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WHY IS MAN A MORAL ANIMAL: Genesis 1:26: and God said, let us make man in our
image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creepingthing that
creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the of God created he him;
male and female created he them. And god blessed them, and God said unto, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
to you it shall be for meat.
Genesis 2:7, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breath into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Man is not a moral animal because we have the ability to imagine ourselves in the place of
others and that is how we find out something we call "fair" or "just". Imagination leads to
feelings of compassion and feelings of sympathy and empathy.
But moral is more than just feelings. We can ignore feelings. Morality essentially assumes that
our ability to imagine ourselves in the place of others and our resultant compassion is a gift
from our Creator (God) and therefore we OUGHT to be compassionate. Morality carries the
idea that we have an obligation to our Creator to practice fairness and compassion.
Morality is not in our genes, but evolutionary approaches can help. No we are not moral
animals, we are moral humans, and there is a difference. We are a kind of animal, specifically
we are primates, and share much with other social mammals. We are a particular kind of
primate that manipulates ecosystems and organisms across this planet and is capable of intense
cruelty and amazing compassion via symbol, language, niche construction, and interaction with
other animals and ourselves. So examining what makes up human morality and ethics is
important, and commonalities and differences in other species might help us better understand
why we do what we do.
The philosopher Aristotle set the stage for the way many people think about the relationship
between human minds, morals, and other animals. He stated that humans are unique in that they
have reason and they reside high up in the scale of nature. He recognized that humans are
related to the other animals, but considered us a very special kind of being capable of rational
thought, something he (and many since him) asserted other organisms do not have. So
Aristotle saw a continuity with nature, but held that there is something special about human
rational thought and thus our morals, and ethics, reflect this distinction. Today, this is a
common view for many theologians, philosophers, psychologists and the broader public.
It is a bit outdated.

Many excellent researchers, Marc Bekoff and Frans DeWaal (link is external) for example,
demonstrate that primates, and some other social mammals, have a kind of social complexity
and reciprocity so core to their daily lives that they might be able to help us understand
something about the shared roots of human behavior, maybe even morality. A recent book
edited by Robert Sussman and Robert Cloninger (link is external) focusses on the evolution of
cooperation and altruism in humans and other animals. In it, they demonstrate that much of the
giving and caring behavior we attribute only to humans can be found across many primates and
other mammals. Indeed, substantial evidence presented in the chapters from that book highlight
how we can look to the brain, hormone systems, and behavior to see that although competition
and aggression are important, cooperation and altruism may represent the normative behavioral
pattern for many species.
Interestingly, other species recognize, and react to, situations of inequityfairness counts.
Recent work, spearheaded by Sarah Brosnan (link is external), demonstrates that in some cases
non-human primates distinguish between inequitable and equitable outcomes. But unlike in
humans, these primates respond to fairness mostly in situations where the inequity is against
themselves (disadvantageous inequity) rather than against another (and benefiting themselves
advantageous inequity). But this is not so clear in all cases. The recognition of inequity by other
species might be a baseline that can help us begin to understand what
physiological/neurological processes and contexts might be implicated in types of moral
behavior in ourselves. But responding to inequity is not the same as a having system of morality
and ethics.
Many of these same researchers recently reviewed the possibility of social justice in other
animals (link is external). If other animals cooperate intensively (and they do) and they are
aware of some degree of fairness in distribution of social goods, might they also be able to
incorporate this into their relationships with one another? Can other animals have this kind of
moral system? A good question, and the jury is still out, but there are some really fascinating
hints that this is a good path for future research.
So what does this tell us about human morality? Looking at other animals tells us that our
physiological and neurological systems contain the tools to engage in inequity detection in
social contexts, and that cooperation and caring for others close to us is a very old, and very
important, part of our evolutionary heritage. This suggests that there is a shared evolutionary
baseline for recognition of inequity and a propensity to cooperate. But this does not mean that
what we call morals today are an evolved trait or have some direct genetic basis. Human
morality is not something that can evolve in the basic Neo-Darwinian sense; it is not simply in
our genes to be moral. Human morals are dynamic, linguistic, contextualized, symbolic,
historical, and biological all at once.

Here is where a bit of anthropology can help: when we think about humans it is a mistake to
think that our biology exists without our cultural experience and that our cultural selves are not
constantly entangled with our biology. Human behavior is almost always a true synthesis; there
are not two halves (nature or nurture) to being human. So if we ask about the evolution, and
practice, of morality, we have to look at all the potential variables. Knowing something about
the evolutionary patterns in other species helps us understand patterns in ourselves, but we
cannot ignore the social, political and philosophical histories we are inextricably emerged in.
We cannot fall into the philosophical trap of seeing our bodies and minds as two distinct things.
To ask good questions about human morality and ethics, we have to move beyond aspects of
inequity detection, and maybe even social justice, in other animals. We have to ask what kinds
of moral systems and behaviors we see across human individuals, cultures, and histories. How
do different societies define morality and what ethical standards do they put forward? How do
people act in different contexts? Obviously, this is an area for psychology, anthropology,
biology, and other disciplines to get together, and work in an transdisciplinary sense to have any
shot at good answers. Being human is really complicated, and understanding why we do what
we do even more so. Moral Animals
That short but imperious word ought : Human Nature and the Right
Christine M. Korsgaard
Harvard University
I fully subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that of all the
differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or
conscience is by far the most important. This sense, as Macintosh remarks,
has a rightful supremacy over every other principle of human action; it is
summed up in that short but imperious word ought, so full of high
- Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man1
I. Human and Animal Differences
Human beings are animals: homo sapiens, members of the phylum chordata,
class mammalia, order primates, family, hominids. According to current scientific
opinion, we evolved about 200,000 years ago in Africa from ancestors we share with
the other great apes. But a long-cherished view of our species is that something sets
us apart from the other animals - something, moreover, that is not merely a matter of
degree like intelligence, but a matter of kind.
Once upon a time, for many, and still for some, this view was associated with
another cherished idea - that we human beings are made in the image of God, and
that the natural world and all its contents, including the other animals, were made
for our use, or perhaps simply to set the scene for a drama of which we are the
1 Ibid., p.70.
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Christine M. Korsgaard
p. 2

protagonists. The properties that set us apart from the other animals were supposed
to be the same as those that we share with God. But even if we leave these theological
motives aside, it seems tempting to believe that the human way of life is qualitatively
different from that of the other animals, and that this difference must be explained
by something that is distinctive about human beings. But where exactly does the
difference lie? Its easy enough to point to some differences between our lives and
those of the other animals. Our lives are elaborately structured by social and political
institutions and cultural traditions. Our fate is both eased and complicated by
complex technologies. Our experience is graced and enhanced by the creation and
enjoyment of literature, music, the arts, and displays of athletic excellence. We engage
in scientific research and philosophical speculation. We are theoretical creatures,
who devise metaphysical and theological theories, or conceptions of the inevitable
march of history, to give direction to our actions and meaning to our sufferings and
our fates. We strive to live in accordance with moral values and with other sorts of
values and ideals. And all of these features of human existence are facilitated by the
complex communication system of human language. But do these obvious features
of human life really set us decisively apart from the other animals?
Some philosophers and scientists have answered that they do not. Darwin, in
his book on The Descent of Man, reviews the various attributes that people have
claimed are exclusively human, seeking out their original forms and analogues in the
lives and actions of the other animals. At the end of his review he remarks:
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Christine M. Korsgaard
p. 3
There can be no doubt that the difference between the mind of the
lowest man and that of the highest animal is immenseNevertheless,
the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it
is, is certainly one of degree and not of kind.2
Darwins lead has been followed both by scientists eager to confirm the theory of
evolution and by philosophers eager to establish the moral standing of the other
animals. Perhaps the other animals do not have institutions, but social animals have
dominance hierarchies that organize and structure their lives, and their lives have a
recognizably political dimension as a result. We now know that we are not the only
animals who use tools or even the only animals who design tools or even the only
animals who sometimes save the tools they have found or designed for future use.
The natural communication systems of the other animals have been found more
complex and versatile than scientists once believed, and some apes, birds, and
dolphins have been taught the rudiments of human language. Scientists have
discovered that learning plays a greater role in the lives of non-human animals than
they had once suspected, and because of the role of learning, different populations of
the same species of animal have been found to exhibit different cultural traditions
with respect to matters such as which things they eat and how they procure and
prepare them. Darwin himself believed that our aesthetic sensibilities were

prefigured in the responses of female birds to the elaborate and colorful sexual
2 The Descent of Man, pp. 104-105. (Princeton)
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displays of their males. He also proposed that perhaps some distant approach to
religious feeling could be discerned in the absolute reverence with which dogs and
other captive animals regard the human beings on whom they so completely depend.3
And some scientists and philosophers believe that they have found the roots of
morality in the sympathy, altruism, and cooperation that are sometimes exhibited by
the other social animals.
It is with this last question whether morality is a distinctively human
attribute that I will primarily be concerned in this lecture. Darwin, in the chapter I
have mentioned, was among those who first pointed out the continuity between kinds
of actions prompted by the social instincts and feelings of the other animals, and the
kinds of actions that we credit to our own moral nature. Yet Darwin also said:
I fully subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that of
all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense
or conscience is by far the most important. This sense, as Macintosh
remarks, has a rightful supremacy over every other principle of
human action; it is summed up in that short but imperious word
ought , so full of high significance.4
3 The Descent of Man, pp. 63-68 in the Princeton edition.
4 Ibid., p.70.
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A moral being, Darwin remarks later, is one who is capable of approving or
disapproving his own past and future actions, and, he adds we have no reason to
suppose that any of the lower animals has this capacity.5
So Darwin claims that the difference between human and animal minds is one
of degree and not kind, and yet that morality is a unique human attribute. But I
dont think that Darwin is being inconsistent. The trouble is that the question
whether human beings are in some qualitative way different from the other animals is
somewhat ill-formed. What exactly makes a difference qualitative in this context?
What Darwin meant when he asked it was whether we are different in some way that
could not possibly be explained by the theory of natural selection, and it was that ,
primarily, that he was eager to deny. This emerges when he says:
If it be maintained that certain powers, such as self-consciousness,
abstraction, &c. are peculiar to man, it may well be that these are the
incidental results of other highly advanced intellectual faculties.6
Darwin had no objection to the idea of distinctively human attributes, provided they

could be explained in terms of the interactions between other attributes whose

presence in us could be explained through natural selection attributes we share
with the other animals, although we may have them to a higher degree. And so his
5 Ibid., pp. 88-89.
6 Ibid., p. 105
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main effort, when he turned his attention to the moral sense or conscience was to
give an explanation of that sense that would prove that:
any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts,
would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its
intellectual powers had become as well-developed, or nearly as welldeveloped,
as in man.7
The moral sense, Darwin believed, was a distinctively human attribute, but it arose
from the interactions between two other evolved human properties in which we differ
from the other animals only in degree intelligence and the social instincts.
The details of Darwins proposed evolutionary explanation of the moral sense
will not concern me in this lecture. But there are two aspects of his view that I want
to take notice of here, for I think that both of them are correct.8 One is the view I
have just described - that if we do identify certain attributes as distinctively human, it
should still be possible to explain their presence in us in evolutionary, or more
broadly speaking, naturalistic terms. Darwin looks for this as an empirical conclusion
that will support the theory of human evolution, but since I take human evolution as
a given, I will treat it as a methodological desideratum instead. The other is the
7 Ibid. pp. 71-72
8 Darwins theory turns on a distinction between two kinds of instincts. Appetitive instincts are
sharp, urgent, and
occasional, demanding immediate satisfaction. Social instincts are milder but more constant.
Appetites are urgent in a
way that is disproportionate to the sense of satisfaction that gratifying them produces, so that we
often feel, after
satisfying them, that it was not quite worth it. Suppose a female animal leaves her offspring
unattended in order to
satisfy the urge to feed or mate, and the offspring is killed. Once her intellect is advanced
enough that she can
remember what she does, it will seem to her that it was not worth it, and she will regret it. The
ought is born from the
sense of regret.
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substantive view that what most clearly distinguishes human beings from the other
animals is what Darwin, like the philosophers of his day, called the moral sense: the
fact that only human beings are under the dominion of the governing force
designated by Darwins short but imperious word ought. Why this should be so,
and what some of its consequences are, will be my topic in this lecture.
II. Levels of Intentionality
In my last lecture I described the metaphysical difference that according to
Aristotle sets animals apart from other living things. An animal, according to
Aristotle, is characterized by agency in a very basic sense: locomotion guided by
perception. An animal forms a representation of her environment by means of
perception, and that representation, together with her instinctive evaluative attitudes,
enables her to find what she needs and to avoid predators and dangers so that she
can survive and reproduce. In this sense, an animal is essentially an organism that
achieves her own well-functioning through the power of action.
Now just as an animal is a special kind of organism, an agent, a human being
is a special kind of animal: according to Aristotle, a rational animal, and so, a rational
agent. This is, of course, another of the standard views about what distinguishes
human beings from the other animals we have the power of reason - although like
the other views, it is also often denied. Darwin, to use him as my exemplar again,
remarks almost dismissively that:
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Few persons any longer dispute that animals possess some power of
reasoning. Animals may constantly be seen to pause, deliberate, and
resolve. And it is a significant fact that the more the habits of any
particular animal are studied by a naturalist, the more he attributes to
reason and the less to unlearnt instincts.9
But Darwin here contrasts the effects of reason to those of unlearned instincts, and I
think that we can question whether that is the right contrast, or the only contrast,
that we can draw when we think about the possible guides to action. Reason, on one
way of understanding the term, amounts to more than the capacity to learn and to
guide ones actions accordingly, and in this sense, reason is a distinctively human
power. Or anyway, so I will argue and in this I will be following the work of
Immanuel Kant.
Moral standards are standards that govern action, so if it is true that only
human actions have a moral character, and it is true that only human actions are
governed by reason, it seems plausible that these two properties should be associated.
That is, there must be something quite distinctive about human action something
that makes our actions different from those actions of the other animals which in
turn explains why human actions, and those alone, are both rational and subject to
moral governance. It is this idea that there is something distinctive about the
character of human action - that I want to pursue here.

9 Descent, p. 46
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The idea of acting for a reason is often identified with the idea of acting
intentionally, or on purpose. The agents intention or purpose supposedly provides
the reason for what he does.10 So one possible way to explain what is distinctive about
human action, would be to claim that only human beings do things intentionally or
on purpose. Now I think that this hypothesis is pretty plainly wrong, but I do think
that by examining the concept of intentional action, we can uncover what is distinctive
about the human way of acting. So, I want to take a closer look at the concept of
acting intentionally or on purpose. And this will also enable me to pay off a
philosophical debt I have left unpaid up until now. For I have been freely
characterizing non-human animals as agents, but there are philosophers and
scientists who would deny that non-human animals, or at least the more primitive
non-human animals, are agents at all. According to these philosophers and scientists
we might call them the skeptics about animal agency - animals, or at least many
animals, do not really act, but instead simply react in mechanical ways to certain
stimuli either instinctively, or as a result of conditioning. These ideas are
predicated upon a theory that places intentional actions done for a consciously-held
purpose or a reason on one side, and mechanical responses to stimuli on the other,
with little or nothing in between. In my view, what those who hold these views fail to
recognize is that the concept of intentional action does not mark off a single
phenomenon, but a number of things that can be ranged on a scale.
10 See my Acting for a Reason
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p. 10
At the bottom of the scale, there is the idea of intentionally or functionally
describable movement. The concept of intention in this form applies to any object
whatever that has some sort of functional organization, including not only human
beings and animals but also plants and machines. In fact, according to the
metaphysics of Aristotle, as I explained last time, it applies to almost anything we can
identify as an object at all and that moves. Within the economy of a functionally
organized object, certain movements can be described as having certain purposes.
The heart beats in order to pump the blood, the alarm rings in order to wake you up,
the plants leaves reach out towards the sun in order to collect its rays. So we say, and
there is no implication that the purposes served by these movements are before the
minds of the objects that move, or even necessarily before the minds of someone who
created those objects. Attributing purposes to these movements just reflects the fact
that we view the object as functionally organized.
In the case of living things, especially animals, including the so-called lower

animals, some of these purposive or intentional movements are guided by the

animals perception. A fish swims upwards towards a surface disturbance that may
mean an insect; a cockroach runs under cover in response to your movements as you
try to swat him with the newspaper; a spider crawls towards the vibrating struggles of
the moth that is caught in the middle of her web. Here we begin to be tempted to use
the language of action to say that the fish and the spider are seeking food, and the
cockroach safety - and it is clear enough why: when an animals movements are
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Christine M. Korsgaard
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guided by her perceptions, they are under the control of her mind, and when they
are under the control of her mind, we are tempted to say that they are under the
animals own control. And this, after all, is what makes the difference between an
action and a mere movement that an action can be attributed to the agent, that it is
done under the agents own control.11 At this level, should we say that the animal acts
intentionally, or on purpose? It depends how you understand the question. The
animal is directing her movements, in the sense that her movements are flexibly
responsive to perceived features of her environment that is, they are governed by
her mind. And her movements are intentional movements the movements have a
purpose. In that sense the animal acts with a purpose, but at this stage there is no
need to say that this purpose is somehow before the animals mind.
The contrasting view would withhold the characterization of the action as
intentional unless the animal was guided by, say, a conscious desire to implement the
purpose. But the argument here cannot be merely about the conditions under which
we may correctly apply the words intentional action. My point is just that there is
such a thing, or so we believe, as mind-guided intentional movements that do not
involve the conscious entertainment of purposes. The movements of insects are
probably like this. Yet this kind of movement is in a certain way continuous with
11 This is a bit mysterious, actually. Think of a mosquito. Why should a movement under the
control of his mind be any
more attributable to him than a movement attributable to one of his other organs? We are
certainly not more tempted
to hold him responsible for it! We are autonomous in virtue of properties of our minds, so we
identify ourselves with our
minds when we take ourselves to be the authors of our actions. Therefore we take lower animals
to be the authors of
their actions when their movements are attributable to their minds. But of course it helps that
movements exhibit the kind of flexibility of response that we take to differentiate action from
mechanical motion.
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p. 12
more explicitly purposive action. For it is important to acknowledge that when we try
to look at the situation from the animals own point of view, when we ask ourselves
what exactly it is that the animal perceives that determines her movements, it is
almost irresistible to describe it purposively. Why does the spider go towards the
moth caught in her web unless there is some sense in which the spider perceives the
moth as food and therefore some sense in which she is trying to get food? Or to put
the point another way, if a spider responds to a certain perceptual stimulus by
attempting to eat, why should we be shy about saying that she sees or smells the thing
as food, and that her intention is to eat it? We need not take this to mean that she
entertains thoughts about food, or that she reasons that it must be food and that
therefore she should go and get it. What we should suppose instead is that, precisely
because she lacks the intellectual power to interpret what she sees, her instincts
structure the perceptual world for her in such a way that no act of interpretation is
needed. She sees (or smells or hears) the things she encounters in her environment
as food, as mates, as threats, and so attractive or aversive accordingly. These
evaluative perceptions determine her movements directly. How else could perception,
at this primitive stage of intellectual development, do an animal any good? If the only
way to benefit from perception was to think about what you perceive, perception
would only have evolved in intelligent beings, if it could have evolved at all.
On the other hand, once we are dealing with an intelligent animal, who can
think about what she perceives, there is no reason not to suppose that she
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consciously recognizes a certain object as food and that in that sense her purpose is
to get something to eat. I dont mean that she is aware, at this stage, of having a
purpose I mean that she thinks of the object in a way that has purposiveness built
into it. To get from what we suppose the spider does to what we suppose an
intelligent animal does roughly, from seeing something as attractive in a certain way
that causes you to eat, to seeing it as food - you need only add a certain sharpening of
the cognitive powers, perhaps an ability to categorize things according to purposive
types, like food, or predator . If it werent already obvious enough from the general
character of their actions, we know from the language-trained animals that they at
least can do this. And some other animal communication systems also involve
purposive categories different alarm calls for different types of predators, for
example. So I see no reason why we should not suppose that there is a gradual
continuum between whatever is going on when a spiders perceptions direct it
towards the moth caught in its web and straightforward cognitive awareness of
something as food, or danger , or a mate. And when such cognitive awareness is in
place once you have the purposive category - presumably the possibility of learning
from experience about how to get food and avoid danger is greatly enhanced. You can
always learn from experience by conditioning, of course, but when you are aware of

your purpose as an object of a certain type, you can presumably also begin to learn
from experience by thinking and remembering.
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But even if there is a gradual continuum, it seems right to say that an animal
that has a conception of his object as a certain purposive type is also exerting a greater
degree of conscious control over his own movements than, say, the spider, and is
therefore in a deeper sense an agent. Even if he entertains no thoughts about
himself, there is a sense in which such an animal knows what he is doing, and we
dont think that insects and other primitive animal do that. One thing that reveals
this is that at this stage we feel that there is room for disagreement about what the
proper intentional description of a particular action is, for it is at this stage that we
become committed to keying the intentional description of the action to what is going
on from the agents own point of view.12 We are less inclined to do this at the earlier
stage: when we do describe the spider, in intentional terms, as trying to get food,
we dont care whether thats what the spider thinks shes doing. When talking about
a cognitively primitive animal like a spider, in fact, it is natural for our intentional
descriptions of her movements and our biological explanations of them to run
together in this way. In fact scientific writers are inclined to speak rather freely about
such animals trying to make sure their genes make it into future generations, and
things of that kind. Of course no one thinks animals think about their genes. It is
not really that there is a reason to talk that way, but rather that there is no reason not
to. But once we suppose an animal has reached the stage where he can consciously
entertain thoughts about the object he is pursuing, we are committed to giving an
12 Freudian slips pose a problem for the claim I just made.
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intentional description of the action that captures something about the way it seems
to the animal himself. Its because at this level we key intentional description to the
animals own perspective, that at this level it makes sense to ask, as scientists
sometimes do, what the animal is really trying to do: whether his conduct is altruistic
or he is just seeking allies, perhaps. So the entertainment of a conscious thoughts
about the object of your action represents a deeper way in which an action may be said
to be intentional than we find in the case of the intentional movements guided by a
more primitive mind like that of a spider.
But some philosophers do not believe that this is the deepest level of
intentionality. At the level of intentionality I have just been describing, the animal is
aware of his object under a purposive description, and perhaps he even thinks about
how to pursue it. If he is an intelligent animal, he may begin to exhibit the problemsolving
ability that I think impressed Darwin, and that has led some philosophers

and scientists to attribute reason especially instrumental reason to the other

animals. But a non-human animal does not choose to pursue a certain object.
Rather, his purposes are given to him by his instincts and his affective states: his
emotions and his instinctual or learned desires. This is true, I believe, even when an
animal in a sense chooses between the pursuit of two different objects. Say for
instance a subordinate male chimpanzee wants to mate with a certain female but a
dominant male is approaching and the subordinate chimpanzee also wants to avoid a
fight. (I apologize for this somewhat raffish example, but this is the sort of choice that
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the practical lives of animals consists in.) In this case, I claim, the choice is made for
him by the strength of his affective states. Having been thrashed by the dominant
male before, he fears the dominant male more strongly than he desires to mate. The
end that the chimp decides to pursue is determined for him by his desires and
emotions, where those in turn are the product of instinct and learning working
together. His contribution, so to speak, is only to direct his actions towards the
purpose that his desires and instincts have set for him. Later, I will explain why I am
so confident that this must be so.
Kant believed that a still deeper level of intentionality is possible than this.
Besides asking ourselves how to go about getting an end that is set for us by our
desires and instincts, we can ask ourselves whether we should pursue a certain end at
all whether it is worth pursuing. And we can decide whether to adopt the end or
not based on that assessment. We choose not only the means to ends set by our
nature, but also the ends themselves. What makes this possible, I believe, is the form
that human self-consciousness takes.
III. The Role of Self-Consciousness
It is sometimes said that human beings are the only animals who are selfconscious.
Animals are aware of the world but not of themselves.13 But actually the
issue is more complicated than that, for self-consciousness like other biological
13 Among other things by me in Sources. Whoops.
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attributes comes in degrees and takes many different forms. One form of selfconsciousness
is revealed by the famous mirror test used in animal studies. In the
mirror test, a scientist paints a red spot on an animals body and then puts her in
front of a mirror. Given certain experimental controls, if the animal eventually
reaches for the spot on her body and tries to rub it off, or look aways from the mirror
towards the relevant location on her body, that is taken as evidence that the animal
recognizes herself in the mirror, and is curious about what has happened to her
body. Apes, dolphins, and elephants have passed the mirror test, in some cases

moving on to using the mirror to examine parts of their bodies that they cant
normally see, apparently with great interest. Other animals never recognize
themselves, and some instead keep offering to fight with the image in the mirror, or
to engage in some other sort of social behavior with it. An animal that passes the
mirror test seems to recognize the animal in the mirror as me and therefore, it is
thought, must have a concept of me. I will come back to the mirror test later on.
But I think it can be argued that animals who cant pass the mirror test have
rudimentary forms of self-consciousness. You have self-consciousness if you know
that one of the things in your world is you. And a tiger who stands downwind of her
intended prey is not merely aware of her prey - she is also locating herself with
respect to her prey in physical space, and that suggests a rudimentary form of selfconsciousness.
A social animal who makes gestures of submission when a more
dominant animal enters the scene is locating himself in social space, and that too
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Christine M. Korsgaard
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suggests a form of self-consciousness. Knowing how you are related to others
involves something more than simply knowing about them.
Parallel to these abilities would be a capacity to locate yourself in mental space,
to locate yourself with respect to your own experiences, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, a
and desires. This is what we more commonly think of as self-consciousness, a
reflective awareness of our own awareness, so to speak. Do the other animals have
this ability to locate themselves in subjective, mental space? Scientists have sometimes
taken the mirror test to establish this kind of self-consciousness, but it is a little bit
difficult to articulate exactly why. The animal grasps the relation between the image
in the mirror and her own body. But in so doing, she seems to show that she grasps
the relationship between herself and her own body. But what exactly does that mean?
She grasps the relation between two things, a certain physical body and well, what?
we can say and herself but what exactly is the herself that she identifies with
that body? Perhaps the idea is that what she identifies as herself is the self that is the
subject of her own experiences, of which she must then have some awareness. That
is, she must be aware not just of pain but that she feels pain, or not just of the smell
of food but that she smells the food. And it is that she, the subject of those
experiences, that she correctly identifies with the body she sees in the mirror. Some
such idea must be behind the thought that the mirror test reveals an inner selfconsciousness.
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Interestingly, however, even if this is right, it does not yet seem to show that
the animal must be aware of herself as the subject of her attitudes her beliefs,
emotions, and desires. And this suggests a further division within this form of

