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2) PHIL 115 Week Two.docx

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Queen's University
PHIL 115

Philosophy 115 Week Two Lecture One: - According to Mills, how can we draw the distinction between where the law should be silent and where it should not be? - Mills recognizes the old distinction of the private sphere and the public sphere, but adds his own twist of self regarding and other regarding actions. - A self-regarding action is an action that directly, significantly and solely concerns the person who is committing to the action. - Mills believes that the state should not have an impact on these self- regarding actions; ie. Your taste in music. - As it is only the actor’s business it should be nobody else’s. - Other regarding actions are actions that impact other members of society. - Critics of Mills would state that there is no such thing as a self-regarding action as there is always a chain of individuals that is somehow inadvertently affected by your choice. - For Plato, it is more important that individuals act in a just way, then through their own happiness. - All of Mills’ arguments for human rights and liberty rest on a utilitarian premise; that these issues are imperative for the common good. - The purpose of government is to pursue the common good; there is no better argument for human liberty than the common good. - Mill’s Individual Liberty - We often expect governments to pass laws that violate our individual liberties. - The ideal of individual liberty has evolved into a truism, an empty truth that we take for granted. - When a political ideal becomes taken for granted, it is essentially lost.
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