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Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 1 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism 4 Gerald Dworkin. “Paternalism.” In Mill’s On Liberty: Critical Essays. Ed. Gerald.

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Presentation on theme: "Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 1 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism 4 Gerald Dworkin. “Paternalism.” In Mill’s On Liberty: Critical Essays. Ed. Gerald."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 1 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism 4 Gerald Dworkin. “Paternalism.” In Mill’s On Liberty: Critical Essays. Ed. Gerald Dworkin. NY: Rowman & Littlefield, –Mill’s principle is neither one nor very simple. –The 2 nd principle is about paternalism –Df. Of paternalism: Interference with a person’s liberty of action justified by appeals to welfare or good or happiness or needs The main feature of paternalism is the use of coercion to achieve a good which is not recognized by those persons for whom the good is intended.

2 Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 2 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism Is this kind of interference ever justified? –Mill seems to take a hard-line on this kind of interference – “self-protection is the sole end...” CHECK –Mill accepts the doctrine that the individual is the best judge of his own interests

3 Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 3 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism –Objections: Individuals often do not seem to know their own best interests (70). Does Mill endow the average person with too much wisdom? Mill himself seems to recognize this and allows for some exceptions.

4 Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 4 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism –In fact, these exceptions are considerable. What happened to Mill’s argument against paternalism? –To be a consistent utilitarianism, he had to take into account maximizing happiness for all. Thus there are 2 strains of justification in Mill’s writings & the two are sometimes in tension with one another.

5 Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 5 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism –Dworkin (moving away from Mill): What should be the limits of paternalism? Consent How irreversible the action is –Some cases call for education rather than coercive interference (e.g., smoking, wearing seat belts)

6 Dworkin on Mill & paternalism - 6 Gerald Dworkin on Mill & paternalism –Dworkin’s proposal for a general principle here: Paternalism is okay in those instances in which it preserves & enhances the individual’s ability to rationally consider & carry out his own decisions.


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