The philosophies and life of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). By Lena Reisterer. Naturalism. Mill refutes German, priori view of human knowledge (Intuitionism)
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Mill refutes German, priori view of human knowledge (Intuitionism)
“The constitution of the mind is the key to the constitution of external nature—that the laws of the human intellect have a necessary correspondence with the objective laws of the universe, such that these may be inferred from those.” (CW, XI.343). (nature is constituted by the mind rather than imperfectly observed by it)
Mill found this freedom from appeal to nature disturbing, and believes that our best methods of explaining the world are those employed by the natural sciences
Mill believes that intuitionism frees one from the obligation of justifying one’s beliefs
Mill viewed his own commitment to the naturalism and empiricism of the “a posteriori school” of thought as part of a broader social and political agenda that advocated for reform and undercut traditional foundations of conservatism
Mill worried that the division of labor, including the increasing simplicity and repetitiveness of the work, and the growing size of factories and businesses led to a spiritual and moral deadening
Out of a desire to transform temporal work into something that would make workers fell like a part of something greater than themselves, Mill came up with “co-operatives”- a profit-sharing system in which worker pay is tied to the success of the business, or a worker co-operative in which workers share ownership of capital
Mill believed that Christianity at the time fostered indifference and hostility to human happiness
Believed that religion in general religion could serve ethical needs by supplying people with “ideal conceptions grander and more beautiful than we see realized in the prose of human life.” (CW, X.419). In this way, religion elevates feelings, cultivates sympathy towards others, and imbues even small activities with a sense of purpose.
Mill created “Religion of Humanity”
-where idealized humanity becomes an object of reverence and the morally useful features of traditional religion are supposedly purified and accentuated. The human existence is one long drama, a battle of good over evil. Thus this religion is an instrument of human cultivation.
Mill would raise the question, is the embryo a human with individual rights that should be protected, or does the happiness of the general population outweigh the harm to the embryo?
An individual’s happiness is affected by their feeling of safety. Does the possession of guns increase this? If yes, freedom to own guns must aid in the progression of human happiness. Or does ease of gun possession increase crime?