An animal might be aware of her experiences and of herself as the

subject of those experiences, and yet her attitudes might be invisible to her, because
they are a lens through which she sees the world, rather than being parts of the
world that she sees.14 In fact this possibility has been implicit in my description of
the intentionality of animal actions. Earlier I suggested that simple animal agents
must directly perceive things as aversive or attractive in ways that evoke certain
responses. Animals with more conceptual equipment might perceive things as, say,
food or danger . I suggested that perception must work this way, loading the correct
response into the perception, so to speak, because the capacity for perception could
hardly be useful to creatures of primitive intellect if it did not supply automatic cues
about how to respond to what is perceived. You dont need to know of yourself that
you want food in order to respond to it correctly: you only need to perceive it as food.
But of course more intelligent animals might also be aware of their own
attitudes. Some of the language-trained animals seem able to express the idea I
want Koko the gorilla and Alex the African gray parrot, two famous language14 Its easier to understand what I mean here when you are thinking about practical, evaluative
attitudes. It sounds odd
to think of beliefs as a lens through which we see the world. But they are, in the sense that an
animal could be moved
by one belief to take up another without having any awareness of making an inference. Unlike a
person, a non-human
animal can think X without commitment to I believe X or X is true, because he has no
commitments of that sort.
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trained animals, can both do this - so perhaps they have the ability to think about
their own mental states.15 But of course it is also possible that they have just learned
that such utterances will produce the desired effect, by a sort of conditioning. Some
scientists have also pointed to cases of deception to suggest that some animals are
aware of the beliefs of others, and therefore, presumably, of their own. The evidence
on these questions is, I think, inconclusive.
Human beings are aware of our attitudes.16 We know of ourselves that we want
certain things, fear certain things, love certain things, and so on. But we are also
aware of something else we are aware of the potential influence of our attitudes on
what we decide to do. What I have in mind is this: a non-human animal may be
conscious of the object of his fear or desire, and he may be conscious of it as fearful
or desirable, and so as something to be avoided or to be sought. When he acts
accordingly, we even say that that is the reason for his action: that he was afraid, or
that he saw it as a threat. What we mean is that his attitude caused him to do what he
did. But a human being is conscious that she fears or desires the object, and, in
addition, that she is inclined to act in a certain way as a result. She does not just think
about the object that she fears or even about its fearfulness but about her fears and

desires themselves, and their influence in urging her towards action. In evolutionary
15 See the Alex Studies, pp. 197-208, for Irene Pepperbergs account of teaching Alex to use
wants and her own
conclusions about what exactly he learned when he learned it. Koko has a sign for wants.
16 Strictly speaking, I do not think the grounds of our actions count as reasons for them until
we have endorsed them in
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terms, being conscious of the operation of your attitudes on your inclinations to act is
surely just a step away from being conscious of your attitudes themselves. Yet I
believe that the effect of this little step is momentous. For once you are aware that
you are being moved in a certain way, you are in a position to form an attitude
towards the fact that you are being moved in that way. And in fact, there is a way in
which you must form an attitude towards the way you are inclined to act, because you
now must decide whether to go along with that inclination or not. As I have put it
elsewhere, you now have a certain reflective distance from the impulse that is
motivating you, and you are in a position to ask yourself but should I be moved in
that way? Wanting that end inclines me to do that act, but does it really give me a
reason to do that act? You are now in a position to raise a normative question, a
question about whether the action you find yourself inclined to perform is justified.
I believe that, in general, this form of self-consciousness consciousness of
the grounds of our beliefs and actions is the source of reason, a capacity that I
think is distinct from intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to learn about the world,
to learn from experience, to make new connections of cause and effect, and put that
knowledge to work in pursuing your ends. Reason by contrast looks inward, and
focuses on the connections between mental states and activities: whether our actions
are justified by our motives or our inferences are justified by our beliefs. I think we
could say things about the beliefs of intelligent non-human animals that parallel
everything I have said about their actions. Non-human animals may have beliefs and
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Christine M. Korsgaard
p. 22
may arrive at those beliefs under the influence of evidence, but it is a further step to
be the sort of animal that can ask oneself whether the evidence really justifies the
belief, and can adjust ones conclusions accordingly.17 The structure of human
is what makes human beliefs and actions the subject of rational norms.
So, when we are aware of the possible influence of our attitudes on our
actions, we can take control of that influence: we can and must - ask whether we
should go along with it or not. But how do we answer these normative questions

how do we decide whether we should go along with an inclination to act in a certain

way? In other words, where do we find the norms? Obviously, I cant answer that
question in general, but I am going to try to sketch an account of the way it works in
the case of the norm that is my topic today: the norm of right action.
IV. The Origin of the Right and Human Intentionality
A consequence of the nature of human self-consciousness is that when we
decide on an action, we are making a different kind of decision than an animal does
the object of our decision is different. An animal, finding himself strongly drawn to a
certain end, is prompted to do an action which he knows instinctively or has learned
will bring about that end. But the object of a human choice includes both the act and
the end: what we choose is to do this for the sake of that. A tiger is hungry so she
chooses to hunt. Hunting is the object of her choice. You are hungry so you
17 I pursue this argument in The Sources of Normativity . Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1996.
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choose to go to a restaurant. Going to the restaurant in order to get something to
eat is the object of your choice. And this makes an important difference: since you
think you can choose for or against going to the restaurant in order to get
something to eat you think you can choose for or against getting something to eat.
You dont think of yourself as governed, or determined, by your desire to eat, the way
another animal is. In that sense, you think of yourself as free.
Now ordinarily, when we want to do something, we suppose that the thing we
want to do would be good for us.18 That is natural, for in terms of evolution, that is
what desires are for: they guide us and the other animals towards the achievement of
our good, our own well-functioning. But since we think of ourselves as free, we dont
think that we have to do something just because it conduces to our good. And this
brings me to a question I left undiscussed in my last lecture. Many people think that
the idea that something is good is a normative idea. That is, they think that if we say
something is good we are saying there is reason to promote it, or bring it about, or
not to hinder it, or to respect it, or whatever. We use the term that way sometimes,
but not always, and I was not using the term that way in my lecture on Monday. For
one thing, as I argued last time, every thing that is good is good relationally, good for
someone or other. But it does not follow automatically from the fact that something
18 The route I take in the text is the Formula of Humanity route. But there is also a route from
the idea that we choose
an act for the sake of an end to the Formula of Universal Law, via the idea that the Formula of
Universal Law is a
constitutive principle of action or rather, human action.
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p. 24
is good for someone or something that it is good in what we might call the normative
sense, or good absolutely.19 So when we do decide to do something because we want
to do it, because we think it would be good for us to do it, we are according ourselves
a certain standing. We are claiming that what is good for us , our final good, is good
in the normative sense, good absolutely. We are claiming that our own good is the
source of reasons, that we are the source of reasons. We are claiming the status of
what Kant called ends-in-themselves.
Furthermore, when you have the thought that you are the source of reasons,
that your good is the normative good, you have to be identifying yourself in some
particular way. Just as the chimp who looks in the mirror and thinks thats me has
to mean something by me so you have to mean something by me when you think
my good is a thing worth pursuing. Kant supposed that what you mean by me is
this human being, the human being who I am. I believe that he thought that
because it is in our capacity as human beings that we think these thoughts only a
human being can ask and answer the question whether there is a reason to promote
his own good. In my next lecture, I am going to raise some questions about Kants
view on that point, but for now I will stick with it. When you think that your own
good, as the good of a human being, is good in the normative sense, you commit
19 There are actually two reasons for this. The final good of an assassin, considered as such, is
to have a steady aim and a
ruthless heart, to be assigned unwary victims and to live in a city where the police are corrupt.
Is there a reason to
promote it? In the end, I think my theory commits me to the view that the only reason an
assassins final good isnt good
is because its bad (inconsistent with the value of humanity). A different case, more relevant
here, is that of a final good
thats just indifferent, a matter of no concern. One might think this of the final good of an
artifact or perhaps even a
plant, if such things do have final goods. Anyway, that is more the contrast Im looking for here.
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yourself to the idea that the good of human beings in general is good in the
normative sense. You commit yourself to the value of human beings.20 For, as I have
said before, what it is to value a sensate being is to value its good. And in making that
commitment, in deciding that human beings are ends-in-themselves, you bring forth
the standard of the right. The standard of the right demands that we treat all
human beings in accordance with their value.
Now, I havent said anything about what the content of this standard is, and
wont be doing so in these lectures. But just to avert possible misunderstandings, I
want to emphasize here that good for human beings which I will be discussing next
time is a complex thing that importantly includes our own autonomy. And I also

want to emphasize that even when we decide that the good of human beings is good
in the normative sense, it remains a relative value in the sense that it cannot be added
across the boundaries between persons. So the resulting ethic will not be a utilitarian
one, but will involve respect for rights and freedom. The argument Ive just given is a
redescription of Kants argument for his formula of humanity, the principle that tells
us to treat every human being as an end in itself. Working out the details of how we
do that is a task for another time. For our purposes here, the important thing is that
once you have the standard of the right, you have a way of answering the question
whether you should do this action for the sake of this end. You can ask whether it is
20 This comes close to claiming that the Formula of Humanity is a constitutive standard of
action. It falls a little short
because as far as I can see we dont have to act on our desires, even when morality allows it. We
just do.
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consistent with the standard of the right whether it is justified. And that means
human actions exhibit a deeper level of intentionality than animal actions. Because it
means that even if you do judge the action you propose to yourself to be justified and
act upon it, you are acting not merely from your desire but from your judgment that
the action is justified: the end is indeed the kind of thing that provides a good reason
for doing that sort of act. And in acting on a judgment about what counts as a good
reason for what, you are acting on principle.
Why do I say this represents a deeper level of intentionality? In the first place,
an agent who is capable of this form of assessment is capable of rejecting an action
along with its purpose, not because there is something else she wants (or fears) even
more like the chimp who fears a beating more than he wants to mate - but simply
because she judges that doing that sort of act for that sort of purpose is wrong . As
Kant put it, you are motivated by pure practical reason, for you can be motivated
directly by the judgment that you ought to do something. In a famous passage in the
Critique of Practical Reason, Kant argued that we are capable of setting aside even our
most urgent natural desires the desire to preserve our own lives and to secure the
welfare of our loved ones in order to avoid performing a wrong action. Kant gives
the example of a man who is ordered by his king, on pain of death, to bear false
witness against an innocent person whom the king wants to get rid of. Would you
impugn the honor of an innocent person in order to save your life? While no one can
say for sure how he would act in such a situation, Kant argues, each of us must admit
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to himself that he is capable of doing the right thing.21 We can be motivated to rise
above even our strongest desires, like the desire for life, in order to do the right

I want to emphasize one thing that is a little complicated about the argument
Ive just given. Earlier I said that we regard ourselves as free to reject an action we
propose to ourselves that is, we regard ourselves as free to reject a possible this act
for the sake of this end when we consider whether it is justified. I did not mean to
imply by that we have free will in some extravagant sense. All I meant was that that
whole formula this act for the sake of this end is the object about which we are
choosing, and we can choose for or against it. But to the extent that we really are free
in a way the other animals are not and I dont think it is an extravagant sense - it is
partly because we have the standard.22 The standard gives us a motive for rejecting the
purposes our nature proposes to us. But if we are capable of setting aside our ends
when we cannot pursue them by any decent means, then there is also a sense in
which when we do decide to pursue an end, we can be seen as having adopted that
end. Our ends may be suggested to us by our desires and emotions, but they are not
determined for us by our affective states, for if we had judged it wrong to pursue
them, we could have laid them aside. Since we choose not only the means to our ends
21 The Critique of Practical Reason (1788), translated by Mary Gregor. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1997, p.
22 I am not sure if I mean this. Its like the ratio essendi, ratio cognoscendi business, but Ive
put it more strongly than
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but also the ends themselves, this is intentionality at a deeper level. For we exert a
deeper level of control over own movements when we choose our ends as well as the
means to them than that exhibited by an animal who pursues ends that are given to
her by her affective states, even if she pursues them consciously and intelligently.
Morality, and this deeper level of intentionality, are capacities that go hand in hand.
Kant called this kind of freedom autonomy because in our actions we are governed
by principles that, in a sense, we have legislated ourselves. We have decided to accord
value to humanity, and to govern ourselves accordingly. Morality is the human
capacity for normative self-government. Human beings are free and moral beings,
autonomous beings, but this is not something inexplicable and mysterious. It all
arises from the form of human self-consciousness.
V. Of the Reason of Animals (to borrow a chapter title from Hume)
Now I want to return to the claims I made about the reasoning capacities of
the other animals. Many people would agree that only human beings are moral
animals, but they would deny that the other animals lack reason. Although animals
are not governed by moral standards, it is well known that intelligent animals often
solve problems about how to achieve desirable ends. The literature on animals these
days is full of new discoveries about animals using and even making tools. And

animals, like human beings, generally get into more trouble when they are children
than they do when they are adults, suggesting that they learn to think more about
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consequences and so become more prudent. Many philosophers have thought that
practical reason demands that we take the means to our ends, and that, other things
equal, we choose what will be better for ourselves rather than what will be worse.
That is, they have thought that taking the means, and prudence, are rational
requirements. Do animals have this kind of reason?
Earlier I suggested that even when a non-human animal is torn between two
desirable ends, he does not count as choosing whichever of the two ends he
eventually goes for, at least in the sense of choosing an end that I just explained.
He cann0t lay aside an end simply because he thinks they ought to. Instead the
choice is made for him by the strength of his affective states. Notice that this does
not mean that there is no role in non-human thought for something that we would
ordinarily call reasoning for thinking about the possible consequences of each
course of action, and by that means giving direction to your affective states. It is
helpful in this connection to recall the way the philosopher Thomas Hobbes thought
of deliberation. Hobbes says:
When in the mind of man appetites and aversions, hopes and fears,
concerning one and the same thing arise alternately, and diverse good
and evil consequences of doing or omitting the thing propounded come
successively into our thoughts, so that sometimes, we have an appetite
to it, sometimes an aversion from it, sometimes hope to be able to do it,
sometimes despair or fear to attempt it, the whole sum of desires
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aversions, hopes and fears, continued till the thing be done or thought
impossible, is that we call DELIBERATION.23
In Hobbess conception, deliberation is merely imagining what it would be like to do
something and envisioning the various consequences of doing it, with the result that
ones affective attitude towards doing it changes accordingly to the consequences
envisioned. We can certainly imagine the chimp in my example reasoning in this
sense: thinking of mating, and wanting to, then thinking of the thrashing he will
receive from the dominant male, and not wanting to, until one of these desires comes
uppermost, and he acts. And while he is doing it, as Darwin says, he would be seen
to pause, deliberate, and resolve. If, being an older and wiser chimp, he resolves to
back away and give up on the mating, we might even say, in a colloquial way, that he
has decided that the end is not worth pursuing. So does this chimp exercise rational

I think that the answer is no, or at least, not in the same sense as we do. And
this brings out something important about these forms of practical reason as they
exist in human beings. One way to bring out the difference I have in mind is to
notice that just as human beings can be guilty of violating the moral principle, we can
violate these other rational principles we can be guilty of weakness of will, and fail to
choose the better course. Now if you believe that there is such a thing as weakness of
will, you must believe there is a difference between deciding that a certain end isnt
23 Leviathan, p. 33, Hackett/Curley edition.
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worth pursuing, and failing to pursue it because you are overcome by pain or fear or
idleness even though you do still think it is worth pursuing. There is a difference,
for instance, between the soldier who flees the battlefield having decided that the
defense of his country isnt worth risking death or injury, and the soldier who
believes wholeheartedly that he should be prepared to make the sacrifice, but who is
overcome with terror when confronted with the smoke, screams, explosions and
chaos of the battlefield. There is a difference, again, between giving away state secrets
under the influence of torture, and deciding that under the circumstances of torture
the secrets arent worth keeping. It would be horribly unkind to describe someone
who gave state secrets away under torture as having decided that they werent
worth keeping. Deciding that an end is or isnt worth pursuing is not just a matter
of finding that on reflection it is either more or less attractive, because even after
reflection we may be most strongly attracted towards the end we have decided is not
worth pursuing, or away from the one we have decided worth pursuing.
What this shows, I believe, is that in human beings, all of these forms of
reasoning involved being governed by principles. And that is a different thing than
merely having your attitudes shaped by taking thought. To see this, lets stay with
prudence. Its quite true that thinking about the ways a certain option will be better
for me in the long run can cause me to desire to take that option. But if the
rationality of prudence were based on that fact if it were based on the fact that the
better option seems desirable to me once I think about it then if I didnt find that
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option desirable after thinking about it, I would not be irrational if I failed to pursue
it. The best choice, for me, is not the choice I desire most, even after taking thought,
but the one I judge to be best. That is true even if it turns out that the content of that
judgment refers to my desires for instance, to what I will desire later on. If there is
a rational principle of prudence, what it tells me to do is to act on that judgment. It
tells me that I ought to act on my judgment about what is best in preference to what I
find most attractive, not merely that I will find it attractive if I think hard enough

about it. (That may be true, but that is not what the rational principle of prudence
tells me.) And that means that prudence, no less than morality, is a struggle for the
victory of principle over what is locally more attractive. And there is no such struggle
in the life of a non-human animal.
This point may be concealed by the fact that sometimes, when we are
struggling to be prudent, we engage in something that looks a lot like Hobbesian
deliberation we try to dwell on the advantages of what we know to be the better
option. So for instance, I may try to steal myself to going to the dentist by vividly
imagining the pain of the toothache I will inevitably have if I dont. This makes it
seem as if it is merely the natural attractiveness of the better end (say, of not having
the toothache) that motivates me, rather than my judgment that I ought to go to the
dentist. But there are two differences between this kind of exercise and genuine
Hobbesian deliberation. The first is that this kind of exercise is directed when I
perform it, I already know which option is best I already know what I ought to do.
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The second difference, as I have already emphasized, is that the correctness of my
judgment doesnt depend on the outcome of this imaginative exercise. If the
imaginative exercise succeeds, I may rid myself of the temptation to be imprudent,
and so solve my problem. But if the imaginative exercise fails, I will still be guilty of
weakness of will if I fail to go to the dentist. That is because I am capable of choosing
the better course, not because it is the most attractive to me, not even because it is
more attractive on reflection, but because it is the better course. That is to say, it is
because the thought that I ought to do what will be better for me can produce in me a
motive for doing it. And this brings out something that many philosophers have
failed to notice. Prudence requires the possibility that we can be motivated by pure
practical reason, in exactly the same way that morality does. It is only what it tells us
to do that is different.24
I believe that the same is true even in the case of instrumental reason,
although here there is a further complication: the requirement of instrumental
reason cannot stand alone. I cannot be guilty of weakness of the will about the
requirement to take the means to my end if my end is simply the option that is most
attractive to me, for if an option does not attract me enough to motivate me to take
the means to it, then ipso facto it is not the most attractive option for me. No matter
how much I want to get in shape, if it does not motivate me to exercise, then I prefer
the combination of sloth with unfitness to the combination of exercise with fitness.
24 Myth of Egoism
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Christine M. Korsgaard
p. 34
And if my end is simply whatever I prefer, then in pursuing the course of sloth and

unfitness, I am pursuing my end, not failing to take the means to my end. So the
principle of instrumental reason imposes no requirement on us, unless there are also
principles, like those of morality or prudence, requiring us to have certain ends
ends that might not be, on a given occasion, the ones we most strongly want to
pursue. Once those are in place, I can be guilty of weakness of will, if I fail to take the
means to an end I have determined, for whatever reason, that I ought to pursue.
And this is not because the thought that this action will secure the end has makes
performing the action attractive to me for if I find myself reluctant to take the
necessary means, then of course it hasnt. Instead, it is because the thought that I
ought to take the means to an end I regard as good itself serves as the motive for
taking those means.25
Ive been drawing a distinction between two kinds of motivation. An
intelligent animal might be drawn to perform an action because he finds it attractive
once he sees that it will get him what he wants. And he might be drawn to perform
an action, or not to, because he finds it attractive, or unattractive, once he thinks
about some consequences of that action that will ensue later on although probably
not much later on. These motives mimic instrumental reasoning and prudence, but
they are not the same thing. To be motivated by instrumental reason and prudence is
to be motivated by the recognition of the normative force of certain rational
25 That was the hey presto version of The Normativity of Instrumental Reason.
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requirements or principles the principle of taking the means to your ends, and the
principle of choosing the better course if indeed those are rational requirements I
havent tried to argue for that conclusion here.26 Since all rational action involves
acting on principles, all rational action requires the same level of intentionality that
morality does: the ability to be motivated to do something by the thought that you
ought to do it.
To put the same point another way, if the arguments I have given here are
correct, all genuine rational principles are what Kant called categorical imperatives,
and our capacity to act on them therefore depends on our general capacity to act on
categorical imperatives. That to get back to an earlier question - is why I am fairly
confident that non-human animals dont do more than follow their strongest
impulse, even in cases where they are choosing the means to ends or choosing
between two options. I dont believe that non-human animals can reason in any of
these ways because I think that the principles of practical reason stand or fall
together. If the other animals could be governed by reason at all, they would also be
moral animals.
VI. Conclusion
Let me make it clear what I am proposing. I think there is something really
new and different about human beings, and about human life something that sets
26 See the Myth of Egoism for some doubts about the rational principle of prudence.

