Lecture One – Mills:
- The power of the parent over the child is overdone, misplaced and it’s a problem.
- We should think of parenting in general more as a matter of obligation as opposed
to a matter of rights.
- All human rights entail obligations and vice versa; parenting has more obligations
- Mills believes that parents have an obligation to provide for children’s education
up to a certain standard.
- Mills on Education
- Mills questions the validity of a public education system over a private.
- Mills believes that the public education system is a breeding ground for
conformity and forces society into a homogenous belief system.
- Regarding the curriculum in public schools, Mills believes that schools
should only teach ideas that are devoid of controversy.
- These ideas should be reserved for a later time when students reach an age
of intellectual maturity.
- At that point it is difficult to learn new ideas if you already have
preconceived notions pertaining to them.
- This is another thing that will lead to conformity.
- Mills remains suspicious of the potential size and reach of the institution
of government, as such, he would prefer the government remain as
libertarian as possible in terms of education.
- Mills on the Subjection of Women
- Mills recognizes that it will be very difficult to get his readers to open
their minds to the rights of women.
- The general opinion at the time was that women were naturally
subordinate to men.
- Mills believes that we need to apply a utilitarian standard to advance this
- To start, he compares the status of women in society to that of slaves in
society and asks, who has it better?
- Slaves are kept in blatant oppression; no slave owner ever attempted to
justify slavery to the slaves themselves.
- Women however are taught to believe that their position is natural and
- Slaves are better off in a few respects.
- Slaves do not have to be slaves all the time; women will never stop
- He says that might generally precedes right.
- Might and power usually comes with money; money and power
attract people, this gives one control and they can establish a
system to their pleasing; right. - Mills states that we could never empirically prove that there are legitimate
differences between the male and female brain.
- Just because a woman is action in a certain way, does not mean that this is
- What are the rights and obligations that occur within marriage?
- There is an unequal distribution of rights and obligations.
- The wife has the legal status of a slave to the husband.
- Throughout most of western history, the women had no right to divorce; if
she left without a divorce she would be left essentially destitute.
- Even if the wife leaves the husband, he is able to coerce her to come back
to the house.
- The only circumstance in which the woman can apply for divorce is if the
husband commits adultery.
- Mills recognizes that not all marriages are bad, but you should create
marital law should be adapted to poor marital relationships in the same
way we base our laws off of criminal behavior.
- The reason it is so difficult to change these laws is because men are in
power, have power and don’t want to give it up.
- Mills believes that women should be allowed to enter into professions as
he believes that women are of equal intelligence and work ethic to men.
Lecture Two – Mills Continued:
* Provide a critique of any one argument of Mill’s arguments in On Liberty. 600 words.
- Are there any reasons to exclude women from the workplace?
- Mills responds with a no, however the traditional argument states that women “on
average” are less intellectually capable then doing work than men.
- Mills takes issue from the beginning with the use of the phrase “on average” as
this shows that there are at least a few exceptions to this rule.
- Mills asks that if there are at least s