaedo, and important sections of the Republic, the doctrine of the Ideas is posited without serious opposition.

5 Mill argues that there is a conflicting idea of virtue in the Protagoras and Gorgias that crystallizes a general fault line in the Platonic dialogues on the relation between individual happiness and virtue. In the Protagoras Socrates’ response to his interlocutor’s queries invokes a utilitarian doctrine worthy of Epicurus and Bentham: Socrates describes virtue as the knowledge of which actions will produce more pleasure and less pain. There is no discussion of virtue as a general or universal good or as something to be pursued for its own sake.

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