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us apart from the other animals. This new thing is the human capacity for normative
self-government our capacity to determine our beliefs and actions in accordance
with normative principles. This capacity is not mysterious or non-natural, but is
rather the inevitable result of a certain form of self-consciousness: consciousness of
the grounds of our beliefs and actions as grounds . In the case of action this form of
self-consciousness makes possible a deeper level of intentionality than we see
exhibited in the actions of the other animals: we can choose not just to do actions
that promote ends given by nature, but to-do-a-certain-action-for-the-sake-of-acertainend. We are therefore hold ourselves responsible for performing only actions
whose ends justify us in taking whatever means we do take. Both the selfconsciousness
that makes this form of intentionality possible, and the form of
intentionality itself, are, in one way, clearly points on a continuum with earlier forms
of self-consciousness and intentionality. There is nothing to prevent us from
supposing that these are properties that evolved in a natural way. But the result
brought something quite new and different to the world: human beings live under
the dominance of what Darwin called that short but imperious word ought. We are
moral and rational animals.


Why (and How) to Study Ethics
David Clowney
Looking at the ethics or morality of something means looking at the right or wrong of it, the
good or bad of it, the humanity or inhumanity of it. In short it means asking how well you could
sleep at night if you did it. That's not a precise definition; but it will do to start out with.
If that's what ethics is, why study it? Knowing right from wrong is one of the qualifications for
being a fully functional adult. Surely it's not something you acquire by studying hard in school!
Indeed, studying ethics won't make you ethical; nor is that its purpose. Nevertheless it can be a
useful study. It may help you understand better what is best, and how to pursue it. It may also
help you participate in constructive discussion with others about what is best; and such
discussions and debates are an essential part of the way a society forms its values.

Ethics is both easy and hard. It can be easy or hard to know what's good, and easy or hard to
do it. Usually the hard part of ethics is doing what you know is right when the cost is more than
you want to pay. At best, the academic study of ethics will help you anticipate difficult choices,
so that when they come along they don't catch you completely off guard. But if you don't have
the will to do the right thing when it hurts, ethics courses won't give it to you.
Sometimes, however, it's not easy to tell right from wrong. Sincere people disagree. Traditional
values change. Diverse cultural values clash. Ethical dilemmas present you with conflicts
between equally important moral values. Individuals make competing claims on you to which
you must respond. Historical changes (for example, new medical technologies) raise ethical
questions that seem to be brand new. And things you never thought twice about (like the
enviromnment, or the effect of your consumer habits on infant mortality in the third world) may
suddenly appear as grave moral issues which challenge your entire way of life.
It's in these difficult areas that the study of ethics can help you think through moral questions,
and decide where you stand on them. In particular, studying ethics can help you to:
1. Identify different kinds of moral values, and distinguish them from other sorts of
2. Notice what moral values are at stake in a variety of situations.
3. Clarify the reasons behind moral judgments and decisions.
4. Make some sense out of changing and conflicting moral values.
5. Decide where you will stand on difficult ethical choices you face.
6. Understand why being ethical matters.

A few words about each of these may prove helpful.

1. Identifying kinds of moral values, and distinguishing them from other kinds of values.
As individuals and as groups, all human beings have values. If you pay attention even for an
hour or two to the number of times you use or hear the words "good" or "bad", or other words
that mean approximately the same thing, you'll soon see how essential values are to human life.
Not all values are moral values. Some have to do with taste, or personal preference. When I
lived in the South, friends kept offering me fried okra; they thought if I only tasted some that
was cooked right, I'd agree that it was delicious. But every batch I tasted was just as slimy and

repulsive as the last. My friends and I placed a different value on eating okra. But our difference
was not a difference of moral values; it was just a difference about good and bad tastes.
There are many other kinds of non-moral values besides taste-values. Paintings and pieces of art
have aesthetic value. Things like cars, race horses and real estate can a functional value that
depends on how well they serve their intended purpose. Behaviour can be evaluated as
displaying good or bad manners. Aesthetic value, degree of usefulness, and manners are all
kinds of value; but they are not moral value.
So what are moral values, and how do they differ from other values? Roughly, moral values are
those values that we take to be the very most important, basic, absolute, or universal. Moral
values trump our other values. They are the values we associate, not just with being a good
doctor or secretary or athlete or executive, but with being a good human being. They express
rights, obligations, and prohibitions that we think of as absolutely basic to humanity. In fact,
we're inclined to call a very unethical person "inhuman", "a monster", whereas a highly ethical
person might be called "humane", or "a fine human being."
The kinds of things that can be called morally good or bad include persons; the actions,
thoughts, character and intentions of persons; and, perhaps, states of affairs that impact on the
lives of persons.
A first step in thinking about the ethics of a situation is to think about the values that are at
stake. There will always be some. Then ask which of these are specifically moral values. Pay
special attention to aspects of the situation that make you uncomfortable, or that make you feel
good about what's happening. These feelings often show up when the values at issue are moral
Three words of caution about what I've said so far. First, I don't mean to suggest that ethical
values and other values don't have anything to do with each other. That's not true. In fact other
kinds of value can give rise to moral value. One of the major moral values, according to most
people who have thought about it, is to maximise other sorts of value when you can do so
without being unethical. For example, aesthetic value is not the same thing as ethical value. But
most people would agree that it is an ethically good thing to promote human welfare by making,
preserving, and presenting good art. This value is not an ethical absolute, however. For
example, preserving the life of a child is surely more important than preserving a great painting,
if you had to choose between one and the other.
A second word of caution: Look out for the word "we"! Remember what Tonto said to the Lone
Lone Ranger: "We're in big trouble, Tonto! We're surrounded by Indians!"
Tonto: "What you mean "we", paleface?

So far I have been speaking about "what we think," "what we take to be moral," as if
everyone knew who "we" are. But that's not always so clear. When you use the word
"we", you assume the existence of a group, and you make a lot of unspoken assumptions
about who's in the group, how it's defined, and what it's like. The group could be small
(our family, our college, Tonto and the Lone Ranger). It could be large (our nation, our
society). The group could even be the whole human race--and in discussions about ethics
it often is. In any case, ask what assumptions you are making about the membership and
characteristics of the group, and what you may be taking for granted that would include
or exclude people from the group.
If you look back at the place where I was trying to say what moral values are, and start asking
Tonto's question, you will see immediately why this point about "we" matters in ethics. Who are
the "we" who take these values to be more important than any others? What culture's notion of
"humanity" am I working with when I speak of "rights, obligations and prohibitions that are
absolutely basic to humanity?"
In a context where no-one is asking Tonto's question, it is easy to think of ethics as a set of
absolute moral laws which "our" consciences naturally teach us and which "we" are bound to
obey. It is also easy for this supposedly absolute and universal set of standards to serve as a
justification for excluding, abusing, and condescending to humans who aren't part of "us"
(blacks and hispanics, women, gays, fundamentalists, ...).
Once someone does start asking "What you mean, 'we'?"--or rather, once the question has been
taken seriously and folks with differing moral values begin talking to each other--ethics may
start looking a lot more like taste. And so it does, to many modern Americans. There are many
different moralities, they might say, and none is better or worse than another. For them, the
bottom line about ethics could be expressed in the words of a Sesame Street character, "What
you think is really delicious, may be awful and yucky to me."
As you have probably guessed from the way I've described them, I'm not satisfied with either of
these extremes as the last word about ethics. My own view is that there are some constant
realities that make it possible to have real moral discussions across all sorts of group lines, and
to resolve at least some differences about moral values. But I also think that moral codes arise
in social contexts, and it is not possible to have moral values in a way that frees you from all the
assumptions and prejudices of your individual and group identity. What is possible is to reach
understandings, grow out of prejudices, include persons formerly excluded from your group,
and generally to mature in interaction with others who differ from you. Individuals can do that,
and so can groups. For that reason, any good ethical analysis has to ask, not only what values
are at stake, but whose values they are. Keep asking, "what would Tonto say?"
My third word of caution is: ethical theorists disagree with each other about almost everything
I've already said, simple as it may seem. You are entering a conversation with other people who

have thought hard about moral values. You are not learning an exact science. Understanding this
will help you have the right expectations. There will rarely be just one right way of analyzing a
situation, and one right thing to do. But this does not mean that nothing useful or moral can be
said or done. Furthermore (this is important!) it doesn't mean there are no wrong ways of
thinking about or acting in a situation.

2. Noticing what moral values are at stake:

Everyone has had the experience of seeing something once, then looking at it later and noticing
many things about it that you previously missed. This is a common experience in moral as well
as visual perception. One reason for the difference in perception can be that you have learned
more about what to look for. As a device to help you know what to look for, I am going to
introduce a framework of three perspectives for looking at ethical questions that I have found
useful. Besides helping me to see moral aspects of a situation that I would otherwise miss, it has
other uses as well. Using it sometimes shows me ways to reconcile apparently conflicting
views. It has a lot in common with some traditional ways of classifying ethical theories (more
about them later). I recommend using it as a question-generator. Once you start trying to answer
the questions it generates, you'll find yourself digging pretty deeply into the ethics of whatever
it is you're looking at.
The three points of view I'm introducing are not alternatives between which you must choose.
Rather, they are three different perspectives from which to look at the same territory. Each
shows you something you might otherwise miss. To get the whole picture you should use all
three together.
Link to
Three points of view on ethics.

3. Clarifying the reasons behind moral judgments and decisions.

Moral reasoning is sometimes very straightforward. Example: "If I keep the extra hundred
dollars the cashier just gave me by mistake, I'll be stealing from the store, plus she'll be in big
trouble at the end of the day. Stealing, and causing harm to the cashier in that way, would both
be wrong. So I'd better give back the hundred dollars."

Rationalizations can be pretty obvious, too. Example: "I'm not responsible for other people's
mistakes, am I? Besides, "Finders keepers" (bogus moral rule invoked to justify keeping what's
not yours). I'm keeping this hundred dollars!"

Often, however, the reasons and rationalizations involved in some choice you face are not so
clear. You may just "not feel right" about a situation, but not know why. Or, someone else's
justification why you and they should do something may sound wrong but feel right, or sound
right but feel wrong.

Under such circumstances, it can be helpful to try to lay out the reasons that are being offered
for the choice, and see how they hold up to scrutiny. Each of the three perspectives has
something to contribute here.


Normative perspective:

What principles are being appealed to? Are they valid principles? Do they apply? For example,
the principle of not taking another human life may or may not apply to the termination of life
support systems for a brain dead patient. It depends on whether the brain-dead individual is a
human life (i.e., a living human person) in the strong sense that the principle requires. A medical
and legal consensus has developed by now that a brain dead person is not a human life in this
sense, so that according to this consensus the principle does not in fact apply.)

Does it seem to you that any crucial principles are being violated or ignored?

Have principles been properly prioritized? Some take precedence over others. For example,
rights to property and privacy are important; one could argue that they are moral rights. But
other rights can take precedence over them. Ordinarily it would be immoral for me to walk into
a stranger's house, take the stranger's keys, and drive off in the stranger's car. However, faced
with an emergency in which that is the only way for me to save the life of an injured child, it
seems pretty obvious not only that I may take the car, but that I ought to do so. At least in this

case, the value of preserving life trumps the values of property and privacy.

Have both positive and negative principles been taken into account? Some principles present
positive goals which should be sought. Others state the limits of acceptable behaviour. Both are
important. Sometimes they appear to conflict; good moral reasoning will try to take both into

Have all the relevant rights and obligations been taken into account? For example, economist
Milton Friedman argues, on the basis of shareholders' rights, that the prime moral obligation of
business is to increase profits. Others who argue against Friedman make the point that he has
ignored the rights of other groups besides shareholders to have a say about what businesses do,
and that government regulations cannot adequately represent the rights and interests of these
other groups, so that business managers and boards are obliged to take these interests into
account in their decision.

Situational Perspective:

What are the facts? What are the unique characteristics of this situation? What principles apply
in this kind of situation?
Ethical reasoning requires getting as clear about the relevant facts as one can manage to do. For
example, in trying to decide about the termination of life support systems in a particular medical
case, it would be important to know whether or not the patient was brain-dead according to the
accepted medical definition of the term. Again, in evaluating some moral reasoning about
sexual orientation, one might want answers to some factual questions about how one's sexual
orientation is formed or acquired, and whether it is to any extent within one's control.

There is another kind of "getting clear about the facts" that has less to do with gathering
information and more with deciding how to categorize the information you already have.
Often this means drawing an analogy between an unfamiliar situation and some other situations
where you already know where you stand. For example, a couple using the services of a fertility
clinic may wonder whether artificial insemination by donor seems more like adoption or
adultery. People arguing about abortion have compared that procedure both with removal of a
body part and with murder. Should we accept either analogy? Are there other choices?

What benefits and harms will this course of action produce? Some thinkers (utilitarians) have
claimed that all questions of principle really boil down to this question. Whether or not this is
so, it is certainly an essential question to ask when making an ethical evaluation of some course
of action or other. And it is certainly a common sort of reason given for doing or avoiding an

Personal perspective:

Reasoning from this point of view, one will ask such qeustions as : Is this appropriate for me
(for her, for him, for us)? The difference of individual life plans and life stories means that I
need more than general moral principles and assesments of benefit and harm to decide what I
should do. See Edmund Pincoffs, Quandary Ethics, for an excellent discussion of what
traditional ethical theories leave out. Has everyone concerned been properly consulted, or
are the "reasons" all those of the person or group in power? The "personal" point of view is
also interpersonal. Evaluating ethical reasoning from this point of view means taking all
concerned parties and their relationships into account. A related question: What "interests"
might be producing rationalizations in place of legitimate reasons?

Notice that including this point of view as a legitimate source of moral reasons gives us a way
to take account of a very common set of reasons that are often discounted. People will often say
that a decision "feels right" or "does not feel right." They may say that "it's just not me," or that
"it's not the way we do things." These remarks can certainly signal the lack of moral reasoning,
as they are often thought to do. But they may also be signals of the presence of good reasons
that have to do with the integrity of persons and relationships.

4. Make some sense out of changing and conflicting moral values. Moral values change. That is
to say, different cultures have different values. How different these values are is another
question. At the very least, they are different enough to produce significant moral confusions
and challenges for anyone who tries to live cross-culturally.

It doesn't take a change of cultures to produce a conflict of values, however. Any system of
values has possible points of tension within it. Consider the case of Frau Bergmeier, a German
prisoner in a Russian camp during the second world war. Her husband and children were still in
Germany. She wanted to join them; and she knew they wanted and needed her. But pregnant
women were the only category of detainees that the Russians were sending back to Germany.
Frau Bergmeier, a devout Lutheran, found an obliging Russian camp guard, and got herself
pregnant and home.

The conflict here is between the positive application of a goal or principle (marital and familial
loyalty) and its negative application (against adultery). It is possible to look at such situations as
forcing us to choose among wrongs. This seems to me unnecessary and unhelpful, however. The
more traditional way of handling such conflicts is to recognize that values can be prioritized.
Frau Bergmeier obviously took the view that the reuniting of her family took priority over strict
sexual faithfulness to her husband. You may agree or disagree (or just be glad you didn't have to
make the decision!). But if you agree with her priorities, why say that what she chose to do was
wrong? (And if you disagree, why not say that her choice was not morally appropriate, instead
of saying that she had to choose between wrongs?)

Of course, not all value conflicts can be resolved by prioritizing values. Some might simply be
irresolvable. In that case it will be necessary to choose one or the other--or to try to hold on to
contradictory values. Some current social disputes about values do seem to involve such
irresolvable conflicts. In that case it is important to see what the conflicting value systems are.

Attention to changes and conflicts in values raises the question of ethical relativism. Ethical
relativism is the view that morality is like taste. That is, within a particular system of moral
values, it will be possible to have rational discussions, give reasons, and come to conclusions as
to whether something is good or bad. But where two systems of moral value are in conflict,
there wil be no truth of the matter as to which of them is right and which is wrong.

Is ethical relativism true? And how could you tell if it was or wasn't? I believe that the version
of ethical relativism I just mentioned is a logically consistent one; that is, it is possible to
believe it without contradicting yourself. (Many people have suggested that there is something
self-contradictory or self-refuting about ethical relativism; so it's important to point out that
there are versions of it that are not contradictory.) But is it true? I don't believe that it is. I won't
try to produce an argument here that ethical relativism is false; that would be a complicated
project. But I will suggest a tactic for dealing with relativism. Ask anyone who claims to be an

ethical relativist (this may include you), whether they think that Hitler had bad values, or
whether they think there is anything the matter with the values of a society that thinks you
should torture and eat the infant children of your enemies. A true relativist would have to say
that these are unanswerable questions; but I find that most people are not relativists when faced
with questions like this. Many people who claim to be relativists really are not relativists.

5. Decide where you will stand on difficult ethical choices you face.

The point here is a simple one. Thinking ahead helps get you prepared for such difficult choices.
You may not have time to think them through very thoroughly at the time they show up.

The other side of this coin--and it demonstrates an important point about practical wisdom--is
that you can't make you decisions in advance of making them. There are almost always
elements of any situation that defy advance analysis. Likewise, solutions often turn up on the
spot that weren't evident ahead of time. So studying ethics can't possibly prepare you for
everything you will face. And, solutions may present themselves in the situation, which were
not apparent in advance. All the same, thinking about ethical difficulties in advance is more
helpful to decision making than not thinking about them. And when it comes to social policy
(for example, in making decisions about the care of the terminally ill, or the experimental use of
fetal tissue, or about living wills), it is absolutely essential to think out a set of principles. There
is no other way to make laws or formulate policies.
6. Understand why being ethical matters.

If you don't already have a clue about this, studying ethics won't help. But the formal study of
ethics will often help you to get clear about what your values are and why they matter to you, in
ways that you were not clear about before.
These, then, are some reasons to study ethics, together with some tools for doing so, and a
preview of some of the issues that come up when any ethical question is under consideration.


Stanley Huang

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Is Ethics the Same As Religion?
Post Number:#1 August 16th, 2011, 8:56 am
Well, before, I read a book where the write presents a view or an idea, and one idea is that:
Ethics is not the same as religion, where a person may think that ethics is about love or
compassion, while religion is about God. And he may say that love is what you can feel, while
God is something mystical, where atheist rejects it."
But I feel ethics is the same as religion.
Because many of the moral thinkers in the past ask questions that make me feel are religious
And religious people in the past often talk about love as well, so I feel ethics is the same a


Laws are underpinned by the power of the State - if you break a law you can be legally charged and punished.
For example laws covering the crime of stealing
Ethical norms are the unofficial laws or rules underpinned by the cultural power of society. - if you break them you might
suffer the social punishment of being made to feel a social outcast or being humiliated.
For example breaking the norms governing current sensibilities by eating in a gross manner
The other form of ethical norms are 'mores' Again they are usually only underpinned by social, not legal, controls .but
these are acts against the ethics or mores of the community and have a moral connotation.
For example treating others in an unduly harsh manner, or cheating at cards or sports.

Ethical norms are what society expects you to do in polite society such as saying hello and
shaking hands. Laws are things that you must follow or you may end up in jail.
Ethics and law help achieve order and discipline. Laws refer to established and written
regulations by a governing body while ethics entail the norms set by a culture.
Law vs Ethics

Ever since we were kids and became aware of our surroundings, our parents and elders have instilled in us a
fundamental awareness of what is right and wrong. It is actually an inherent trait of all humans and grows
from our desire to get along well with each other in order to live a harmonious life.
To achieve this goal we understand that we must do to other people what we expect them to do to us in return.
For this, we try very hard to do what we feel and see as the right things to do in certain situations. This is
the foundation of ethics. They are rules of conduct that shows how our society expects us to behave and are
the guiding principles behind the creation of laws.
Based on societys ethics, laws are created and enforced by governments to mediate in our relationships with
each other. Laws are made by governments in order to protect its citizens. The judiciary, legislature, and
public officials are the three main bodies in a government that are assigned to the task of the creation of laws.
Laws have to be approved and written by these three branches of government before they are implemented and
enforced by the police and the military, with the help of the legal system consisting of lawyers and other
government servants.
While laws carry with them a punishment for violations, ethics does not. In ethics everything depends on the
persons conscience and self worth. Driving carefully and within the speed limit because you dont want to
hurt someone is ethical, but if you drive slowly because you see a police car behind you, this suggests your fear
of breaking the law and being punished for it.
Ethics comes from within a persons moral sense and desire to preserve his self respect. It is not as strict as
laws. Laws are codifications of certain ethical values meant to help regulate society, and punishments for
breaking them can be harsh and sometimes even break ethical standards.
Take the case of the death penalty. We all know that killing someone is wrong, yet the law punishes people
who break the law with death. With this comes the argument about whether laws are necessary at all. But it
is important to note that without laws people are aware of the chaos that might reign in society.
Ethics and laws are therefore necessary to provide guidance and stability to people and society as a whole.
1. Ethics are rules of conduct. Laws are rules developed by governments in order to provide balance in
society and protection to its citizens.
2. Ethics comes from peoples awareness of what is right and wrong. Laws are enforced by governments to
its people.
3. Ethics are moral codes which every person must conform to. Laws are codifications of ethics meant to
regulate society.
4. Ethics does not carry any punishment to anyone who violates it. The law will punish anyone who happens
to violate it.
5. Ethics comes from within a persons moral values. Laws are made with ethics as a guiding principle.




Contemporary philosophers tend to consider both Aristotle and Plato to be "virtue ethicists" --this is true of lots of pre-modern ethics, which focuses on elements of character.

The Greek word for "virtue," arete refers to excellence and doesn't necessarily have moral
connotations. It just means it does what it's supposed to do well (A car's "virtues" would include
things like speed, reliabiilty, safety, etc.). Human virtues become "moral" because morality or
ethics (the Greek word ethos refers to character, but is understood to have a social component
--- how one is as a citizen) is presumed to refer to how people live the sorts of lives that human
beings innately tend to have.

When looking at virtue, both Plato and Aristotle start with the views of what counted as virtues
in Greek society. The virtues Aristotle lists in the Nichomachean Ethics are derived from this,
as are the virtues that Plato focuses on in many of his dialogues (but most famously, the
Republic). Foremost for both were wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice, though Aristotle
meant much further in delimiting them.

For both Plato and Aristotle, and indeed for most Greeks, virtue was essential for happiness
(eudaimonia, which means "happiness" or "good character," more broadly self-fulfillment or the
good life).

A key difference arises when it comes to how we acquire those virtues. 1) Plato seems to have
held what we'd call a Socratic conception of virtue (acquired from his teacher, Socrates) that
knowledge is virtue. In other words, to know the good is to do the good. 2) This means that all
the virtues boil down to wisdom. If I'm really wise, all the other virtues will follow. Plato, in
other words, believed in the unity of the virtues. Socrates was the best example of this for
Plato, as his dialogues illustrate. 3) Finally, Plato believed that virtue was sufficient for
happiness --- there is no such thing as moral luck.

