Liberty, the higher pleasures, and Mill's missing science of ethnic jokes

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Humanities
Department Philosophy
Creator Millgram, Elijah
Title Liberty, the higher pleasures, and Mill's missing science of ethnic jokes
Date 2009
Description The intended contribution to his moral theory of John Stuart Mill's famous distinction between higher and lower pleasures has occasioned long-standing puzzlement on the part of his more alert interpreters. I am going to explain how the distinction was meant, among other things, to allow Mill to demonstrate that liberty really is required by the Principle of Utility, but I will also suggest that the argument made possible by the notion of higher pleasures was not the one that Mill in the end wanted. My objective here is to distinguish two problems which-viewed at a suitable level of abstraction-we share with Mill: one is that of determining whether a society hoping to promote the happiness of its members should allow them liberty, and the other, that of accounting for the importance, both for happiness and for liberty, of genuinely original personalities. The general drift of my discussion will be that the former problem is relatively tractable, and Mill's understanding of the higher and lower pleasures contains the resources for a straightforward solution to his version of it; the latter problem, however, is a great deal more difficult, both for him and for us.
Type Text
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Volume 26
Issue 1
First Page 326
Last Page 353
Subject Higher pleasures; Lower pleasures; Ethnic jokes
Subject LCSH Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873; Political ethics; Philosophy
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Millgram, E. (2009). Liberty, the higher pleasures, and Mill's missing science of ethnic jokes. Social Philosophy; and Policy, 26(1), 326-53.
Rights Management (c) Cambridge University Press Permission granted by Cambridge University Press for non-commercial, personal use only.
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 162,627 bytes
Identifier ir-main,7677
ARK ark:/87278/s6611hf4
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2012-06-13
ID 703123
Reference URL