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John Stuart Mill on Individualism - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 353
Individualism/Mill/Höffe: Mill expanded [in his main work in social and legal philosophy, the treatise On Liberty(1)] his social economic liberalism to include political liberalism. Its basic idea consists in the uncompromising objection to a "tyranny of the ruling opinion and disposition," to a "tyranny of the majority," which itself enslaves the soul.
Höffe I 356
Mill fears that the mere democracy, which he does not qualify in more detail, could lead to a terror of opinion, which he emphatically rejects. In contrast to a simple understanding of popular rule, which is reduced to factual majorities, he suggests the idea of a constitutional democracy based on the rule of law and the constitution. Because in every mere democracy, there is the threat of forced domination by society over the individual. In this case, what alone is desirable is not ruled by itself, but by all others, so that - which frightens the highly educated Mill - everyone is ruled by an uneducated mass.
Höffe I 357
VsMill/Höffe: Problem: There is a tension between the political liberalism of "On Liberty"(1) and its soon-to-be-published utilitarianism(2), which is committed to the collective good. As an alternative - either liberalism or utilitarianism - it plays an important role in later debates. A coherent plea for the social and political freedom of the individual would in any case have to separate the two strands of thought and then decide which side it prefers: >liberalism, which is committed to individuality, or >utilitarianism, which is oriented toward the collective good.


1. J.St. Mill. On Liberty, 1859
2. J.St. Mill, Utilitarianism 1861


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Mill I
John St. Mill
A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, London 1843
German Edition:
Von Namen, aus: A System of Logic, London 1843
In
Eigennamen, Ursula Wolf, Frankfurt/M. 1993

Mill II
J. St. Mill
Utilitarianism: 1st (First) Edition Oxford 1998

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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