Aristotle differed on each of these points. 1) Knowing the good wasn't enough for Aristotle.
Although Aristotle doesn't necessarily have a concept of a free will (this is a later, largely
Christian idea), he does believe that I need to practice virtue --- that I need to habituate myself
to virtue in order to truly be virtuous. 2) For this reason, although wisdom is the highest form
of virtue, it is by no means the key to possessing all virtues. In other words, Aristotle denies the
unity of the virtues. 3) Finally, Aristotle thinks that although virtue is necessary to the good
life, it isn't sufficient. That is to say, I can be virtuous but still unhappy (think of Oedipus). In
particular, if I need good fellow citizens to truly achieve happiness.
Interestingly, Aristotle's views on all these points represented the more mainstream views of
Greek society, whereas Plato's were more radical.
At the most general difference, Aristotle and Plato placed different values on the human being.
Whereas Aristotle generally saw the positives in society, and therefore prescribed freedom and
equality, Plato saw the negatives and prescribed various illiberal and discriminatory ideals.

With the system of Eudaimonism, Plato and Aristotle attempt to arrive at a theory or system or set of moral principles or
values dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. They further go on in applying these
principles of conduct in governing an individual or group. Their main concern with conformity to this standard of right is
the idea of virtue. They also seem to place one virtue as being of particular moral excellence.
The standard and widely accepted definition of Eudaimonism is having a good attendant spirit or a theory that the highest
ethical goal is happiness and personal well-being. This definition of Eudaimonism is adequate, but it appears to lose some
of the specificity of Platos account.
In regard to the differences in Plato and Aristotles view of ethics, two things are obvious: (1) they seem to arrive at
similar conclusions on many topics by what appears to be different means and (2) Plato seems more concerned with virtue
in action, while Aristotle is more concerned with providing the dictionary definition of virtue.
For both Plato and Aristotle the good appears to be happiness. For Plato, this is where his interpretation of the meaning of
Eudaimonism takes precedence. Eudaimonism takes a three part definition in this respect: (1) living in harmony with
ones self (i.e. justice), (2) living in truth to ones self (i.e. integrity), and (3) which is somewhat of a combination of the
above two: a feeling of happiness or self-satisfaction associated with the activity of self-fulfillment. This happiness, which
appears to be the good, is only attainable through the exercise of certain virtues (i.e. cardinal virtues).
In the Republic, it is clear that both the individual and the state must contain the virtues of wisdom, courage, temperance,
and justice in order to have a functional system or person. In addition, Socrates life as expressed in the Apology

demonstrates that integrity is also necessary in order to keep these virtues in tact; and in turn, integrity will lead to
happiness. For it is from living in truth to himself (i.e. being a philosopher, gadfly, and midwife), that Socrates achieved
happiness which came from conducting inquiries.
Aristotle concludes in Book I, Chap. 7 of the Nicomachean Ethics that the good is happiness. He goes on to suggest that
Human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue (Nicomachean Ethics, p. 52/2). Aristotles
concept of good appears to be the same as Platos.
One way in which Aristotle refers to virtue is as the potential excellence of an individual, which seems to indicate what
Plato meant. For it is this excellence that Platos individual strives to achieve in order to attain happiness. Likewise, it is
from the soul (i.e. daimon) where this excellence comes from in both cases. Aristotle also adds that this is an activity. This
seems to imply a process which can only continue through a display of the virtue of integrity. So Plato and Aristotle both
appear to place happiness on the reliance of ones daimon and continual exercise of self-fulfillment through integrity.
Contrary to todays meaning of daimon as demon, the ancient Greeks referred to a daimon as ones innate potentiality or
excellence located in the central self or soul. A daimon appears similar to what today one refers to as natural talent or
ability or God-given talent. The concept of a daimon suggests this idea well, for it is necessary for one to find this innate
potential in order to enjoy life to its fullest (i.e. Eudaimonia). Plato and Aristotle both seem to point to knowledge as the
means for discovering ones daimon.
In Book IV of the Republic, Plato discusses the three virtues which hold both the ideal state and the ideal individual
together which consist of: (1) wisdom which operates in the rulers (state) and reason (soul), (2) courage which operates in
the auxiliaries (state) and the will (soul), and (3) temperance which operates in the workers (state) and the appetite (soul).
Aristotle approaches the soul somewhat differently in that he only suggests two parts of the soul (Book I, Chap. 7/13,
Nicomachean Ethics): (1) the rational element and (2) the irrational element. Aristotles rational element can be viewed as
containing both reason and the will for it must exercise thought (contemplation) and obedience. The irrational element has
an appetitive part which must exhibit temperance in order to obey the rational as well as a vegetative element which
appears to simply be ones life-force.
What keeps all three elements in the state and individual working properly is justice. Plato suggests in Book IV of the
Republic that the state is just when each person is performing in society that which is ones duty according to nature (i.e.
the daimon). In the same way, the individual is just only if the several parts of ones nature (i.e. soul) fulfill their proper
function. Plato then states that only when this is true of an individual will he be ready to go about whatever he may have
to do (Republic, p. 41/1). In accordance with this statement, justice is the only way that a state will be productive.
Although justice holds all the elements together, it is reason/rulers (i.e. wisdom) which is in control.
Aristotle hints at the idea of justice when he states For it is not merely the state in accordance with the right rule, but the
state that implies the right rule, that is virtue (Nicomachean Ethics, p. 68/1). The right rule seems to imply justice while
those in the state who determine what justice is are the rulers. By doing so, the state attempts to desire the right thing (i.e.
the individuals innate potential). This seems to be the form of education that Plato suggested by placing the rulers in
charge with a need to know the good for the state; so that they may set up a state where people can discover their innate
Aristotle also suggests that reason needs to rule in the individual. He states that The life according to reason is best and
pleasantest (Nicomachean Ethics, p. 72/1). It also seems evident because Aristotle suggests that it is by wisdom that the
soul possesses truth; not to mention, that he states in Book X, Chap. 7 of the Nicomachean Ethics that contemplation (an
activity of the soul) is the highest human activity and the purest exercise of the rational capacity (i.e. reason). In order to
attain ones innate potential, one must have self-knowledge. It appears that one gains wisdom through experience; and
thus, gains knowledge; so it would be through reason that one is able to arrive at their innate potential.
Socrates states in the Apology (p. 23/1) that The unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates seems to have a two-fold
purpose in expressing this: (1) if one does not question ones life (i.e. search for meaning), they will not discover their
innate potential and (2) if they do not discover their innate potential, life will not be happy (self-satisfying). Socrates also
states that Thinking one knows what one does not know is the most reprehensible form of ignorance (Apology, p. 21/1).
Socrates means that if one thinks they know something (even though they do not), they will not know to search for it; so
thus, one will not attain the self-knowledge necessary in order to discover ones daimon.

Many things which Aristotle discusses in the Nicomachean Ethics suggests that wisdom (i.e. knowledge) is necessary for
the good life which leads to happiness in an activity in accordance with virtue (i.e. ones daimon). Aristotle seems to
express that the most important virtue for humans is intellectual (i.e. knowledge through contemplation) and though
people fulfill themselves in different ways, reason (contemplation) must play a significant role in determining what that
fulfillment is (Book VI, Chap. 7/8, Nicomachean Ethics). It also follows that when Aristotle states in Book VI, Chap. 6
that happiness is in those activities which are desirable in themselves that that which is in accordance to virtue (i.e. selfknowledge which leads to knowledge of ones daimon) is most desirable. This all leads back to what Aristotle expresses in
Book I, Chap. 13 (Nicomachean Ethics, p. 53/1): Happiness is an activity of soul in accordance with virtue.
Both Plato and Aristotle seem to imply the virtue of integrity as being of great importance. Socrates demonstrated true
integrity (living true to ones self) in the Apology when he died for what he believed he was supposed to be doing
according to nature (i.e. his daimon or innate potential, which was philosophizing and conducting inquiries). In Book I,
Chap. 7 of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states that the final good (i.e. daimon) is self-sufficient which means that
when isolated it makes life desirable and lacking in nothing. This being the case it seems obvious why one would build
the trait of integrity through self-fulfillment for they would be in a state of completeness and they could not be driven
from their life-course for any reason just as Socrates in the Apology. So it follows that the virtue (i.e. daimon) of a man
makes both him and his work good (Book II, Chap. 6, Nicomachean Ethics). This resembles what Plato suggests by the
virtue of justice in that the whole society will be productive if everyone follows their daimon (Book IV, Republic).
Contrary to the popularly-held interpretation that Plato believes virtue is knowledge, it appears that he believes knowledge
is a virtue but not that knowledge is Virtue itself. Plato and Aristotle both seem to hold that ones innate potentiality (i.e.
daimon) is virtue and even in this respect, it is virtue only for that particular individual.
An area where there appears to lie some difference between Plato and Aristotle is concerning virtues as a whole, because
Aristotle concentrates a bit more on the subject than does Plato. He offers a more abstract definition. Both authors seem to
point to wisdom as the primary or cardinal virtue because it is through wisdom that one is able to obtain the selfknowledge necessary to realize ones daimon. Aristotle states it directly when he claims in Book X, Chap. 7 of the
Nicomachean Ethics that the activity of reason (i.e. contemplation) whereby one acquires knowledge is the highest virtue
in humans. With Plato there is a tendency to name integrity as the primary virtue because of Socrates display of it in the
Apology and the definition of the term Eudaimonism which contains integrity in it. However, from Book IV of the
Republic, it appears obvious that one must have knowledge in order to know ones daimon which leads to the cultivation
of integrity; thus, without any knowledge, there is no integrity. Integrity comes into view as the second fundamental virtue
in that it causes one to continue following their daimon.
So it has been shown that Plato recommends five cardinal virtues for the living of a moral life which are those of: wisdom,
courage, temperance, justice, and integrity. Aristotle appears to agree with this and expresses that these virtues as well as
all other virtues exist in different measures in each individual. Both authors contend that virtues must be developed in an
individual through the exercise of the virtue.
Aristotle explains how the virtues are actually exercised. He explains that virtue is a state of character concerned with
choice because moral virtue is actually a mean between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency (Book II,
Chap. 6/9, Nicomachean Ethics). So it follows that one should aim at the intermediate.
The idea of choice brings up another concern which Aristotle addresses. Aristotle states that freedom is self-determination
(i.e. one is free if the moving principle of their conduct is internal) (Book III, Chap. 1, Nicomachean Ethics). Aristotles
view takes into account choice as being voluntary and since for an action to be voluntary means that one is free, it follows
that when a choice is made, one is considered free and is held responsible for the action; thus, virtues and vices are
voluntary because they are in ones power to choose (Book III, Chap. 2,3,5, Nicomachean Ethics).
Aristotles definition of freedom seems to be based on what Plato would have expressed. In the Crito, Socrates expressed
that he was free in making his choice to live in Athens and since this is so, he has made a binding agreement with the state
and cannot disobey the laws and attempt an escape as suggested by Crito. So it follows that even though Socrates was
being put to death, he was still free.
There is only one problem that seems to exist in the system of Eudaimonism. Eudaimonism appears to be lacking in one
virtue which is that of humility. Both Plato and Aristotle hold philosophers in the highest regard and apparently

themselves as well. Plato states that either philosophers must become kings or those who are kings now must become
philosophers or else there can be no rest from troubles (Book V, Republic). Aristotle states that the philosopher is in the
best state of mind and is the dearest to the gods because they are most akin to them and that philosophers will be happiest
of any other people (Book X, Chap. 8, Nicomachean Ethics).
In addition to being the virtues ethics, Eudaimonism also appears to be the brainchild of Plato. Except for a few helpful
insights and further clarifications, Aristotle appears to repeat the same exact ethical system described and developed by
Plato but in a more flowery language. However in fairness to Aristotle, he does provide more information than Plato
into the workings of virtues as well as ethics with politics. Nevertheless, it is obvious that Aristotles more than 20 years
experience as a student of Platos had a huge impact and influence on his thinking.
The recent rise in Eudaimonism over the past two decades is a likely benefit for all of society. It seems apparent that
individuals need to develop a good moral character in thought before they know what action to take in a given situation.
Through the discourses of Socrates by Plato and the discussions of Aristotle, one develops a clearer understanding and
application of character ethics.
Overall, Eudaimonism appears to be the most useful and practical of the Big Four ethical systems. It does not focus on
merely actions in a given situation as utilitarianism and Kantianism do and it does not rest ones ability of selfactualization in dependence on the will of a supernatural (i.e. God) as Thomism (Roman Catholicism) does.
Eudaimonism is not concerned with what is the right thing to do in a given situation but what is the best kind of a life a
person can live or what is the good life for a human being. In order to address these questions, one must attain a quality of
character that is good in itself and helps one to live a good life (i.e. virtues). Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have created this
type of workable system of ethics or morals based on virtues and it is called Eudaimonism.

"Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a
chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could
not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was
coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must
stay at your house today. So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to
the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.
Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For
the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Luke 19:1-10
Paul also, writing to Timothy has this to say to believers in Jesus.....
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth,
which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our
enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they
may take hold of the life that is truly life. "
I Timothy 6:17-19
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Solomon, David - all of these were rich men, and loved by God.



Other Answers (12)






wgr88 answered 4 years ago

Misunderstanding here, Jesus Loves People period poor rich but the poor people "Receive" The Love
of The Lord better then the rich, remember the rich do not feel there need of anything that is God's
notice the words in Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and
have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind,
and naked: So its not a matter as to The Lord not Loving its a matter of the people not willing to
accept this Love. John 3:16 states Whosoever its a choice The Lord has already made His choice its
up to us know. Find out more free bible lessons no bible,
The Holy Bible



The Former Dr. Bob edited 4 years ago

Kanye? What are you doing on the computer? First you claim George Bush hates place people, then
you make a fool of yourself with Taylor Swift. Now it's Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. When will you




sundaymorning answered 4 years ago

Jesus loves everyone. Huckabee and Palin must not be very good Christians then.




? answered 4 years ago

I don't recall Jesus saying he hates the rich. Jesus loves everyone, rich or poor, black or white.
He just really disliked greedy people and warned about it. Some rich people are greedy indeed but
it's a flaw, no human is expected to be perfect. They can totally work it.




Methane Mama answered 4 years ago

Because, religions are designed to appeal to the poor and the ignorant. They aren't designed to
appeal to the rich, except as a means of controlling the poor.




Vince answered 4 years ago

Rich people already worship a god - money. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.




Geeb answered 4 years ago

Jesus never said he didn't love rich people, just that they wouldn't get in to heaven. Somehow
Christians today miss that part.




Ladys Man 2.0 answered 4 years ago

You receive more support from the proletariat - uneducated, desperate, vulnerable, impressionable
and numerous. Jesus would have never succeed preaching to the bourgeousie (educated, wealthy,
skeptic). Thats how it starts, and now the catholic church is in the position of the bourgeousie,
performing the same hat tricks and selling snake oil as their predecessor would have - if he existed.

What Jesus hated was a sinful or self-righteous attitude, in anyone. A rich person who did good
deeds, and didn't put wealth or power ahead of faith and duty, would tend to find favor, not
hatred. No. All people are loved equally by God regardless of their social standing or bank
balance. What He does hate is sin, whether from a poor or wealthy person. The Bible makes the
point that a rich person can have a selfish and proud heart due to their reliance on self and preoccupation with material possessions. It does not, however, mean that they are not loved. Many
wealthy persons have had a relationship with Christ. It's what is in their heart that matters to


Ethics is necessary to contemporary man in most walks of life. Any social activity in which it is possible to
harm another person in some way has rules of behavior which have the purpose of limiting pain and
suffering within the community. Each profession has its own special set of rules detailing how such a
professional should behave as he carries on with his work. These rules and behaviors are grouped together
under the term ethics.
Ethics are in many cases dependent upon the particular people involved. For example, what is ethical
between a husband and wife, might not be ethical between the wife and her doctor or between the
husband and his son's school teacher.
There are innumerable degrees of ethical behavior. In some cases the behaviors are deemed so important
that the society has made them into laws, such as laws against murder.
The more complicated a society, the more complicated are its laws and ethics.

Ethics is in general terms the study of right and wrong. It can look descriptively at moral behaviour and
judgements; it can give practical advice (normative ethics), or it can analyse and theorise about the nature of
morality and ethics.[1]
Contemporary study of ethics has many links with other disciplines, in philosophy itself and other sciences.[2]
Normative ethics has declined, while meta-ethics is increasingly followed. Abstract theorizing has in many
areas been replaced by more experience based research.[3]


1 Practical and theoretical areas

2 Reason vs intuition

3 Changed focus

4 Challenges remaining

5 References

Practical and theoretical areas

Psychology, sociology, politics, medicine and neurobiology are areas which have helped and been helped in
progress in ethics.[4] Within philosophy, epistemology (or the study of how we know) has drawn closer to ethics.
This is in part due to the recognition that knowledge, like value and goodness, can be seen as a normative
concept. The traditional analyses and definitions of knowledge have been shown to be unsound by the Gettier
New interest has flourished in meta-ethics.[6] This has in recent years developed as a recognised category
proceeding from the work of Hume, G. E. Moore and the error theories of J. L. Mackie[7] who seeks a real basis,
if any, for talk of values and right and wrong. Mackie is sceptical about solving the dilemma posed by the
distinction between values and facts.

Reason vs intuition
The dominance of reason has come under increasing challenge from various quarters.[8] Heidegger's work has
become increasingly translated and interpreted in the Anglo-American sphere and the wisdom of always
following reason is widely questioned.[9][10]
The ethics of care, and environmental ethics are other flourishing areas of research. These point to a general
increasing cultural awareness of the hitherto dominance of reason and male based values[11] in society rather
than a relational, contextual and communitarian view of the social world. Reason and emotion are seen as more
equal partners in human actions [12]
There remain major divergences of perspective, for example between continental and analytic approaches, and
process/ pragmatism vs logical, a priori approaches.
Edmund Gettier wrote a short but influential article [13] showing that knowledge is not captured by a traditionally
accepted reason based definitions. Pragmatism, and process philosophy in general, is increasingly adopted as a
response to a constantly changing understanding of a dynamic world, both physically and in the realms of
experiment and investigation.

Changed focus

Mackie (1977) states that increasing secularisation has meant that religion is not seen by many as the ground for
deciding how we should act. Quine's critique [14] of the analyticsynthetic distinction has implications for
morality (for example in the work of Kant). Logic is a diverse and apparently flexible branch of thought, rather
than being thought to underlie mathematics and reasoning, as previously.
Postmodernism and its aftermath has left behind the aspiration for an overarching theory of ethics, single ideas
which were reputed to explain or justify whole aspects of human experience and knowledge, such as Marxism,
religion, Freudianism or nationalism. Writers as diverse as Jean-Franois Lyotard [15] and J L Mackie (1977)
point to the decline in grand narratives. Mackie (1977), in particular, saw this decline as undermining the
legitimacy of traditional morality.
This has stimulated the development of both error theory and meta-ethics as moves to either review or to
strengthen the basis of our inherited value systems. As a result, there is growing acceptance of the plausibility of
making decisions based on the context,[16] and the particular situation being considered, rather than by reference
to principles. This move away from grand theory confirms earlier views of Adam Smith,[17] who held that moral
theories derived from moral actions rather than conversely.

Challenges remaining
Major challenges for ethics include the fact/value distinction,[18] the error theory which seems to undermine the
reality [19] of moral claims[20][21] and apparent relativism[22][23] across cultures and eras. Some feel that the
persistence of problems in ethics theory has led to an overall decline in the interest in working in the field of
pure ethics as more opportunities arise in applied ethics and meta-ethics. Stephen Darwall et al[24] referred to "a
genuinely new period in twentieth Century ethics, the vigorous revival of metaethics coincidental with the
emergence .. of a criticism of the enterprise of moral theory itself".


^ "Ethics [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]". Retrieved 2012-08-15.


^ Almond, Brenda (ed. with D Hill),1991 Applied Philosophy: Morals and

Metaphysics in Contemporary Debate London: Routledge.


^ Appiah, Kwame Anthony. (2008). Experiments in Ethics. Harvard University Press.


^ LaFollette, Hugh (2002). Ethics in Practice (2nd Edition). Blackwell Publishing.

ISBN 0-631-22834-9.


^ Cuneo,Terence, 2007. The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism,

Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-921883-7


^ Michael Brady (ed.). 2011 New Waves in Metaethics. Aldershot : Palgrave



^ Mackie, J. L. Ethics, Inventing right and wrong. 1977 Penguin


^ Brewer, T. (2009). The retrieval of ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


^ Campbell, R. J. (2011). The concept of truth. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire:

Palgrave Macmillan.


^ Smith, Holly(1991). "Deriving Morality From Rationality". In Peter Vallentyne (ed.),

Contractarianism and Rational choice: Essays on David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement.
Cambridge University Press.


^ Noddings, Nel, Ethics from the Stand Point Of Women, in Deborah L. Rhode, ed.,
Theoretical Perspectives on Sexual Difference (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press,


^ Damasio, A. R. (1994). Descartes' error: emotion, reason, and the human brain.
New York: Putnam.


^ Edmund L. Gettier 1963. "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?" From Analysis 23
( 1963): 121-123.


^ Quine, W.V.O. (1951), "Two Dogmas of Empiricism," The Philosophical Review 60:
20-43. Reprinted in his 1953 From a Logical Point of View. Harvard University Press.


^ (Lyotard, Jean Franois, 1979, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge


^ Dancy, Stephen 2004 Ethics Without Principles. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


^ Smith, Adam (2002) [1759]. Knud Haakonssen. ed. The Theory of Moral
Sentiments. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521598478.


^ Stroud, Barry 2011, Engagement and Metaphysical Dissatisfaction: Modality and

Value, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-976496-9.


^ Miller, C. (2009). "The Conditions of Moral Realism." The Journal of Philosophical

Research, 34, 123-155.


^ FitzPatrick, William J Recent work on ethical realism Analysis.2009; 69: 746-760


^ Joyce, Richard and Kirchin, Simon (Eds.) A World without Values: Essays on John
Mackie's Moral Error Theory Springer 2010


^ Moral Relativism Gilbert Harman Princeton University December 17, 2011,



^ Moral Relativism


^ Darwall, Stephen et al.1997 Moral Discourse and Practice, Oxford, p 7

Jeremy Bentham (/bnm/; 15 February [O.S. 4 February] 1748 6 June 1832) was a British philosopher,
jurist, and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.

Bentham became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas
influenced the development of welfarism. He advocated individual and economic freedom, the separation of
church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of
homosexual acts.[1] He called for the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the death penalty, and the abolition of
physical punishment, including that of children.[2] He has also become known in recent years as an early
advocate of animal rights.[3] Though strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the
idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts".[4]
Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the
legal philosopher John Austin, as well as Robert Owen, one of the founders of utopian socialism. Bentham has
been described as the "spiritual founder" of University College London, though he played little direct part in its


1 Life

2 Death and the auto-icon

3 Work

3.1 Utilitarianism

3.2 Economics

3.3 Law reform

3.4 Animal rights

3.5 Gender and sexuality

3.6 Privacy

3.7 Bentham and University College London

3.8 Publications

3.8.1 Transcribe Bentham

3.9 Bentham and literature

3.10 Legacy

4 See also

5 Notes

6 References

7 External links

Bentham was born in Houndsditch, London, into a wealthy family that supported the Tory party. He was
reportedly a child prodigy: he was found as a toddler sitting at his father's desk reading a multi-volume history
of England, and he began to study Latin at the age of three.[6] He had one surviving sibling, Samuel Bentham,
with whom he shared a close bond.

