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John Stuart Mill

Geburtstag: 20. Mai 1806
Todesdatum: 8. Mai 1873
Andere Namen:J.S Mill, John S. Mill

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John Stuart Mill war ein britischer Philosoph und Ökonom und einer der einflussreichsten liberalen Denker des 19. Jahrhunderts, der seine intellektuelle Schärfe und Unabhängigkeit nicht zuletzt durch sein außergewöhnlich frühes Eintreten für die Frauenemanzipation bewies. Mill war Anhänger des Utilitarismus, der von Jeremy Bentham, dem Lehrer und Freund seines Vaters James Mill, entwickelt wurde. Seine wirtschaftlichen Werke zählen zu den Grundlagen der klassischen Nationalökonomie, und Mill selbst gilt als Vollender des klassischen Systems und zugleich als sozialer Reformer.

Der von ihm als Gegenentwurf zu Thomas Morus’ Utopia geprägte Begriff Dystopia bezeichnet einen pessimistischen Zukunftsentwurf in Philosophie und Literatur.

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„Stupidity is much the same all the world over.“

—  John Stuart Mill
Context: Stupidity is much the same all the world over. A stupid person's notions and feelings may confidently be inferred from those which prevail in the circle by which the person is surrounded. Not so with those whose opinions and feelings are an emanation from their own nature and faculties. Ch. 1

„That a thing is unnatural, in any precise meaning which can be attached to the word, is no argument for its being blamable; since the most criminal actions are to a being like man not more unnatural than most of the virtues.“

—  John Stuart Mill
Context: Conformity to nature has no connection whatever with right and wrong. The idea can never be fitly introduced into ethical discussions at all, except, occasionally and partially, into the question of degrees of culpability. To illustrate this point, let us consider the phrase by which the greatest intensity of condemnatory feeling is conveyed in connection with the idea of nature - the word "unnatural." That a thing is unnatural, in any precise meaning which can be attached to the word, is no argument for its being blamable; since the most criminal actions are to a being like man not more unnatural than most of the virtues. p. 102

„What is called the Law of Nations is not properly law, but a part of ethics: a set of moral rules, accepted as authoritative by civilized states.“

—  John Stuart Mill
Context: What is called the Law of Nations is not properly law, but a part of ethics: a set of moral rules, accepted as authoritative by civilized states. It is true that these rules neither are nor ought to be of eternal obligation, but do and must vary more or less from age to age, as the consciences of nations become more enlightened, and the exigences of political society undergo change. But the rules mostly were at their origin, and still are, an application of the maxims of honesty and humanity to the intercourse of states. They were introduced by the moral sentiments of mankind, or by their sense of the general interest, to mitigate the crimes and sufferings of a state of war, and to restrain governments and nations from unjust or dishonest conduct towards one another in time of peace. Since every country stands in numerous and various relations with the other countries of the world, and many, our own among the number, exercise actual authority over some of these, a knowledge of the established rules of international morality is essential to the duty of every nation, and therefore of every person in it who helps to make up the nation, and whose voice and feeling form a part of what is called public opinion. Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject. It depends on the habit of attending to and looking into public transactions, and on the degree of information and solid judgment respecting them that exists in the community, whether the conduct of the nation as a nation, both within itself and towards others, shall be selfish, corrupt, and tyrannical, or rational and enlightened, just and noble. Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St. Andrews, Feb. 1st 1867 (1867) p. 36. http://books.google.com/books?id=DFNAAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA36

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