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Mill And Justice Philosophy Essay

1546 words - 7 pages

Mill and JusticeIn Mill's chapter five (The connection between justice and utility) Utilitarianism he focuses on the idea of what makes an action just? However, before one must understand the meaning of Utilitarianism (Utility) to fully grasp the concept of justice. The definition of Utilitarianism is " An ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "happiness", by whatever means necessary." ( As we discussed in class, the Principle of Utility is "An action is right if and only if it brings more pleasure, overall for all the people effected by it". In chapter five, Mill discusses the concept of Utility, yet somehow is able to ...view middle of the document...

The third example is "Universally considered just that each person should get what he deserves (whether good or evil) and unjust that someone should obtain a good or be made to undergo an evil which he doesn't deserve." (31) This is probably the easiest example to be able to understand. If someone does the right thing, then they should in return receive good things, if someone does the wrong thing, then they shouldn't get anything good. The fourth example, "It is agreed to be unjust to break faith with anyone, to fail to do something we have said or clearly implied that we would do or disappoint expectations raised by our conduct." (31) In other words, this can changed if the receiving person has shown a good deal of disrespect and hatred towards you. The fifth example, " Everyone agrees that it is inconsistent with justice to be partial- to show favour or preference to one person over another in matters to which favour and preference don't properly apply." (31) What Mill is trying to say here is that no one thinks it's unjust to have a best friend, or boyfriend, or favorite teacher. Impartially though is an obligation, something that "out to influence" something. Equality and impartiality are almost the same. When someone is seeking justice, they often think of equality of your rights.When thinking about the difference between a wrong action, and an unjust action, normally I would think they have the same meaning, but they don't according to Mill. As we discussed in class, an action is wrong if and only if it brings more pain that pleasure overall for those affected. However, an action is unjust if and only if it's wrong, and if it violates someone's rights. There is a clear distinction between the two concepts. While discussing what it means to be "wrong" Mill tells his readers that when someone accuses of someone else that they have done something wrong, it really is just implying that that person should be punished for their wrong actions, either through the law, your peers, or even yourself. It goes the same when we say someone has done something "right", they both coincide with " The notion of fitness to be punished which is the underlying characteristic between morality and expediency."(33)Mill begins to get on the topic of "rights", and discusses "what is a persons right?" Speaking legally, Mill says the law gives a person an individual right of ownership. Whether injustice is going on or not, they're two things that are happening here. The first, is that a wrong is being done, and the second being that a person is wronged. " Some person's having a right correlated with the moral obligation constitutes the defining difference that separates justice from generosity or beneficence. Justice implies something which it is not only right to do, and wrong not to do, but which some individual person can claim from us as his moral right." ( 34) It is hard to put a finger on what is considered "morally right" because so many people have different...

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