Portrait of Bentham by the studio of Thomas Frye, 17601762

He attended Westminster School and, in 1760, at age 12, was sent by his father to The Queen's College, Oxford,
where he completed his Bachelor's degree in 1763 and his Master's degree in 1766. He trained as a lawyer and,
though he never practised, was called to the bar in 1769. He became deeply frustrated with the complexity of
the English legal code, which he termed the "Demon of Chicane".
When the American colonies published their Declaration of Independence in July 1776, the British government
did not issue any official response but instead secretly commissioned London lawyer and pamphleteer John
Lind to publish a rebuttal.[7] His 130-page tract was distributed in the colonies and contained an essay titled
"Short Review of the Declaration" written by Bentham, a friend of Lind's, which attacked and mocked the
Americans' political philosophy.[8][9]
Among his many proposals for legal and social reform was a design for a prison building he called the
Panopticon. He spent some sixteen years of his life developing and refining his ideas for the building, and
hoped that the government would adopt the plan for a National Penitentiary, and appoint him as contractorgovernor. Although the prison was never built, the concept had an important influence on later generations of
thinkers. Twentieth-century French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that the Panopticon was paradigmatic
of several 19th-century "disciplinary" institutions.
Bentham became convinced that his plans for the Panopticon had been thwarted by the King and an aristocratic
elite acting in their own interests. It was largely because of his brooding sense of injustice that he developed his
ideas of "sinister interest" that is, of the vested interests of the powerful conspiring against a wider public
interest which underpinned many of his broader arguments for reform.[10]

More successful was his cooperation with Patrick Colquhoun in tackling the corruption in the Pool of London.
This resulted in the Thames Police Bill of 1798, which was passed in 1800.[11] The bill created the Thames River
Police, which was the first preventive police force in the country and was a precedent for Robert Peel's reforms
30 years later.[12]
Bentham was in correspondence with many influential people. Adam Smith, for example, opposed free interest
rates before he was made aware of Bentham's arguments on the subject. As a result of his correspondence with
Mirabeau and other leaders of the French Revolution, Bentham was declared an honorary citizen of France.[13]
He was an outspoken critic of the revolutionary discourse of natural rights and of the violence that arose after
the Jacobins took power (1792). Between 1808 and 1810, he held a personal friendship with Latin American
Independence Precursor Francisco de Miranda and paid visits to Miranda's Grafton Way house in London.
In 1823, he co-founded the Westminster Review with James Mill as a journal for the "Philosophical Radicals"
a group of younger disciples through whom Bentham exerted considerable influence in British public life.[14]
One such young writer was Edwin Chadwick, who wrote on hygiene, sanitation and policing and was a major
contributor to the Poor Law Amendment Act.[15] Bentham employed him as a secretary and bequeathed him a
large legacy.
An insight into his character is given in Michael St. John Packe's The Life of John Stuart Mill:
During his youthful visits to Bowood House, the country seat of his patron Lord Lansdowne, he had passed his
time at falling unsuccessfully in love with all the ladies of the house, whom he courted with a clumsy jocularity,
while playing chess with them or giving them lessons on the harpsichord. Hopeful to the last, at the age of
eighty he wrote again to one of them, recalling to her memory the far-off days when she had "presented him, in
ceremony, with the flower in the green lane" [citing Bentham's memoirs]. To the end of his life he could not
hear of Bowood without tears swimming in his eyes, and he was forced to exclaim, "Take me forward, I entreat
you, to the future do not let me go back to the past."[16]
A psychobiographical study by Philip Lucas and Anne Sheeran argues that he may have had Asperger's

Death and the auto-icon[edit]

Bentham's auto-icon

Bentham died on 6 June 1832 aged 84 at his residence in Queen Square Place in Westminster, London. He had
continued to write up to a month before his death, and had made careful preparations for the dissection of his
body after death and its preservation as an auto-icon. As early as 1769, when Bentham was just twenty-one
years old, he made a will leaving his body for dissection to a family friend, the physician and chemist George
Fordyce, whose daughter, Maria Sophia (17651858), married Jeremy's brother Samuel Bentham.[18] A paper
written in 1830, instructing Thomas Southwood Smith to create the auto-icon, was attached to his last will,
dated 30 May 1832.[18]
On 8 June 1832, two days after his death, invitations were distributed to a select group of friends, and on the
following day at 3 p.m., Southwood Smith delivered a lengthy oration over Bentham's remains in the Webb
Street School of Anatomy & Medicine in Southwark, London. The printed oration contains a frontispiece with
an engraving of Bentham's body partly covered by a sheet.[18]
Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the "Auto-icon", with
the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham's clothes. Originally kept by his disciple Thomas
Southwood Smith,[19] it was acquired by University College London in 1850. It is normally kept on public
display at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the college; however, for the 100th and 150th
anniversaries of the college, and in 2013,[20] it was brought to the meeting of the College Council, where it was
listed as "present but not voting".[21]
Bentham had intended the Auto-icon to incorporate his actual head, mummified to resemble its appearance in
life. However, Southwood Smith's experimental efforts at mummification, based on practices of the indigenous
people of New Zealand and involving placing the head under an air pump over sulphuric acid and simply
drawing off the fluids, although technically successful, left the head looking distastefully macabre, with dried
and darkened skin stretched tautly over the skull.[18] The Auto-icon was therefore given a wax head, fitted with
some of Bentham's own hair. The real head was displayed in the same case as the Auto-icon for many years, but
became the target of repeated student pranks. It is now locked away securely.[22]
A 360-degree rotatable, high-resolution 'Virtual Auto-Icon' is available at the UCL Bentham Project's website.

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Bentham's ambition in life was to create a "Pannomion", a complete utilitarian code of law. He not only
proposed many legal and social reforms, but also expounded an underlying moral principle on which they
should be based. This philosophy of utilitarianism took for its "fundamental axiom", it is the greatest happiness
of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong".[23] Bentham claimed to have borrowed this
concept from the writings of Joseph Priestley,[24] although the closest that Priestley in fact came to expressing it
was in the form "the good and happiness of the members, that is the majority of the members of any state, is the
great standard by which every thing relating to that state must finally be determined".[25]
The "greatest happiness principle", or the principle of utility, forms the cornerstone of all Bentham's thought. By
"happiness", he understood a predominance of "pleasure" over "pain". He wrote in The Principles of Morals
and Legislation:
Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them
alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard
of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in
all we do, in all we say, in all we think ...[26]
He also suggested a procedure for estimating the moral status of any action, which he called the Hedonistic or
felicific calculus. Utilitarianism was revised and expanded by Bentham's student John Stuart Mill. In Mill's
hands, "Benthamism" became a major element in the liberal conception of state policy objectives.

In his exposition of the felicific calculus, Bentham proposed a classification of 12 pains and 14 pleasures, by
which we might test the "happiness factor" of any action.[27] Nonetheless, it should not be overlooked that
Bentham's "hedonistic" theory (a term from J.J.C. Smart), unlike Mill's, is often criticized for lacking a principle
of fairness embodied in a conception of justice. In Bentham and the Common Law Tradition, Gerald J. Postema
states: "No moral concept suffers more at Bentham's hand than the concept of justice. There is no sustained,
mature analysis of the notion..."[28] Thus, some critics[who?] object, it would be acceptable to torture one person if
this would produce an amount of happiness in other people outweighing the unhappiness of the tortured
individual. However, as P.J. Kelly argued in Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice: Jeremy Bentham and the
Civil Law, Bentham had a theory of justice that prevented such consequences. According to Kelly, for Bentham
the law "provides the basic framework of social interaction by delimiting spheres of personal inviolability
within which individuals can form and pursue their own conceptions of well-being".[29] It provides security, a
precondition for the formation of expectations. As the hedonic calculus shows "expectation utilities" to be much
higher than natural ones, it follows that Bentham does not favour the sacrifice of a few to the benefit of the
Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation focuses on the principle of utility and
how this view of morality ties into legislative practices. His principle of utility regards "good" as that which
produces the greatest amount of pleasure and the minimum amount of pain and "evil" as that which produces
the most pain without the pleasure. This concept of pleasure and pain is defined by Bentham as physical as well
as spiritual. Bentham writes about this principle as it manifests itself within the legislation of a society. He lays
down a set of criteria for measuring the extent of pain or pleasure that a certain decision will create.
The criteria are divided into the categories of intensity, duration, certainty, proximity, productiveness, purity,
and extent. Using these measurements, he reviews the concept of punishment and when it should be used as far
as whether a punishment will create more pleasure or more pain for a society. He calls for legislators to
determine whether punishment creates an even more evil offence. Instead of suppressing the evil acts, Bentham
argues that certain unnecessary laws and punishments could ultimately lead to new and more dangerous vices
than those being punished to begin with, and calls upon legislators to measure the pleasures and pains
associated with any legislation and to form laws in order to create the greatest good for the greatest number. He
argues that the concept of the individual pursuing his or her own happiness cannot be necessarily declared
"right", because often these individual pursuits can lead to greater pain and less pleasure for a society as a
whole. Therefore, the legislation of a society is vital to maintain the maximum pleasure and the minimum
degree of pain for the greatest number of people.
Part of a series on

Schools of hedonism[show]
Key concepts[show]
Related articles[show]

Bentham's opinions about monetary economics were completely different from those of David Ricardo;
however, they had some similarities to those of Henry Thornton. He focused on monetary expansion as a means
of helping to create full employment. He was also aware of the relevance of forced saving, propensity to
consume, the saving-investment relationship, and other matters that form the content of modern income and
employment analysis. His monetary view was close to the fundamental concepts employed in his model of
utilitarian decision making. His work is considered to be an early precursor of modern welfare economics.
Bentham stated that pleasures and pains can be ranked according to their value or "dimension" such as intensity,
duration, certainty of a pleasure or a pain. He was concerned with maxima and minima of pleasures and pains;
and they set a precedent for the future employment of the maximisation principle in the economics of the
consumer, the firm and the search for an optimum in welfare economics.[30]
Law reform[edit]

Bentham was the first person to aggressively advocate for the codification of all of the common law into a
coherent set of statutes; he was actually the person who coined the verb "to codify" to refer to the process of
drafting a legal code.[31] He lobbied hard for the formation of codification commissions in both England and the
United States, and went so far as to write to President James Madison in 1811 to volunteer to write a complete
legal code for the young country. After he learned more about American law and realized that most of it was
state-based, he promptly wrote to the governors of every single state with the same offer.
During his lifetime, Bentham's codification efforts were completely unsuccessful. Even today, they have been
completely rejected by almost every common law jurisdiction, including England. However, his writings on the
subject laid the foundation for the moderately successful codification work of David Dudley Field II in the
United States a generation later.[31]
Animal rights[edit]

Bentham is widely regarded as one of the earliest proponents of animal rights, and has even been hailed as "the
first patron saint of animal rights".[32] He argued that the ability to suffer, not the ability to reason, should be the
benchmark, or what he called the "insuperable line". If reason alone were the criterion by which we judge who
ought to have rights, human infants and adults with certain forms of disability might fall short, too.[33] In 1789,
alluding to the limited degree of legal protection afforded to slaves in the French West Indies by the Code Noir,
he wrote:
The day has been, I am sad to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species,
under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing, as, in England
for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may
acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French
have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without
redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognised that the number of the legs, the
villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a
sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason
or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as
well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case

were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they
Earlier in that paragraph, Bentham makes clear that he accepted that animals could be killed for food, or in
defence of human life, provided that the animal was not made to suffer unnecessarily. Bentham did not object to
medical experiments on animals, providing that the experiments had in mind a particular goal of benefit to
humanity, and had a reasonable chance of achieving that goal. He wrote that otherwise he had a "decided and
insuperable objection" to causing pain to animals, in part because of the harmful effects such practices might
have on human beings. In a letter to the editor of the Morning Chronicle in March 1825, he wrote:
I never have seen, nor ever can see, any objection to the putting of dogs and other inferior animals to pain, in
the way of medical experiment, when that experiment has a determinate object, beneficial to mankind,
accompanied with a fair prospect of the accomplishment of it. But I have a decided and insuperable objection to
the putting of them to pain without any such view. To my apprehension, every act by which, without prospect of
preponderant good, pain is knowingly and willingly produced in any being whatsoever, is an act of cruelty; and,
like other bad habits, the more the correspondent habit is indulged in, the stronger it grows, and the more
frequently productive of its bad fruit. I am unable to comprehend how it should be, that to him to whom it is a
matter of amusement to see a dog or a horse suffer, it should not be matter of like amusement to see a man
suffer; seeing, as I do, how much more morality as well as intelligence, an adult quadruped of those and many
other species has in him, than any biped has for some months after he has been brought into existence; nor does
it appear to me how it should be, that a person to whom the production of pain, either in the one or in the other
instance, is a source of amusement, would scruple to give himself that amusement when he could do so under
an assurance of impunity.[35]
Gender and sexuality[edit]

Bentham said that it was the placing of women in a legally inferior position that made him choose, at the age of
eleven, the career of a reformist.[36] Bentham spoke for a complete equality between sexes.
The essay Offences Against One's Self, argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexual sex.[37] The
essay remained unpublished during his lifetime for fear of offending public morality. It was published for the
first time in 1931.[38] Bentham does not believe homosexual acts to be unnatural, describing them merely as
"irregularities of the venereal appetite". The essay chastises the society of the time for making a
disproportionate response to what Bentham appears to consider a largely private offence public displays or
forced acts being dealt with rightly by other laws. When the essay was published in the "Journal of
Homosexuality" in 1978, the "Abstract" stated that Bentham's essay was the "first known argument for
homosexual law reform in England."[39]

For Bentham, transparency had moral value. For example, journalism puts power-holders under moral scrutiny.
However, Bentham wanted such transparency to apply to everyone. This he describes by picturing the world as
a gymnasium in which each "gesture, every turn of limb or feature, in those whose motions have a visible
impact on the general happiness, will be noticed and marked down".[40] Both "transparency and surveillance are
a positive way of making all things present in order to generate understanding and make life better for all".[41]
Bentham and University College London[edit]

Bentham is widely associated with the foundation in 1826 of London University (the institution that, in 1836,
became University College London), though he was 78 years old when the University opened and played only
an indirect role in its establishment. His direct involvement was limited to his buying a single 100 share in the
new University, making him just one of over a thousand shareholders.[42]

Henry Tonks' imaginary scene of Bentham approving the building plans of London University

Bentham and his ideas can nonetheless be seen as having inspired several of the actual founders of the
University. He strongly believed that education should be more widely available, particularly to those who were
not wealthy or who did not belong to the established church; in Bentham's time, membership of the Church of
England and the capacity to bear considerable expenses were required of students entering the Universities of
Oxford and Cambridge. As the University of London was the first in England to admit all, regardless of race,
creed or political belief, it was largely consistent with Bentham's vision. There is some evidence that, from the
sidelines, he played a "more than passive part" in the planning discussions for the new institution, although it is
also apparent that "his interest was greater than his influence".[42] He failed in his efforts to see his disciple John
Bowring appointed professor of English or History, but he did oversee the appointment of another pupil, John
Austin, as the first professor of Jurisprudence in 1829.
The more direct associations between Bentham and UCL the College's custody of his Auto-icon (see above)
and of the majority of his surviving papers postdate his death by some years: the papers were donated in 1849,
and the Auto-icon in 1850. A large painting by Henry Tonks hanging in UCL's Flaxman Gallery depicts
Bentham approving the plans of the new university, but it was executed in 1922 and the scene is entirely
imaginary. Since 1959 (when the Bentham Committee was first established) UCL has hosted the Bentham
Project, which is progressively publishing a definitive edition of Bentham's writings.
UCL now endeavours to acknowledge Bentham's influence on its foundation, while avoiding any suggestion of
direct involvement, by describing him as its "spiritual founder".[5]

Bentham was an obsessive writer and reviser, but was constitutionally incapable, except on rare occasions, of
bringing his work to completion and publication.[43] Most of what appeared in print in his lifetime (see this list of
published works) was prepared for publication by others. Several of his works first appeared in French
translation, prepared for the press by tienne Dumont. Some made their first appearance in English in the 1820s
as a result of back-translation from Dumont's 1802 collection (and redaction) of Bentham's writing on civil and
penal legislation.
Works published in Bentham's lifetime include:

"Short Review of the Declaration" (1776). An attack on America's Declaration of


Fragment on Government (1776).[45] This was an unsparing criticism of some introductory

passages relating to political theory in William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of
England. The book, published anonymously, was well received and credited to some of the
greatest minds of the time. Bentham disagreed with Blackstone's defence of judge-made
law, his defence of legal fictions, his theological formulation of the doctrine of mixed
government, his appeal to a social contract and his use of the vocabulary of natural law.
Bentham's "Fragment" was only a small part of a Commentary on the Commentaries,
which remained unpublished until the twentieth century.

Introduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation (printed for publication 1780, published

Defence of Usury (1787).[48] Jeremy Bentham wrote a series of thirteen "Letters" addressed
to Adam Smith, published in 1787 as Defence of Usury. Benthams main argument against
the restriction is that projectors generate positive externalities. G.K. Chesterton
identified Bentham's essay on usury as the very beginning of the "modern world".
Bentham's arguments were very influential. Writers of eminence moved to abolish the
restriction, and repeal was achieved in stages and fully achieved in England in 1854. There
is little evidence as to Smith's reaction. He did not revise the offending passages in The
Wealth of Nations, but Smith made little or no substantial revisions after the third edition
of 1784.[49]

Panopticon (1787, 1791).

Essay on Political Tactics (1791)[50]

Emancipate your Colonies! (1793)[51]

Trait de Lgislation Civile et Pnale (1802, edited by tienne Dumont. 3 vols)

Punishments and Rewards (1811)

A Table of the Springs of Action (1815)[52]

Parliamentary Reform Catechism (1817)[53]

Church-of-Englandism (printed 1817, published 1818)[54]

Elements of the Art of Packing (1821)[55]

The Influence of Natural Religion upon the Temporal Happiness of Mankind (1822, written
with George Grote and published under the pseudonym Philip Beauchamp)

Not Paul But Jesus (1823, published under the pseudonym Gamaliel Smith)

Book of Fallacies (1824)[56]

A Treatise on Judicial Evidence (1825)[57]

Rationale of Judicial Evidence (1827)[58]

On his death, Bentham left manuscripts amounting to an estimated 30,000,000 words, which are now largely
held by UCL's Special Collections (c.60,000 manuscript folios), and the British Library (c.15,000 folios). John

Bowring, a British politician who had been Bentham's trusted friend, was appointed his literary executor and
charged with the task of preparing a collected edition of his works. This appeared in 11 volumes in 18381843:
Bowring based his edition on previously published editions (including those of Dumont) rather than Bentham's
own manuscripts, and he did not reprint Bentham's works on religion at all. Bowring's work has been criticised,
although it includes such interesting writings on international[59] relations as Bentham's A Plan for an Universal
and Perpetual Peace written 178689, which forms part IV of the Principles of International Law.
In 195254, Werner Stark published a three-volume set, Jeremy Bentham's Economic Writings, in which he
attempted to bring together all of Bentham's writings on economic matters, including both published and
unpublished material. Although a significant achievement, the work is considered by scholars to be flawed in
many points of detail,[60] and a new edition of the economic writings is currently in preparation by the Bentham
In 1959, the Bentham Committee was established under the auspices of University College London with the
aim of producing a definitive edition of Bentham's writings. It set up the Bentham Project to undertake the task,
and the first volume in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham was published in 1968. To date, 30 volumes
have appeared; the complete edition is projected to run to around seventy. The Project is currently digitising the
Bentham papers by crowdsourcing their transcription.
Transcribe Bentham[edit]

Jeremy Bentham House in Bethnal Green, East London; a modernist apartment block named after
the famous philosopher.

Transcribe Bentham is an award-winning crowdsourced manuscript transcription project, run by University

College London's Bentham Project,[61] in partnership with UCL's UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, UCL
Library Services, UCL Learning and Media Services, the University of London Computer Centre, and the
online community. The project was launched in September 2010 and is making freely available, via a specially
designed transcription interface, digital images of UCL's vast Bentham Papers collection which runs to some
60,000 manuscript folios to engage the public and recruit volunteers to help transcribe the material. Volunteerproduced transcripts will contribute to the Bentham Project's production of the new edition of The Collected

Works of Jeremy Bentham, and will be uploaded to UCL's digital Bentham Papers repository,[62] widening access
to the collection for all and ensuring its long-term preservation. Manuscripts can be viewed and transcribed by
signing-up for a transcriber account at the Transcription Desk,[63] via the Transcribe Bentham website.[64]
Transcribe Bentham has garnered international attention such as in a feature article in The New York Times,[65]
and a radio broadcast on Deutsche Welle World radio.[66] The project was shortlisted for the 2011 Digital
Heritage Award,[67] and received an Award of Distinction in the Digital Communities category of the 2011 Prix
Ars Electronica.[68] In November 2012, Transcribe Bentham came second in the Knetworks Platforms for
Networked Innovation Competition,[69] which sought to identify the "most innovative web-based platform
enabling regional innovation for public, private or research organizations".[70]
The open-source code for the Transcribe Bentham transcription tool is available for reuse and customisation.[71]
Bentham and literature[edit]

Ivan Vazov, national poet and man of letters of Bulgaria (then recently liberated from Ottoman rule, but divided
by the Treaty of Berlin) refers to Bentham in his 1881 poem (in English: "People with
Diplomas").[clarification needed]

The Faculty of Laws at University College London occupies Bentham House, next to the main UCL campus.[72]
Bentham's name was adopted by the Australian litigation funder IMF Limited to become Bentham IMF Limited
on 28 November 2013, in recognition of Bentham being "among the first to support the utility of litigation

See also[edit]

List of civil rights leaders

List of liberal theorists

Philosophy of happiness

Rule according to higher law

Rule of law


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy. "Offences Against One's Self", first published in Journal of
Homosexuality, v.3:4(1978), p. 389405; continued in v.4:1(1978).


Also see Boralevi, Lea Campos. Bentham and the Oppressed. Walter de Gruyter,
1984, p. 37.

Jump up ^ Bedau, Hugo Adam (1983). "Bentham's Utilitarian Critique of the Death Penalty".
The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 74 (3): 10331065. doi:10.2307/1143143.



Jump up ^ Sunstein, Cass R. "Introduction: What are Animal Rights?", in Sunstein, Cass R.
and Nussbaum, Martha (eds.). Animal Rights. Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 34.

Francione, Gary. Animals Property or Persons", in Sunstein and Nussbaum 2005, p.

139, footnote 78.

Gruen, Lori. "The Moral Status of Animals", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1

July 2003.

Benthall, Jonathan. "Animal liberation and rights", Anthropology Today, volume 23,
issue 2, April 2007, p. 1.

Jump up ^ Harrison, Ross (1995). "Jeremy Bentham". In Honderich, Ted. The Oxford
Companion to Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 8588.


Also see Sweet, William (11 April 2001). "Jeremy Bentham". The Internet
Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
^ Jump up to:

a b

UCL Academic Figures.


Jump up ^ "Jeremy Bentham". University College London. Archived from the original on 1
January 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2007.


Jump up ^ Declaring Independence: The Origin and Influence of America's Founding

Document. Edited by Christian Y. Dupont and Peter S. Onuf. University of Virginia Library
(Charlottesville, VA: 2008) pp. 3233. ISBN 978-0-9799997-0-3.


Jump up ^ "Short Review of the Declaration" (1776) as found in The Declaration of

Independence: A Global History by David Armitage


Jump up ^ See "An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress" (First ed.).
London: T. Cadell. 1776. Retrieved 11 December 2012



Jump up ^ Schofield 2009, pp. 9093.

Jump up ^ An Act for the More Effectual Prevention of Depredations on the River Thames
(39 & 40 Geo 3 c 87); "Thames Police: History Thames Magistrates' Court". Retrieved 12 February
Jump up ^ Everett 1966, pp. 6769


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy, Philip Schofield, Catherine Pease-Watkin, and Cyprian

Blamires (eds), Rights, Representation, and Reform: Nonsense upon Stilts and Other Writings on
the French Revolution, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002, p. 291.


