PHIL-505 Paradoxes and Legacy of J.S. Mill
Spring for 2017-2018
J. S. Mill was the most important and influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century. He made significant contributions across every area of philosophy as well as in practical politics, and wrote one of the seminal works of feminism. Yet his life and work are riddled with paradoxes. Was Mill a libertarian or a socialist? An elitist or an egalitarian? Was he even a utilitarian? We will approach these questions through a study some of Mill's most important moral and political writings. In addition to Utilitarianism, On Liberty, The Subjection of Women, and (parts of) Considerations on Representative Government, readings will likely include the essays on Bentham, Coleridge, and Tocqueville; "A Few Words on Nonintervention"; “Chapters on Socialism”; as well as some secondary sources and contemporary writings about Mill.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and department chair.
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