John Stuart Mill: His Life and Works.
1. Why is justice a challenging topic for a utilitarian?
With a better understanding of the rationale and limits of Mill'sliberal principles, we can take a closer look at the details of hiscategorical approach, including its centerpiece—the harmprinciple.
2. Summarize Mill's argument in this chapter.
There is nosuch constraint put on him by the principle of `utility...grounded onthe permanent interests of man as a progressive being'.
It was remarked earlier that it would be unkind to assign a nullity toMill -- the fifth principle that the state and society can intervene ifan individual violates some moral rights or other, with these beingleft entirely unclear.
Mill comments on the gravity of the issues:
Mill’s hopes for an early acceptance of the new principles were singularly unrealistic. Yet for the remainder of his life he continued to be an undaunted advocate of the single transferable vote and constantly encouraged and helped his friends like Hare and Fawcett in their efforts. Although women’s suffrage and the Hare system of electoral reform were not the sole practical causes that occupied him in the 1860s, they were pre-eminent in appeal, and when in the House of Commons he strove to further both. Despite his efforts parliament never took the action he wanted, and the reasons are not far to seek. At the time when Mill was advocating a new electoral system, party managers gradually began to remould the organization of the two major parties to render them more disciplined and effective instruments for shaping policies and winning elections. For them the Hare-Mill electoral ideas seemed too revolutionary, too complicated, and their effects on party fortunes too uncertain to be acceptable. Hence, except for some of their members, they showed little interest in proportional representation of the type that Mill supported and were unwilling to incorporate it as an essential element in their political plans. Gladstone, for example, although in some reforms he was evidently influenced by Mill, rejected proportional representation when he considered electoral changes. This is not to say, however, that Mill’s ideas lacked influence. Even into the twentieth century, his basic idea, as stated in continued to incite the interest of many: in a democracy, any and every section must be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors should always have a majority of the representatives; a minority of electors should always have a minority of representatives.