Jump up ^ Joseph Hamburger, Intellectuals in politics: John Stuart Mill and the Philosophical
Radicals (Yale University Press, 1965); William Thomas, The philosophic radicals: nine studies in
theory and practice, 18171841 (Oxford, 1979)


Jump up ^ Everett 1968, p. 94


Jump up ^ St. John Packe, Michael. The Life of John Stuart Mill. 1952, p. 16.


Jump up ^ Lucas and Sheeran 2006.


^ Jump up to:
January 2013.

a b c d

"Jeremy Bentham". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 22


Jump up ^ C.F.A. Marmoy, "The 'Auto-Icon' of Jeremy Bentham at University College,

London". University College London. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 3
March 2007. "It seems that the case with Bentham's body now rested in New Broad Street;
Southwood Smith did not remove to 38 Finsbury Square until several years later. Bentham must
have been seen by many visitors, including Charles Dickens."


Jump up ^ "181-year-old corpse of Jeremy Bentham attends UCL board meeting". Metro.
Retrieved 18 July 2013.


Jump up ^ "History-Chemical History of UCL-The Autoicon". University College London.

Retrieved 6 July 2007.


Jump up ^ "UCL Bentham Project". University College London. Retrieved 22 July 2011.


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy (1776). A Fragment on Government. London., Preface (2nd



Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy (1821). On the Liberty of the Press, and Public Discussion.
London. p. 24.


Jump up ^ Priestley, Joseph (1768). An Essay on the First Principles of Government. London.
p. 17.


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy (1789). The Principles of Morals and Legislation. p. 1. (Chapter


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy. The Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) Ch IV.

p. 148.

Jump up ^ Postema, Gerald J. (1986). Bentham and the Common Law Tradition. Oxford.


Jump up ^ Kelly, P. J. (1990). Utilitarianism and Distributive Justice: Jeremy Bentham and
the Civil Law. Oxford. p. 81.


Jump up ^ Spiegel (1991). The Growth of Economic Thought, Ed.3. Duke University. ISBN 08223-0973-4. p. 341343.


^ Jump up to:


Jump up ^ Benthall, Jonathan. "Animal Liberation and Rights", Anthropology Today, volume
23, issue 2, April 2007, p. 1.


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation,

1789. Latest edition: Adamant Media Corporation, 2005.


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, second
edition, 1823, chapter 17, footnote.


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy (9 March 1825). "To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle".
Morning Chronicle (London). p. 2.(subscription required)

a b

Andrew P. Morriss, Codification and Right Answers, 74 Chic.-Kent L. Rev. 355


Jump up ^ Miriam Williford, Bentham on the rights of Women


Jump up ^ Boralevi, Bentham and the Oppressed. p. 40


Jump up ^ Boralevi, Bentham and the Oppressed. p. 37


Jump up ^ Jeremy Bentham, "Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty, Part I," Journal of
Homosexuality, 3.4, p.389.


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy, Deontology, ed. John Bowring (London: Longman, Rees, Orme,
Brown, Green and Longman 1834) vol.1, p.101


Jump up ^ McStay, Andrew (November 8, 2013). "Why too much privacy is bad for the
economy". Retrieved 2014-08-25.


^ Jump up to: a b Harte, Negley "The owner of share no. 633: Jeremy Bentham and University
College London", in Catherine Fuller (ed.), The Old Radical: representations of Jeremy Bentham
(London: UCL, 1998), pp. 58.


Jump up ^ Lucas and Sheeran 2006, pp. 267.


Jump up ^ See "An Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress" (First ed.).
London: T. Cadell. 1776. p. 119. Retrieved 11 December 2012 |chapter= ignored (help)


Jump up ^ See "A Fragment on Government; being an Examination of what is delivered on

the Subject of Government in General, in the Introduction to William Blackstone's Commentaries:
with a Preface in which is Given a Critique of the Work at Large" (1 ed.). London: T. Payne. 1776.
Retrieved 10 December 2012


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy (1789). "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and
Legislation". London: T. Payne. Retrieved 12 December 2012


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy [1789] (1907). An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and
Legislation. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved on 1 October 2012 from the Library of Economics
and Liberty.


Jump up ^ See Bentham, Jeremy (1816). "Defence of Usury; shewing the impolicy of the
present legal restraints on the terms of pecuniary bargains in a letters to a friend to which is added
a letter to Adam Smith, Esq. LL.D. on the discouragement opposed by the above restraints to the
progress of inventive industry" (3rd ed.). London: Payne & Foss. Retrieved 12 December 2012


Jump up ^ Bentham, Jeremy. January 2008. Gulphs in Mankind's Career of Prosperity: A

Critique of Adam Smith on Interest Rate Restrictions. Econ Journal Watch 5(1): 6677. [1]


Jump up ^ See Bentham, Jeremy (1791). "Essay on Political Tactics containing six of the
Principal Rules proper to be observed by a Political Assembly In the process of a Forming a Decision:
with the Reasons on Which They Are Grounded; and a comparative application of them to British
and French Practice: Being a Fragment of a larger Work, a sketch of which is subjoined" (First ed.).
London: T. Payne. Retrieved 13 December 2012


Jump up ^ See Bentham, Jeremy (1830). "Emancipate Your Colonies! Addressed to the
National Convention of France A 1793, shewing the uselessness and mischievousness of distant
dependencies to an European state". London: Robert Heward. Retrieved 12 December 2012


Jump up ^ See Bentham, Jeremy (1817). A Table of the Springs of Action ... London: sold by
R. Hunter. Retrieved 12 December 2012


Jump up ^ See Bentham, Jeremy (1817). "Plan of Parliamentary Reform, in the form of
Catechism with Reasons for Each Article, with An Introduction shewing the Necessity and the
Inadequacy of Moderate Reform". London: R. Hunter, successor to Mr. Johnson. Retrieved 13
December 2012


Jump up ^ See Bentham, Jeremy (1818). "Church-of-Englandism and its Catechism

Examined: Proceded by the Structures on the Exclusionary System, as pursued in the National

Society of Schools: Interspersed with Parallel Views of the English and Scottish Established and NonEstablished Churches: And Concluding with Remedies Proposed for Abuses Indicated: and An
Examination of the Parliamentary System of Church Reform Lately Pursued, and Still Pursuing:
Including the Proposed New Churches". London: Effingham Wilson. Retrieved 13 December 2012

Jump up ^ See Bentham, Jeremy (1821). "The Elements of the Art of Packing, as applied to
special juries particularly in cases of libel law". London: Effingham Wilson. Retrieved 13 December


Jump up ^ See "The Book of Fallacies from Unfinished Papers of Jeremy Bentham" (First
ed.). London: John and H.L. Hunt. 1824. Retrieved 12 December 2012


Jump up ^ See M. Dumont, ed. (1825). A Treatise on Judicial Evidence Extracted from the
Manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham, Esq (First ed.). London: Baldwin, Cradock, & Joy. Retrieved 12
December 2012


Jump up ^ See "Rationale of Judicial Evidence, specially applied to English Practice,

Extracted from the Manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham, Esq" I (First ed.). London: Hunt & Clarke. 1827.
Retrieved 13 December 2012, volume II, volume III, volume IV, volume V.


Jump up ^ a word Bentham himself coined

Jump up ^ See Philip Schofield, "Werner Stark and Jeremy Bentham's Economic Writings",
History of European Ideas, vol. 35 (2009), pp. 475494.




Jump up ^ "The Bentham Project". Retrieved 26 April 2012.


Jump up ^ "UCL digital Bentham collection". 20 August 1996. Retrieved 26 April

Jump up ^ "Transcribe Bentham: Transcription Desk".

Retrieved 26 April 2012.
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Immanuel Kant (/knt/;[1] German: [manuuel kant]; 22 April 1724 12 February 1804) was a German
philosopher who is widely considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. He argued that fundamental
concepts structure human experience, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to have a
major influence in contemporary thought, especially the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political
philosophy, and aesthetics.[2]
Kant's major work, the Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1781),[3] aimed to explain the
relationship between reason and human experience. With this project, he hoped to move beyond what he took to
be failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. He attempted to put an end to what he considered an era
of futile and speculative theories of human experience, while resisting the skepticism of thinkers such as David
Kant argued that our experiences are structured by necessary features of our minds. In his view, the mind shapes
and structures experience so that, on an abstract level, all human experience shares certain essential structural
features. Among other things, Kant believed that the concepts of space and time are integral to all human
experience, as are our concepts of cause and effect.[4] One important consequence of this view is that one never
has direct experience of things, the so-called noumenal world, and that what we do experience is the
phenomenal world as conveyed by our senses. These claims summarize Kant's views upon the subjectobject
problem. Kant published other important works on ethics, religion, law, aesthetics, astronomy, and history.
These included the Critique of Practical Reason (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1788), the Metaphysics of
Morals (Die Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797), which dealt with ethics, and the Critique of Judgment (Kritik der
Urteilskraft, 1790), which looks at aesthetics and teleology.
Kant aimed to resolve disputes between empirical and rationalist approaches. The former asserted that all
knowledge comes through experience; the latter maintained that reason and innate ideas were prior. Kant argued
that experience is purely subjective without first being processed by pure reason. He also said that using reason
without applying it to experience only leads to theoretical illusions. The free and proper exercise of reason by
the individual was a theme both of the Age of Enlightenment, and of Kant's approaches to the various problems
of philosophy. His ideas influenced many thinkers in Germany during his lifetime, and he moved philosophy
beyond the debate between the rationalists and empiricists. Kant is seen as a major figure in the history and
development of philosophy.


1 Biography

1.1 The young scholar

1.2 Early work

1.3 The silent decade

1.4 Mature work

2 Philosophy

2.1 Theory of perception

2.2 Categories of the Faculty of Understanding

2.3 Transcendental schema doctrine

2.4 Moral philosophy

2.4.1 The first formulation

2.4.2 The second formulation

2.4.3 The third formulation

2.4.4 Religion Within the Limits of Reason

2.4.5 Idea of freedom

2.4.6 The categories of freedom

2.5 Aesthetic philosophy

2.6 Political philosophy

3 Anthropology

4 Influence

4.1 Historical influence

4.2 Influence on modern thinkers

5 Tomb and statue

6 List of major works

7 See also

7.1 Criticism

8 Footnotes

9 References and further reading

9.1 General introductions to his thought

9.2 Biography and historical context

9.3 Collections of essays

9.4 Theoretical philosophy

9.5 Practical philosophy

9.6 Aesthetics

9.7 Philosophy of religion

9.8 Perpetual peace and international relations

9.9 Other works

9.10 Contemporary philosophy with a Kantian influence

10 External links

Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in Knigsberg, Prussia (since 1946 the city of Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad
Oblast, Russia), as the fourth of nine children (four of them reached adulthood). Baptized 'Emanuel', he changed
his name to 'Immanuel'[5] after learning Hebrew. Contrary to a widespread myth that in his entire life he never
traveled more than 10 miles (16 km) from Knigsberg,[6] he worked between 1750 and 1754 as a "Hauslehrer"
(tutor) in Judtschen[7] (now Veselovka, Russia, approx. 20 km) and in Gro-Arnsdorf[8] (now near Elblg, Poland,
approx. 105 km). His father, Johann Georg Kant (16821746), was a German harnessmaker from Memel, at the
time Prussia's most northeastern city (now Klaipda, Lithuania). His mother, Anna Regina Reuter (16971737),
was born in Nuremberg.[9] Kant's paternal grandfather, Hans Kant,[10] had emigrated from Scotland to East
Prussia, and his father still spelled their family name "Cant".[11] In his youth, Kant was a solid, albeit
unspectacular, student. He was brought up in a Pietist household that stressed intense religious devotion,
personal humility, and a literal interpretation of the Bible. Kant received a stern education strict, punitive, and
disciplinary that preferred Latin and religious instruction over mathematics and science.[12] Despite his
upbringing in a religious household and still maintaining a belief in God, he was skeptical of religion in later
life; various commentators have labelled him agnostic.[13][14][15][16][17][18] The common myths concerning Kant's
personal mannerisms are enumerated, explained, and refuted in Goldthwait's introduction to his translation of
Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime.[19] It is often held that Kant lived a very strict and
predictable life, leading to the oft-repeated story that neighbors would set their clocks by his daily walks. He
never married, but did not seem to lack a rewarding social life he was a popular teacher and a modestly
successful author even before starting on his major philosophical works.

The young scholar[edit]

Kant showed a great aptitude for study at an early age. He first attended the Collegium Fridericianum and then
enrolled at the University of Knigsberg (where he would spend his entire career) in 1740, at the age of 16.[20]
He studied the philosophy of Gottfried Leibniz and Christian Wolff under Martin Knutzen, a rationalist who
was also familiar with developments in British philosophy and science and who introduced Kant to the new
mathematical physics of Isaac Newton. Knutzen dissuaded Kant from the theory of pre-established harmony,
which he regarded as "the pillow for the lazy mind". He also dissuaded the young scholar from idealism, which
most philosophers in the 18th century regarded in a negative light. (The theory of transcendental idealism that
Kant developed in the Critique of Pure Reason is not traditional idealism, i.e. the idea that reality is purely
mental. In fact, Kant produced arguments against traditional idealism in the second part of the Critique of Pure
Reason.) His father's stroke and subsequent death in 1746 interrupted his studies. Kant became a private tutor in
the smaller towns surrounding Knigsberg, but continued his scholarly research. In 1747, he published his first
philosophical work, Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces.
Early work[edit]

Kant is best known for his work in the philosophy of ethics and metaphysics, but he made significant
contributions to other disciplines. He made an important astronomical discovery, namely a discovery about the
nature of the Earth's rotation, for which he won the Berlin Academy Prize in 1754.[citation needed]
According to Lord Kelvin:
"Kant pointed out in the middle of last century, what had not previously been discovered by mathematicians or
physical astronomers, that the frictional resistance against tidal currents on the earth's surface must cause a
diminution of the earth's rotational speed. This immense discovery in Natural Philosophy seems to have
attracted little attentionindeed to have passed quite unnoticedamong mathematicians, and astronomers, and
naturalists, until about 1840, when the doctrine of energy began to be taken to heart."
Lord Kelvin, physicist, 1897

According to Thomas Huxley:

"The sort of geological speculation to which I am now referring (geological aetiology, in short) was created as a
science by that famous philosopher, Immanuel Kant, when, in 1775 [1755], he wrote his General Natural
History and Theory of the Celestial Bodies; or, an Attempt to Account for the Constitutional and Mechanical
Origin of the Universe, upon Newtonian Principles."
Thomas H. Huxley, 1869

In the General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des
Himmels) (1755), Kant laid out the Nebular hypothesis, in which he deduced that the Solar System formed from
a large cloud of gas, a nebula. He thus attempted to explain the order of the solar system, seen previously by
Newton as being imposed from the beginning by God. Kant also correctly deduced that the Milky Way was a
large disk of stars, which he theorized also formed from a (much larger) spinning cloud of gas. He further
suggested the possibility that other nebulae might also be similarly large and distant disks of stars. These
postulations opened new horizons for astronomy: for the first time extending astronomy beyond the solar
system to galactic and extragalactic realms.[21]
From this point on, Kant turned increasingly to philosophical issues, although he continued to write on the
sciences throughout his life. In the early 1760s, Kant produced a series of important works in philosophy. The

False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures, a work in logic, was published in 1762. Two more works
appeared the following year: Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes into Philosophy and The
Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God. In 1764, Kant wrote
Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime and then was second to Moses Mendelssohn in a
Berlin Academy prize competition with his Inquiry Concerning the Distinctness of the Principles of Natural
Theology and Morality (often referred to as "The Prize Essay"). In 1770, at the age of 45, Kant was finally
appointed Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Knigsberg. Kant wrote his inaugural
dissertation in defense of this appointment. This work saw the emergence of several central themes of his
mature work, including the distinction between the faculties of intellectual thought and sensible receptivity. Not
to observe this distinction would mean to commit the error of subreption, and, as he says in the last chapter of
the dissertation, only in avoidance of this error does metaphysics flourish.
The issue that vexed Kant was central to what twentieth century scholars termed "the philosophy of mind". The
flowering of the natural sciences had led to an understanding of how data reaches the brain. Sunlight may fall
upon a distant object, whereupon light is reflected from various parts of the object in a way that maps the
surface features (color, texture, etc.) of the object. The light reaches the eye of a human observer, passes through
the cornea, is focused by the lens upon the retina where it forms an image similar to that formed by light passing
through a pinhole into a camera obscura. The retinal cells next send impulses through the optic nerve and
thereafter they form a mapping in the brain of the visual features of the distant object. The interior mapping is
not the exterior thing being mapped, and our belief that there is a meaningful relationship between the exterior
object and the mapping in the brain depends on a chain of reasoning that is not fully grounded. But the
uncertainty aroused by these considerations, the uncertainties raised by optical illusions, misperceptions,
delusions, etc., are not the end of the problems.
Kant saw that the mind could not function as an empty container that simply receives data from the outside.
Something must be giving order to the incoming data. Images of external objects must be kept in the same
sequence in which they were received. This ordering occurs through the mind's intuition of time. The same
considerations apply to the mind's function of constituting space for ordering mappings of visual and tactile
signals arriving via the already described chains of physical causation.
It is often held that Kant was a late developer, that he only became an important philosopher in his mid-50s after
rejecting his earlier views. While it is true that Kant wrote his greatest works relatively late in life, there is a
tendency to underestimate the value of his earlier works. Recent Kant scholarship has devoted more attention to
these "pre-critical" writings and has recognized a degree of continuity with his mature work.[22]
The silent decade[edit]

At the age of 46, Kant was an established scholar and an increasingly influential philosopher. Much was
expected of him. In correspondence with his ex-student and friend Markus Herz, Kant admitted that, in the
Inaugural Dissertation, he had failed to account for the relation and connection between our sensible and
intellectual facultieshe needed to explain how we combine sensory knowledge with reasoned knowledge,
these being related but very different processes. He also credited David Hume with awakening him from
"dogmatic slumber" (circa 1771).[23] Hume had stated that experience consists only of sequences of feelings,
images or sounds. Ideas such as "cause", goodness, or objects were not evident in experience, so why do we
believe in the reality of these? Kant felt that reason could remove this skepticism, and he set himself to solving
these problems. He did not publish any work in philosophy for the next eleven years.

Immanuel Kant

Although fond of company and conversation with others, Kant isolated himself. He resisted friends' attempts to
bring him out of his isolation. In 1778, in response to one of these offers by a former pupil, Kant wrote:
"Any change makes me apprehensive, even if it offers the greatest promise of improving my condition, and I am
persuaded by this natural instinct of mine that I must take heed if I wish that the threads which the Fates spin so
thin and weak in my case to be spun to any length. My great thanks, to my well-wishers and friends, who think
so kindly of me as to undertake my welfare, but at the same time a most humble request to protect me in my
current condition from any disturbance."[24]
When Kant emerged from his silence in 1781, the result was the Critique of Pure Reason. Although now
uniformly recognized as one of the greatest works in the history of philosophy, this Critique was largely ignored
upon its initial publication. The book was long, over 800 pages in the original German edition, and written in a
convoluted style. It received few reviews, and these granted no significance to the work. Kant's former student,
Johann Gottfried Herder criticized it for placing reason as an entity worthy of criticism instead of considering
the process of reasoning within the context of language and one's entire personality.[25] Similar to Christian
Garve and Johann Georg Heinrich Feder, he rejected Kant's position that space and time possessed a form
which could be analyzed. Additionally, Garve and Feder also faulted Kant's Critique for not explaining what
determines the differences in perception of sensations.[26] Its density made it, as Johann Gottfried Herder put it in
a letter to Johann Georg Hamann, a "tough nut to crack", obscured by "all this heavy gossamer".[27] Its reception
stood in stark contrast to the praise Kant had received for earlier works, such as his Prize Essay and shorter
works that preceded the first Critique. These well-received and readable tracts include one on the earthquake in
Lisbon that was so popular that it was sold by the page.[28] Prior to the change in course documented in the first
Critique, his books sold well, and by the time he published Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and
Sublime in 1764 he had become a popular author of some note.[29] Kant was disappointed with the first Critique's
reception. Recognizing the need to clarify the original treatise, Kant wrote the Prolegomena to any Future
Metaphysics in 1783 as a summary of its main views. Shortly thereafter, Kant's friend Johann Friedrich Schultz
(17391805) (professor of mathematics) published Erluterungen ber des Herrn Professor Kant Critik der
reinen Vernunft (Knigsberg, 1784), which was a brief but very accurate commentary on Kant's Critique of
Pure Reason.
Kant's reputation gradually rose through the latter portion of the 1780s, sparked by a series of important works:
the 1784 essay, "Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?"; 1785's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of

Morals (his first work on moral philosophy); and, from 1786, Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science.
But Kant's fame ultimately arrived from an unexpected source. In 1786, Karl Reinhold began to publish a series
of public letters on the Kantian philosophy. In these letters, Reinhold framed Kant's philosophy as a response to
the central intellectual controversy of the era: the Pantheism Dispute. Friedrich Jacobi had accused the recently
deceased G. E. Lessing (a distinguished dramatist and philosophical essayist) of Spinozism. Such a charge,
tantamount to atheism, was vigorously denied by Lessing's friend Moses Mendelssohn, and a bitter public
dispute arose among partisans. The controversy gradually escalated into a general debate over the values of the
Enlightenment and the value of reason itself. Reinhold maintained in his letters that Kant's Critique of Pure
Reason could settle this dispute by defending the authority and bounds of reason. Reinhold's letters were widely
read and made Kant the most famous philosopher of his era.
Mature work[edit]

Kant published a second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft) in 1787, heavily
revising the first parts of the book. Most of his subsequent work focused on other areas of philosophy. He
continued to develop his moral philosophy, notably in 1788's Critique of Practical Reason (known as the
second Critique) and 1797's Metaphysics of Morals. The 1790 Critique of Judgment (the third Critique) applied
the Kantian system to aesthetics and teleology.
In 1792, Kant's attempt to publish the Second of the four Pieces of Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason,
in the journal Berlinische Monatsschrift, met with opposition from the King's censorship commission, which
had been established that same year in the context of the French Revolution.[30] Kant then arranged to have all
four pieces published as a book, routing it through the philosophy department at the University of Jena to avoid
the need for theological censorship.[30] Kant got a now famous reprimand from the King,[30] for this action of
insubordination. When he nevertheless published a second edition in 1794, the censor was so irate that he
arranged for a royal order that required Kant never to publish or even speak publicly about religion.[30] Kant then
published his response to the King's reprimand and explained himself, in the preface of The Conflict of the
He also wrote a number of semi-popular essays on history, religion, politics and other topics. These works were
well received by Kant's contemporaries and confirmed his preeminent status in eighteenth century philosophy.
There were several journals devoted solely to defending and criticizing the Kantian philosophy. But despite his
success, philosophical trends were moving in another direction. Many of Kant's most important disciples
(including Reinhold, Beck and Fichte) transformed the Kantian position into increasingly radical forms of
idealism. The progressive stages of revision of Kant's teachings marked the emergence of German Idealism.
Kant opposed these developments and publicly denounced Fichte in an open letter in 1799.[31] It was one of his
final acts expounding a stance on philosophical questions. In 1800 a student of Kant named Gottlob Benjamin
Jsche (17621842) published a manual of logic for teachers called Logik, which he had prepared at Kant's
request. Jsche prepared the Logik using a copy of a textbook in logic by Georg Freidrich Meier entitled Auszug
aus der Vernunftlehre, in which Kant had written copious notes and annotations. The Logik has been considered
of fundamental importance to Kant's philosophy, and the understanding of it. The great nineteenth century
logician Charles Sanders Peirce remarked, in an incomplete review of Thomas Kingsmill Abbott's English
translation of the introduction to the Logik, that "Kant's whole philosophy turns upon his logic."[32] Also, Robert
Schirokauer Hartman and Wolfgang Schwarz, wrote in the translators' introduction to their English translation
of the Logik, "Its importance lies not only in its significance for the Critique of Pure Reason, the second part of
which is a restatement of fundamental tenets of the Logic, but in its position within the whole of Kant's work."[33]
Kant's health, long poor, took a turn for the worse and he died at Knigsberg on 12 February 1804, uttering "Es
ist gut" ("It is good") before expiring.[34] His unfinished final work was published as Opus Postumum.

Kant wrote a book discussing his theory of virtue in terms of independence which he believed was a viable
modern alternative to more familiar Greek views about virtue. His book is often criticized because it is written
in a hostile manner and fails to articulate his thoughts on autocracy in a comprehensible manner. In the selfgovernance model presented by Aristotelian virtue, the non-rational part of the soul can be brought to listen to
reason through training. Although Kantian self-governance appears to involve a rational crackdown on
appetites and emotions with lack of harmony between reason and emotion, Kantian virtue denies to require
self-conquest, self-suppression, or self-silencing. They dispute that the self-mastery constitutive of virtue is
ultimately mastery over our tendency of will to give priority to appetite or emotion unregulated by duty, it does
not require extirpating, suppressing, or silencing sensibility in general.[35]

In Kant's essay "Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?", Kant defined the Enlightenment as an age
shaped by the Latin motto Sapere aude ("Dare to be wise"). Kant maintained that one ought to think
autonomously, free of the dictates of external authority. His work reconciled many of the differences between
the rationalist and empiricist traditions of the 18th century. He had a decisive impact on the Romantic and
German Idealist philosophies of the 19th century. His work has also been a starting point for many 20th century
Kant asserted that, because of the limitations of argumentation in the absence of irrefutable evidence, no one
could really know whether there is a God and an afterlife or not. For the sake of morality and as a ground for
reason, Kant asserted, people are justified in believing in God, even though they could never know God's
presence empirically. He explained:
All the preparations of reason, therefore, in what may be called pure philosophy, are in reality directed to those
three problems only [God, the soul, and freedom]. However, these three elements in themselves still hold
independent, proportional, objective weight individually. Moreover, in a collective relational context; namely, to
know what ought to be done: if the will is free, if there is a God, and if there is a future world. As this concerns
our actions with reference to the highest aims of life, we see that the ultimate intention of nature in her wise
provision was really, in the constitution of our reason, directed to moral interests only.[36]
The sense of an enlightened approach and the critical method required that "If one cannot prove that a thing is,
he may try to prove that it is not. And if he succeeds in doing neither (as often occurs), he may still ask whether
it is in his interest to accept one or the other of the alternatives hypothetically, from the theoretical or the
practical point of view. Hence the question no longer is as to whether perpetual peace is a real thing or not a real
thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt the former alternative, but we must
act on the supposition of its being real."[37] The presupposition of God, soul, and freedom was then a practical
concern, for "Morality, by itself, constitutes a system, but happiness does not, unless it is distributed in exact
proportion to morality. This, however, is possible in an intelligible world only under a wise author and ruler.
Reason compels us to admit such a ruler, together with life in such a world, which we must consider as future
life, or else all moral laws are to be considered as idle dreams... ."[38]
Kant claimed to have created a "Copernican revolution" in philosophy. This involved two interconnected
foundations of his "critical philosophy":

the epistemology of Transcendental Idealism and

the moral philosophy of the autonomy of practical reason.

These teachings placed the active, rational human subject at the center of the cognitive and moral worlds. Kant
argued that the rational order of the world as known by science was not just the fortuitous accumulation of sense
Conceptual unification and integration is carried out by the mind through concepts or the "categories of the
understanding" operating on the perceptual manifold within space and time. The latter are not concepts,[39] but
are forms of sensibility that are a priori necessary conditions for any possible experience. Thus the objective
order of nature and the causal necessity that operates within it are dependent upon the mind's processes, the
product of the rule-based activity that Kant called, "synthesis." There is much discussion among Kant scholars
on the correct interpretation of this train of thought.
The 'two-world' interpretation regards Kant's position as a statement of epistemological limitation, that we are
not able to transcend the bounds of our own mind, meaning that we cannot access the "thing-in-itself". Kant,
however, also speaks of the thing in itself or transcendental object as a product of the (human) understanding as
it attempts to conceive of objects in abstraction from the conditions of sensibility. Following this line of
thought, some interpreters have argued that the thing in itself does not represent a separate ontological domain
but simply a way of considering objects by means of the understanding alone this is known as the two-aspect
The notion of the "thing in itself" was much discussed by those who came after Kant. It was argued that since
the "thing in itself" was unknowable its existence could not simply be assumed. Rather than arbitrarily
switching to an account that was ungrounded in anything supposed to be the "real," as did the German Idealists,
another group arose to ask how our (presumably reliable) accounts of a coherent and rule-abiding universe were
actually grounded. This new kind of philosophy became known as Phenomenology, and its founder was
Edmund Husserl.
With regard to morality, Kant argued that the source of the good lies not in anything outside the human subject,
either in nature or given by God, but rather is only the good will itself. A good will is one that acts from duty in
accordance with the universal moral law that the autonomous human being freely gives itself. This law obliges
one to treat humanity understood as rational agency, and represented through oneself as well as others as an
end in itself rather than (merely) as means to other ends the individual might hold. This necessitates practical
self-reflection in which we universalize our reasons.
These ideas have largely framed or influenced all subsequent philosophical discussion and analysis. The
specifics of Kant's account generated immediate and lasting controversy. Nevertheless, his theses that the
mind itself necessarily makes a constitutive contribution to its knowledge, that this contribution is
transcendental rather than psychological, that philosophy involves self-critical activity, that morality is rooted in
human freedom, and that to act autonomously is to act according to rational moral principles have all had a
lasting effect on subsequent philosophy.
Theory of perception[edit]
Main article: Critique of Pure Reason

Kant defines his theory of perception in his influential 1781 work the Critique of Pure Reason, which has often
been cited as the most significant volume of metaphysics and epistemology in modern philosophy. Kant
maintains that our understanding of the external world had its foundations not merely in experience, but in both
experience and a priori concepts, thus offering a non-empiricist critique of rationalist philosophy, which is
what he and others referred to as his "Copernican revolution".[40][41][42]
Firstly, Kant's distinction between analytic and synthetic propositions:

1. Analytic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is contained in its subject

concept; e.g., "All bachelors are unmarried," or, "All bodies take up space."
2. Synthetic proposition: a proposition whose predicate concept is not contained in its subject
concept; e.g., "All bachelors are happy," or, "All bodies have weight."

Analytic propositions are true by nature of the meaning of the words involved in the sentence we require no
further knowledge than a grasp of the language to understand this proposition. On the other hand, synthetic
statements are those that tell us something about the world. The truth or falsehood of synthetic statements
derives from something outside of their linguistic content. In this instance, weight is not a necessary predicate
of the body; until we are told the heaviness of the body we do not know that it has weight. In this case,
experience of the body is required before its heaviness becomes clear. Before Kant's first Critique, empiricists
(cf. Hume) and rationalists (cf. Leibniz) assumed that all synthetic statements required experience to be known.
Kant, however, contests this: he claims that elementary mathematics, like arithmetic, is synthetic a priori, in
that its statements provide new knowledge, but knowledge that is not derived from experience. This becomes
part of his over-all argument for transcendental idealism. That is, he argues that the possibility of experience
depends on certain necessary conditions which he calls a priori forms and that these conditions structure
and hold true of the world of experience. In so doing, his main claims in the "Transcendental Aesthetic" are that
mathematic judgments are synthetic a priori and in addition, that Space and Time are not derived from
experience but rather are its preconditions.
Once we have grasped the concepts of addition, subtraction or the functions of basic arithmetic, we do not need
any empirical experience to know that 100 + 100 = 200, and in this way it would appear that arithmetic is in fact
analytic. However, that it is analytic can be disproved thus: if the numbers five and seven in the calculation 5 +
7 = 12 are examined, there is nothing to be found in them by which the number 12 can be inferred. Such it is
that "5 + 7" and "the cube root of 1,728" or "12" are not analytic because their reference is the same but their
sense is not that the mathematic judgment "5 + 7 = 12" tells us something new about the world. It is selfevident, and undeniably a priori, but at the same time it is synthetic. And so Kant proves a proposition can be
synthetic and known a priori.
Kant asserts that experience is based both upon the perception of external objects and a priori knowledge.[43] The
external world, he writes, provides those things that we sense. It is our mind, though, that processes this
information about the world and gives it order, allowing us to comprehend it. Our mind supplies the conditions
of space and time to experience objects. According to the "transcendental unity of apperception", the concepts
of the mind (Understanding) and the perceptions or intuitions that garner information from phenomena
(Sensibility) are synthesized by comprehension. Without the concepts, perceptions are nondescript; without the
perceptions, concepts are meaningless thus the famous statement, "Thoughts without content are empty,
intuitions (perceptions) without concepts are blind."[44]
Kant also makes the claim that an external environment is necessary for the establishment of the self. Although
Kant would want to argue that there is no empirical way of observing the self, we can see the logical necessity
of the self when we observe that we can have different perceptions of the external environment over time. By
uniting all of these general representations into one global representation, we can see how a transcendental self
emerges. "I am therefore conscious of the identical self in regard to the manifold of the representations that are
given to me in an intuition because I call them all together my representations."[45]
Categories of the Faculty of Understanding[edit]
See also: Category (Kant)

Kant statue in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Kant deemed it obvious that we have some objective knowledge of the world, such as, say, Newtonian physics.
But this knowledge relies on synthetic, a priori laws of nature, like causality and substance. The problem, then,
is how this is possible. Kant's solution was to reason that the subject must supply laws that make experience of
objects possible, and that these laws are the synthetic, a priori laws of nature that we know apply to all objects
before we experience them. So, to deduce all these laws, Kant examined experience in general, dissecting in it
what is supplied by the mind from what is supplied by the given intuitions. What has just been explicated is
commonly called a transcendental reduction.[46]
To begin with, Kant's distinction between the a posteriori being contingent and particular knowledge, and the a
priori being universal and necessary knowledge, must be kept in mind. For if we merely connect two intuitions
together in a perceiving subject, the knowledge is always subjective because it is derived a posteriori, when
what is desired is for the knowledge to be objective, that is, for the two intuitions to refer to the object and hold
good of it necessarily universally for anyone at anytime, not just the perceiving subject in its current condition.
What else is equivalent to objective knowledge besides the a priori, that is to say, universal and necessary
knowledge? Nothing else, and hence before knowledge can be objective, it must be incorporated under an a
priori category of the understanding.[46][47]
For example, say a subject says, "The sun shines on the stone; the stone grows warm," which is all he perceives
in perception. His judgment is contingent and holds no necessity. But if he says, "The sunshine causes the stone
to warm," he subsumes the perception under the category of causality, which is not found in the perception, and
necessarily synthesizes the concept sunshine with the concept heat, producing a necessarily universally true
To explain the categories in more detail, they are the preconditions of the construction of objects in the mind.
Indeed, to even think of the sun and stone presupposes the category of subsistence, that is, substance. For the
categories synthesize the random data of the sensory manifold into intelligible objects. This means that the
categories are also the most abstract things one can say of any object whatsoever, and hence one can have an a
priori cognition of the totality of all objects of experience if one can list all of them. To do so, Kant formulates
another transcendental deduction.[46]
Judgments are, for Kant, the preconditions of any thought. Man thinks via judgments, so all possible judgments
must be listed and the perceptions connected within them put aside, so as to make it possible to examine the

moments when the understanding is engaged in constructing judgments. For the categories are equivalent to
these moments, in that they are concepts of intuitions in general, so far as they are determined by these
moments universally and necessarily. Thus by listing all the moments, one can deduce from them all of the
One may now ask: How many possible judgments are there? Kant believed that all the possible propositions
within Aristotle's syllogistic logic are equivalent to all possible judgments, and that all the logical operators
within the propositions are equivalent to the moments of the understanding within judgments. Thus he listed
Aristotle's system in four groups of three: quantity (universal, particular, singular), quality (affirmative,
negative, infinite), relation (categorical, hypothetical, disjunctive) and modality (problematic, assertoric,
apodeictic). The parallelism with Kant's categories is obvious: quantity (unity, plurality, totality), quality
(reality, negation, limitation), relation (substance, cause, community) and modality (possibility, existence,
The fundamental building blocks of experience, i.e. objective knowledge, are now in place. First there is the
sensibility, which supplies the mind with intuitions, and then there is the understanding, which produces
judgments of these intuitions and can subsume them under categories. These categories lift the intuitions up out
of the subject's current state of consciousness and place them within consciousness in general, producing
universally necessary knowledge. For the categories are innate in any rational being, so any intuition thought
within a category in one mind is necessarily subsumed and understood identically in any mind. In other words
we filter what we see and hear.[46]
Transcendental schema doctrine[edit]
See also: Schema (Kant)

Kant ran into a problem with his theory that the mind plays a part in producing objective knowledge. Intuitions
and categories are entirely disparate, so how can they interact? Kant's solution is the (transcendental) schema: a
priori principles by which the transcendental imagination connects concepts with intuitions through time. All
the principles are temporally bound, for if a concept is purely a priori, as the categories are, then they must
apply for all times. Hence there are principles such as substance is that which endures through time, and the
cause must always be prior to the effect.[48][49]
Moral philosophy[edit]

Immanuel Kant

Kant developed his moral philosophy in three works: Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785),[50]
Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and Metaphysics of Morals (1797).
In the Groundwork, Kant's method involves trying to convert our everyday, obvious, rational[51] knowledge of
morality into philosophical knowledge. The latter two works followed a method of using "practical reason",
which is based only upon things about which reason can tell us, and not deriving any principles from
experience, to reach conclusions which are able to be applied to the world of experience (in the second part of
The Metaphysic of Morals).
Kant is known for his theory that there is a single moral obligation, which he called the "Categorical
Imperative", and is derived from the concept of duty. Kant defines the demands of the moral law as "categorical
imperatives". Categorical imperatives are principles that are intrinsically valid; they are good in and of
themselves; they must be obeyed by all, in all situations and circumstances, if our behavior is to observe the
moral law. It is from the Categorical Imperative that all other moral obligations are generated, and by which all
moral obligations can be tested. Kant also stated that the moral means and ends can be applied to the categorical
imperative, that rational beings can pursue certain "ends" using the appropriate "means". Ends that are based on
physical needs or wants always give merely hypothetical imperatives. The categorical imperative, however, may
be based only on something that is an "end in itself". That is, an end that is a means only to itself and not to
some other need, desire, or purpose.[52] He believed that the moral law is a principle of reason itself, and is not
based on contingent facts about the world, such as what would make us happy, but to act upon the moral law
which has no other motive than "worthiness of being happy".[53] Accordingly, he believed that moral obligation
applies only to rational agents.[54]
A categorical imperative is an unconditional obligation; that is, it has the force of an obligation regardless of our
will or desires (Contrast this with hypothetical imperative)[55] In Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals
(1785) Kant enumerated three formulations of the categorical imperative that he believed to be roughly
Kant believed that if an action is not done with the motive of duty, then it is without moral value. He thought
that every action should have pure intention behind it; otherwise it was meaningless. He did not necessarily
believe that the final result was the most important aspect of an action, but that how the person felt while
carrying out the action was the time at which value was set to the result.
In Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Kant also posited the "counter-utilitarian idea that there is a
difference between preferences and values and that considerations of individual rights temper calculations of
aggregate utility", a concept that is an axiom in economics:[57]
Everything has either a price or a dignity. Whatever has a price can be replaced by something else as its
equivalent; on the other hand, whatever is above all price, and therefore admits of no equivalent, has a dignity.
But that which constitutes the condition under which alone something can be an end in itself does not have mere
relative worth, i.e., price, but an intrinsic worth, i.e., a dignity. (p. 53, italics in original).
A phrase quoted by Kant, which is used to summarize the counter-utilitarian nature of his moral philosophy, is
Fiat justitia, pereat mundus, ("Let justice be done, though the world perish"), which he translates loosely as
"Let justice reign even if all the rascals in the world should perish from it". This appears in his 1795 Perpetual
Peace (Zum ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf.), Appendix 1.[58][59][60]

The first formulation[edit]

The first formulation (Formula of Universal Law) of the moral imperative "requires that the maxims be chosen
as though they should hold as universal laws of nature" .[56] This formulation in principle has as its supreme law
the creed "Always act according to that maxim whose universality as a law you can at the same time will" and is
the "only condition under which a will can never come into conflict with itself [....]"[61]
One interpretation of the first formulation is called the "universalizability test".[62] An agent's maxim, according
to Kant, is his "subjective principle of human actions": that is, what the agent believes is his reason to act.[63] The
universalisability test has five steps:
1. Find the agent's maxim (i.e., an action paired with its motivation). Take for example the
declaration "I will lie for personal benefit". Lying is the action; the motivation is to fulfill
some sort of desire. Paired together, they form the maxim.
2. Imagine a possible world in which everyone in a similar position to the real-world agent
followed that maxim. With no exception of one's self. This is in order for you to hold people
to the same principle required of yourself.
3. Decide whether any contradictions or irrationalities arise in the possible world as a result
of following the maxim.
4. If a contradiction or irrationality arises, acting on that maxim is not allowed in the real
5. If there is no contradiction, then acting on that maxim is permissible, and is sometimes

(For a modern parallel, see John Rawls' hypothetical situation, the original position.)
The second formulation[edit]

The second formulation (or Formula of the End in Itself) holds that "the rational being, as by its nature an end
and thus as an end in itself, must serve in every maxim as the condition restricting all merely relative and
arbitrary ends".[56] The principle dictates that you "[a]ct with reference to every rational being (whether yourself
or another) so that it is an end in itself in your maxim", meaning that the rational being is "the basis of all
maxims of action" and "must be treated never as a mere means but as the supreme limiting condition in the use
of all means, i.e., as an end at the same time".[64]
The third formulation[edit]

The third formulation (Formula of Autonomy) is a synthesis of the first two and is the basis for the "complete
determination of all maxims". It says "that all maxims which stem from autonomous legislation ought to
harmonize with a possible realm of ends as with a realm of nature".[56] In principle, "So act as if your maxims
should serve at the same time as the universal law (of all rational beings)", meaning that we should so act that
we may think of ourselves as "a member in the universal realm of ends", legislating universal laws through our
maxims (that is, a code of conduct), in a "possible realm of ends".[65] None may elevate themselves above the
universal law, therefore it is one's duty to follow the maxim(s).
Religion Within the Limits of Reason[edit]

Kant articulates his strongest criticisms of the organization and practices of religious organizations to those that
encourage what he sees as a religion of counterfeit service to God.[66] Among the major targets of his criticism
are external ritual, superstition and a hierarchical church order. He sees all of these as efforts to make oneself
pleasing to God in ways other than conscientious adherence to the principle of moral rightness in the choice of

one's actions. The severity of Kant's criticisms on these matters, along with his rejection of the possibility of
theoretical proofs for the existence of God and his philosophical re-interpretation of some basic Christian
doctrines, have provided the basis for interpretations that see Kant as thoroughly hostile to religion in general
and Christianity in particular (e.g., Walsh 1967). Nevertheless, other interpreters consider that Kant was trying
to mark off a defensible rational core of Christian belief.[67] Kant sees in Jesus Christ the affirmation of a "pure
moral disposition of the heart" that "can make man well-pleasing to God".[66]
Idea of freedom[edit]

In the Critique of Pure Reason,[68] Kant distinguishes between the transcendental idea of freedom, which as a
psychological concept is "mainly empirical" and refers to "the question whether we must admit a power of
spontaneously beginning a series of successive things or states" as a real ground of necessity in regard to
causality,[69] and the practical concept of freedom as the independence of our will from the "coercion" or
"necessitation through sensuous impulses". Kant finds it a source of difficulty that the practical concept of
freedom is founded on the transcendental idea of freedom,[70] but for the sake of practical interests uses the
practical meaning, taking "no account of... its transcendental meaning," which he feels was properly "disposed
of" in the Third Antinomy, and as an element in the question of the freedom of the will is for philosophy "a real
stumbling-block" that has "embarrassed speculative reason".[69]
Kant calls practical "everything that is possible through freedom", and the pure practical laws that are never
given through sensuous conditions but are held analogously with the universal law of causality are moral laws.
Reason can give us only the "pragmatic laws of free action through the senses", but pure practical laws given by
reason a priori[71] dictate "what ought to be done".[72][73]
The categories of freedom[edit]

In the Critique of Practical Reason, at the end of the second Main Part of the Analytics,[74] Kant introduces, in
analogy with the categories of understanding their practical counterparts, the categories of freedom. Kant's
categories of freedom appear to have primarily three functions: as conditions of the possibility for actions (i) to
be free, (ii) to be comprehensible as free and (iii) to be morally evaluated. For Kant actions, although qua
theoretical objects they are always already constituted by means of the theoretical categories, qua practical
objects (objects of reason in its practical use, i.e. objects qua possibly good or bad) they are constituted by
means of the categories of freedom; and it is only in this way that actions, qua phenomena, can be a
consequence of freedom, and can be understood and evaluated as such.[75]
Aesthetic philosophy[edit]

Kant discusses the subjective nature of aesthetic qualities and experiences in Observations on the Feeling of the
Beautiful and Sublime, (1764). Kant's contribution to aesthetic theory is developed in the Critique of Judgment
(1790) where he investigates the possibility and logical status of "judgments of taste." In the "Critique of
Aesthetic Judgment," the first major division of the Critique of Judgment, Kant used the term "aesthetic" in a
manner that, according to Kant scholar W.H. Walsh, differs from its modern sense.[76] Prior to this, in the
Critique of Pure Reason, to note essential differences between judgments of taste, moral judgments, and
scientific judgments, Kant abandoned the term "aesthetic" as "designating the critique of taste," noting that
judgments of taste could never be "directed" by "laws a priori".[77] After A. G. Baumgarten, who wrote
Aesthetica (175058),[78] Kant was one of the first philosophers to develop and integrate aesthetic theory into a
unified and comprehensive philosophical system, utilizing ideas that played an integral role throughout his
In the chapter "Analytic of the Beautiful" of the Critique of Judgment, Kant states that beauty is not a property
of an artwork or natural phenomenon, but is instead a consciousness of the pleasure that attends the 'free play' of
the imagination and the understanding. Even though it appears that we are using reason to decide what is
beautiful, the judgment is not a cognitive judgment,[80] "and is consequently not logical, but aesthetical" ( 1). A

pure judgement of taste is in fact subjective insofar as it refers to the emotional response of the subject and is
based upon nothing but esteem for an object itself: it is a disinterested pleasure, and we feel that pure
judgements of taste, i.e. judgements of beauty, lay claim to universal validity (2022). It is important to note
that this universal validity is not derived from a determinate concept of beauty but from common sense (40).
Kant also believed that a judgement of taste shares characteristics engaged in a moral judgement: both are
disinterested, and we hold them to be universal. In the chapter "Analytic of the Sublime" Kant identifies the
sublime as an aesthetic quality that, like beauty, is subjective, but unlike beauty refers to an indeterminate
relationship between the faculties of the imagination and of reason, and shares the character of moral judgments
in the use of reason. The feeling of the sublime, itself officially divided into two distinct modes (the
mathematical and the dynamical sublime), describes two subjective moments, both of which concern the
relationship of the faculty of the imagination to reason. Some commentators,[81] however, argue that Kant's
critical philosophy contains a third kind of the sublime, the moral sublime, which is the aesthetic response to the
moral law or a representation thereof, and a development of the "noble" sublime in Kant's theory of 1764. The
mathematical sublime is situated in the failure of the imagination to comprehend natural objects that appear
boundless and formless, or appear "absolutely great" ( 2325). This imaginative failure is then recuperated
through the pleasure taken in reason's assertion of the concept of infinity. In this move the faculty of reason
proves itself superior to our fallible sensible self ( 2526). In the dynamical sublime there is the sense of
annihilation of the sensible self as the imagination tries to comprehend a vast might. This power of nature
threatens us but through the resistance of reason to such sensible annihilation, the subject feels a pleasure and a
sense of the human moral vocation. This appreciation of moral feeling through exposure to the sublime helps to
develop moral character.
Kant had developed the distinction between an object of art as a material value subject to the conventions of
society and the transcendental condition of the judgment of taste as a "refined" value in the propositions of his
Idea of A Universal History (1784). In the Fourth and Fifth Theses of that work he identified all art as the "fruits
of unsociableness" due to men's "antagonism in society",[82] and in the Seventh Thesis asserted that while such
material property is indicative of a civilized state, only the ideal of morality and the universalization of refined
value through the improvement of the mind of man "belongs to culture".[83]
Political philosophy[edit]
Main article: Political philosophy of Immanuel Kant

In Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch[84] Kant listed several conditions that he thought necessary for
ending wars and creating a lasting peace. They included a world of constitutional republics.[85] His classical
republican theory was extended in the Science of Right, the first part of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797).[86]
"Kant's political teaching may be summarized in a phrase: republican government and international
organization. In more characteristically Kantian terms, it is doctrine of the state based upon the law
(Rechtsstaat) and of eternal peace. Indeed, in each of these formulations, both terms express the same idea: that
of legal constitution or of "peace through law." Taken simply by itself, Kant's political philosophy, being
essentially a legal doctrine, rejects by definition the opposition between moral education and the play of
passions as alternate foundations for social life. The state is defined as the union of men under law. The state
rightly so called is constituted by laws which are necessary a priori because they flow from the very concept of
law. A regime can be judged by no other criteria nor be assigned any other functions, than those proper to the
lawful order as such." [87]
He opposed "democracy," which at his time meant direct democracy, believing that majority rule posed a threat
to individual liberty. He stated, "...democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it
establishes an executive power in which 'all' decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, 'all,' who
are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom."[88] As with

most writers at the time, he distinguished three forms of government i.e. democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy
with mixed government as the most ideal form of it.

Kant lectured on anthropology for over 25 years. His Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View was
published in 1798. (This was the subject of Michel Foucault's doctoral dissertation.) Kant's Lectures on
Anthropology were published for the first time in 1997 in German.[89] The former was translated into English
and published by the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy series in 2006.[90]
Kant was among the first people of his time to introduce anthropology as an intellectual area of study long
before the field gained popularity. As a result, his texts are considered to have advanced the field. Kants point
of view also influenced the works of philosophers after him such as Martin Heidegger, Paul Ricoeur, and Jean
Kant viewed anthropology in two broad categories. One category was the physiological approach which he
referred to as what nature makes of the human being. The other category was the pragmatic approach which
explored the things a human can and should make of himself.[91]

Kant's influence on Western thought has been profound.[92] Over and above his influence on specific thinkers,
Kant changed the framework within which philosophical inquiry has been carried out. He accomplished a
paradigm shift: very little philosophy is now carried out in the style of pre-Kantian philosophy. This shift
consists in several closely related innovations that have become axiomatic, in philosophy itself and in the social
sciences and humanities generally:

Kant's "Copernican revolution", that placed the role of the human subject or knower at the
center of inquiry into our knowledge, such that it is impossible to philosophize about
things as they are independently of us or of how they are for us; [93]

His invention of critical philosophy, that is of the notion of being able to discover and
systematically explore possible inherent limits to our ability to know through philosophical

His creation of the concept of "conditions of possibility", as in his notion of "the conditions
of possible experience" that is that things, knowledge, and forms of consciousness rest
on prior conditions that make them possible, so that, to understand or to know them, we
must first understand these conditions

His theory that objective experience is actively constituted or constructed by the

functioning of the human mind

His notion of moral autonomy as central to humanity

His assertion of the principle that human beings should be treated as ends rather than as

Some or all of these Kantian ideas can be seen in schools of thought as different from one another as German
Idealism, Marxism, positivism, phenomenology, existentialism, critical theory, linguistic philosophy,
structuralism, post-structuralism, and deconstructionism.[94][dubious discuss]
Historical influence[edit]

Statue of Immanuel Kant in Kaliningrad (Knigsberg), Russia. Replica by Harald Haacke (de) of
the original by Christian Daniel Rauch lost in 1945.

During his own life, there was much critical attention paid to his thought. He had an influence on Reinhold,
Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and Novalis during the 1780s and 1790s. The school of thinking known as German
Idealism developed from his writings. The German Idealists Fichte and Schelling, for example, tried to bring
traditional "metaphysically" laden notions like "the Absolute", "God", and "Being" into the scope of Kant's
critical thought.[95] In so doing, the German Idealists tried to reverse Kant's view that we cannot know what we
cannot observe.
Hegel was one of Kant's first major critics. In response to what he saw as Kant's abstract and formal account,
Hegel brought about an ethic focused on the "ethical life" of the community.[96] But Hegel's notion of "ethical
life" is meant to subsume, rather than replace, Kantian ethics. And Hegel can be seen as trying to defend Kant's
idea of freedom as going beyond finite "desires", by means of reason. Thus, in contrast to later critics like
Nietzsche or Russell, Hegel shares some of Kant's most basic concerns.[97]
Kant's thinking on religion was used in Britain to challenge the decline in religious faith in the nineteenth
century. British Catholic writers, notably G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, followed this approach. Ronald
Englefield debated this movement, and Kant's use of language. See Englefield's article,[98] reprinted in
Englefield.[99] Criticisms of Kant were common in the realist views of the new positivism at that time.
Arthur Schopenhauer was strongly influenced by Kant's transcendental idealism. He, like G. E. Schulze, Jacobi,
and Fichte before him, was critical of Kant's theory of the thing in itself. Things in themselves, they argued, are
neither the cause of what we observe nor are they completely beyond our access. Ever since the first Critique of
Pure Reason philosophers have been critical of Kant's theory of the thing in itself. Many have argued, if such a
thing exists beyond experience then one cannot posit that it affects us causally, since that would entail stretching
the category 'causality' beyond the realm of experience. For a review of this problem and the relevant literature

see The Thing in Itself and the Problem of Affection in the revised edition of Henry Allison's Kant's
Transcendental Idealism. For Schopenhauer things in themselves do not exist outside the non-rational will. The
world, as Schopenhauer would have it, is the striving and largely unconscious will.
With the success and wide influence of Hegel's writings, Kant's influence began to wane, though there was in
Germany a movement that hailed a return to Kant in the 1860s, beginning with the publication of Kant und die
Epigonen in 1865 by Otto Liebmann. His motto was "Back to Kant", and a re-examination of his ideas began
(See Neo-Kantianism). During the turn of the 20th century there was an important revival of Kant's theoretical
philosophy, known as the Marburg School, represented in the work of Hermann Cohen, Paul Natorp, Ernst
Cassirer,[100] and anti-Neo-Kantian Nicolai Hartmann.[101]
Kant's notion of "Critique" has been quite influential. The Early German Romantics, especially Friedrich
Schlegel in his "Athenaeum Fragments", used Kant's self-reflexive conception of criticism in their Romantic
theory of poetry.[102] Also in Aesthetics, Clement Greenberg, in his classic essay "Modernist Painting", uses
Kantian criticism, what Greenberg refers to as "immanent criticism", to justify the aims of Abstract painting, a
movement Greenberg saw as aware of the key limitiatonflatnessthat makes up the medium of painting.[103]
French philosopher Michel Foucault was also greatly influenced by Kant's notion of "Critique" and wrote
several pieces on Kant for a re-thinking of the Enlightenment as a form of "critical thought". He went so far as
to classify his own philosophy as a "critical history of modernity, rooted in Kant".[104]
Kant believed that mathematical truths were forms of synthetic a priori knowledge, which means they are
necessary and universal, yet known through intuition.[105] Kant's often brief remarks about mathematics
influenced the mathematical school known as intuitionism, a movement in philosophy of mathematics opposed
to Hilbert's formalism, and the logicism of Frege and Bertrand Russell.[106]
Influence on modern thinkers[edit]

West German postage stamp, 1974, commemorating the 250th anniversary of Kant's birth

With his Perpetual Peace, Kant is considered to have foreshadowed many of the ideas that have come to form
the democratic peace theory, one of the main controversies in political science.[107]
Prominent recent Kantians include the British philosopher P. F. Strawson,[108] the American philosophers Wilfrid
Sellars[109] and Christine Korsgaard.[110] Due to the influence of Strawson and Sellars, among others, there has
been a renewed interest in Kant's view of the mind. Central to many debates in philosophy of psychology and
cognitive science is Kant's conception of the unity of consciousness.[111]

Jrgen Habermas and John Rawls are two significant political and moral philosophers whose work is strongly
influenced by Kant's moral philosophy.[112] They have each argued against relativism,[113] supporting the Kantian
view that universality is essential to any viable moral philosophy.
Kant's influence also has extended to the social, behavioral, and physical sciences, as in the sociology of Max
Weber, the psychology of Jean Piaget, and the linguistics of Noam Chomsky. Kant's work on mathematics and
synthetic a priori knowledge is also cited by theoretical physicist Albert Einstein as an early influence on his
intellectual development.[114] Because of the thoroughness of the Kantian paradigm shift, his influence extends to
thinkers who neither specifically refer to his work nor use his terminology.
Scholars have shown that Kant's critical ethos has also inspired nonwestern political thinkers, including the
Muslim political reformer Tariq Ramadan.[115] On the other hand Kant was deeply influenced by a famous
Muslim philosopher Imam Ghazali.

Tomb and statue[edit]

Kant's tomb in Kaliningrad, 2007

5 DM 1974 D silver coin commemorating the 250th birthday of Immanuel Kant in Knigsberg

Kant's tomb is today in a mausoleum adjoining the northeast corner of Knigsberg Cathedral in what is now
known as Kaliningrad, Russia. The mausoleum was constructed by the architect Friedrich Lahrs and was
finished in 1924 in time for the bicentenary of Kant's birth. Originally, Kant was buried inside the cathedral, but
in 1880 his remains were moved outside and placed in a neo-Gothic chapel adjoining the northeast corner of the
cathedral. Over the years, the chapel became dilapidated before it was demolished to make way for the
mausoleum, which was built on the same spot, where it is today.

The tomb and its mausoleum are among the few artifacts of German times preserved by the Soviets after they
conquered and annexed the city. Today, many newlyweds bring flowers to the mausoleum.
Artifacts previously owned by Kant, known as Kantiana, were included in the Knigsberg City Museum.
However, the museum was destroyed during World War II.
A replica of the statue of Kant that stood in German times in front of the main University of Knigsberg
building was donated by a German entity in the early 1990s and placed in the same grounds.
After the expulsion of Knigsberg's German population at the end of World War II, the University of
Knigsberg where Kant taught was replaced by the Russian-language Kaliningrad State University, which took
up the campus and surviving buildings of the historic German university. In 2005, the university was renamed
Immanuel Kant State University of Russia. The change of name was announced at a ceremony attended by
President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Chancellor Gerhard Schrder of Germany, and the university formed a
Kant Society, dedicated to the study of Kantianism.

List of major works[edit]

(1746, but published in 1749) Thoughts on the True Estimation of Vital Forces (Gedanken
von der wahren Schtzung der lebendigen Krfte)

(1755) A New Elucidation of the First Principles of Metaphysical Cognition (Principiorum

primorum cognitionis metaphysicae nova dilucidatio (Doctoral Thesis))

(1755) Universal Natural History and Theory of Heaven (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und
Theorie des Himmels)

(1756) Monadologia Physica

(1762) The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures (Die falsche Spitzfindigkeit der
vier syllogistischen Figuren)

(1763) The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God
(Der einzig mgliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseins Gottes)

(1763) Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes into Philosophy (Versuch
den Begriff der negativen Gren in die Weltweisheit einzufhren)

(1764) Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (Beobachtungen ber das
Gefhl des Schnen und Erhabenen)

(1764) Essay on the Illness of the Head (ber die Krankheit des Kopfes)

(1764) Inquiry Concerning the Distinctness of the Principles of Natural Theology and
Morality (the Prize Essay) (Untersuchungen ber die Deutlichkeit der Grundstze der
natrlichen Theologie und der Moral)

(1766) Dreams of a Spirit Seer (Trume eines Geistersehers)

(1770) Dissertation on the Form and Principles of the Sensible and the Intelligible World
(De mundi sensibilis atque intelligibilis forma et principiis (Inaugural Dissertation))

(1775) On the Different Races of Man (ber die verschiedenen Rassen der Menschen)

(1781) First edition of the Critique of Pure Reason[116] (Kritik der reinen Vernunft)[117]

(1783) Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics[118] (Prolegomena zu einer jeden knftigen


(1784) "An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?" (Beantwortung der Frage:
Was ist Aufklrung?)[119]

(1784) "Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose" (Idee zu einer
allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbrgerlicher Absicht)

(1785) Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten)

(1786) Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (Metaphysische Anfangsgrnde der


(1786) Conjectural Beginning of Human History

(1787) Second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason[120] (Kritik der reinen Vernunft)[121]

(1788) Critique of Practical Reason[122] (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft)[123]

(1790) Critique of Judgement (Kritik der Urteilskraft)[124]

(1793) Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der
bloen Vernunft)[125]

(1793) On the Old Saw: That may be right in theory, but it won't work in practice (ber
den Gemeinspruch: Das mag in der Theorie richtig sein, taugt aber nicht fr die Praxis)

(1795) Perpetual Peace[126] (Zum ewigen Frieden)[127]

(1797) Metaphysics of Morals (Metaphysik der Sitten). First part is The Doctrine of Right,
which has often been published separately as The Science of Right.

(1798) Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View (Anthropologie in pragmatischer


(1798) The Contest of Faculties[128] (Der Streit der Fakultten)[129]

(1800) Logic (Logik)

(1803) On Pedagogy (ber Pdagogik)[130]

(1804) Opus Postumum

(1817) Lectures on Philosophical Theology (Immanuel Kants Vorlesungen ber die

philosophische Religionslehre edited by K. H. L. Plitz) [The English edition of A. W. Wood &
G. M. Clark (Cornell, 1978) is based on Plitz' second edition, 1830, of these lectures] [131]

See also[edit]
Philosophy portal


Aenesidemus (book)

Kant Russian State University

Johann Georg Hamann

List of liberal theorists

Schopenhauer's criticism of the Kantian philosophy

On Vision and Colors

Schopenhauer's criticism of Kant's Groundwork of the

Metaphysic of Morals

Political philosophy of
Immanuel Kant


Rule according to higher law

Sola fide


Jump up ^ "Kant". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.


Jump up ^ "Immanuel Kant (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". 20

May 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-22.


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel; Kitcher, Patricia (intro.); Pluhar, W. (trans.) (1996). Critique of
Pure Reason. Indianapolis: Hackett. xxviii.


Jump up ^ Nigel Warburton (2011). "Chapter 19: Rose-tinted reality: Immanuel Kant". A
little history of philosophy. Yale University Press. pp. 111 ff. ISBN 0300152086.


Jump up ^ Kuehn, Manfred. Kant: a Biography. Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 26


Jump up ^ Lewis, Rick. 2005. 'Kant 200 Years On'. Philosophy Now. No. 49.


Jump up ^ Karl Vorlnder: Immanuel Kant - Bei Pfarrer Andersch in Judtschen


Jump up ^ Karl Vorlnder: Immanuel Kant - Bei Pfarrer Andersch in Judtschen


Jump up ^ "Cosmopolis". 23 April 2001. Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Kant's mother's name is sometimes erroneously given as Anna Regina Porter.


Jump up ^ Paulsen, Friedrich (1902). Immanuel Kant: His Life and Doctrine. James Edwin
Creighton, Albert Lefevre. C. Scribner's Sons. p. 27. Retrieved 2014-03-13. Kant's grandfather, Hans
Kant (also Kand, not Cant), was a harness-maker at Memel [...]


Jump up ^


Jump up ^ Biographical information sourced from: Kuehn, Manfred. Kant: a Biography.

Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-521-49704-3 the standard biography of Kant in English.


Jump up ^ "While this sounds skeptical, Kant is only agnostic about our knowledge of
metaphysical objects such as God. And, as noted above, Kant's agnosticism leads to the conclusion
that we can neither affirm nor deny claims made by traditional metaphysics." Andrew Fiala, J. M. D.
Meiklejohn, Critique of Pure Reason Introduction, page xi.


Jump up ^ Edward J. Verstraete (2008). Ed Hindson; Ergun Caner, eds. The Popular
Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity. Harvest House
Publishers. p. 82. ISBN 9780736920841. It is in this sense that modern atheism rests heavily upon
the skepticism of David Hume and the agnosticism of Immanuel Kant.


Jump up ^ Norman L. Geisler; Frank Turek (2004). "Kant's Agnosticism: Should We Be

Agnostic About It?". I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Crossway. pp. 5960.
ISBN 9781581345612. Immanuel Kant's impact has been even more devastating to the Christian
worldview than David Hume's. For if Kant's philosophy is right, then there is no way to know
anything about the real world, even empirically verifiable things!


Jump up ^ Gary D. Badcock (1997). Light of Truth and Fire of Love: A Theology of the Holy
Spirit. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 9780802842886. Kant has no interest in prayer or
worship, and is in fact agnostic when it comes to such classical theological questions as the
doctrine of God or of the Holy Spirit.


Jump up ^ Norman L. Geisler, Paul K. Hoffman, ed. (2006). "The Agnosticism of Immanuel
Kant". Why I Am a Christian: Leading Thinkers Explain Why They Believe. Baker Books. p. 45.
ISBN 9780801067129.


Jump up ^ Frank K. Flinn (2007). Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Infobase Publishing. p. 10.

ISBN 9780816075652. Following Locke, the classic agnostic claims not to accept more propositions
than are warranted by empirical evidence. In this sense an agnostic appeals to Immanuel Kant
(17241804), who claims in his Critique of Pure Reason that since God, freedom, immortality, and
the soul can be both proved and disproved by theoretical reason, we ought to suspend judgement
about them.


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime.
Trans. John T. Goldthwait. University of California Press, 1961, 2003. ISBN 0-520-24078-2



Jump up ^ The American International Encyclopedia (New York: J.J. Little & Ives, 1954), Vol.


Jump up ^ George Gamow, One, Two, Three... Infinity, pp. 300ff. Viking Press, 1954


Jump up ^ Cf., for example, Susan Shell, The Embodiment of Reason (Chicago, 1996)


Jump up ^


Jump up ^ Christopher Kul-Want and Andrzej Klimowski, Introducing Kant (Cambridge: Icon
Books, 2005).[citation needed] ISBN 1-84046-664-2


Jump up ^ Copleston, Frederick Charles. The Enlightenment: Voltaire to Kant. 2003. p. 146.


Jump up ^ Sassen, Brigitte. Kant's Early Critics: The Empiricist Critique of the Theoretical
Philosophy. 2000.


Jump up ^ Ein Jahrhundert deutscher Literaturkritik, vol. III, Der Aufstieg zur Klassik in der
Kritik der Zeit (Berlin, 1959), p. 315; as quoted in Gulyga, Arsenij. Immanuel Kant: His Life and
Thought. Trans., Marijan Despaltovi. Boston: Birkhuser, 1987.


Jump up ^ Gulyga, Arsenij. Immanuel Kant: His Life and Thought. Trans., Marijan
Despaltovi. Boston: Birkhuser, 1987 pp. 289.


Jump up ^ Gulyga, Arsenij. Immanuel Kant: His Life and Thought. Trans., Marijan
Despaltovi. Boston: Birkhuser, 1987, p. 62.


^ Jump up to:

a b c d e

Derrida Vacant Chair p. 44.


Jump up ^ "Open letter by Kant denouncing Fichte's Philosophy (in German)".
Retrieved 2009-07-24.


Jump up ^ Peirce, C.S., Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, v.1, (HUP, 1960), 'Kant
and his Refutation of Idealism' p. 15


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel, Logic, G.B. Jsche (ed), R.S. Hartman, W. Schwarz (translators),
Indianapolis, 1984, p. xv.


Jump up ^ Karl Vorlnder, Immanuel Kant: Der Mann und das Werk, Hamburg: Meiner,
1992, p. II 332.


Jump up ^ McAleer, Sean. "Kant's Theory of Virtue: The Value of Autocracy. Ethics".
Heythrop Journal.


Jump up ^ Critique of Pure Reason, A801.


Jump up ^ The Science of Right, Conclusion.


Jump up ^ Critique of Pure Reason, A811.


Jump up ^ In the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason Kant refers to space as "no
discursive or...general conception of the relation of things, but a pure intuition" and maintained that
"We can only represent to ourselves one space". The "general notion of spaces...depends solely
upon limitations" (Meikeljohn trans., A25). In the second edition of the CPR, Kant adds, "The original
representation of space is an a priori intuition, not a concept" (Kemp Smith trans., B40). In regard to
time, Kant states that "Time is not a discursive, or what is called a general concept, but a pure form
of sensible intuition. Different times are but parts of one and the same time; and the representation
which can be given only through a single object is intuition" (A31/B47). For the differences in the
discursive use of reason according to concepts and its intuitive use through the construction of
concepts, see Critique of Pure Reason (A719/B747 ff. and A837/B865). On "One and the same thing
in space and time" and the mathematical construction of concepts, see A724/B752.


Jump up ^ "Kant, Immanuel definition of Kant, Immanuel in the Free Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2014-02-26.


Jump up ^


Jump up ^


Jump up ^ The German word Anschauung, which Kant used, literally means 'looking at' and
generally means what in philosophy in English is called "perception". However it sometimes is
rendered as "intuition": not, however, with the vernacular meaning of an indescribable or mystical

experience or sixth sense, but rather with the meaning of the direct perception or grasping of
sensory phenomena. In this article, both terms, "perception" and "intuition" are used to stand for
Kant's Anschauung.

Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason [1781], trans. Norman Kemp Smith (N.Y.:
St. Martins, 1965), A 51/B 75.


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Ed. Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood.
Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. p. 248.


^ Jump up to:
pages 35 to 43.


Jump up ^ Deleuze on Kant, from where the definitions of a priori and a posteriori were

a b c d e f g

Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to perhaps Any Future Metaphysics,


Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, pages 35 to 43.


Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment, the Introduction to the Hackett edition.


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. Lewis White
Beck. Page numbers citing this work are Beck's marginal numbers that refer to the page numbers of
the standard edition of Knigliche Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Berlin, 190238.


Jump up ^ The distinction between rational and philosophical knowledge is given in the
Preface to the Groundwork, 1785.


Jump up ^ Kant, Foundations, p. 421.


Jump up ^ Critique of Pure Reason, A806/B834.


Jump up ^ Kant, Foundations, p. 408.


Jump up ^ Kant, Foundations, pp. 4201.


^ Jump up to:

a b c d

Kant, Foundations, p. 436.


Jump up ^ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003) Ecosystems and Well-being: A

Framework for Assessment. Washington DC: Island Press, p. 142.


Jump up ^ "Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch: Appendix 1".

Retrieved 2009-07-24.





Jump up ^ Project for a Perpetual Peace, p. 61. 1796. Retrieved 2009-

Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant's Werke, revidirte Gesammtausg, p. 456.

1838. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
Jump up ^ Kant, Foundations, p. 437.
Jump up ^ "Kant and the German Enlightenment" in "History of Ethics". Encyclopedia of
Philosophy, Vol. 3, pp. 9596. MacMillan, 1973.


Jump up ^ Kant, Foundations, pp. 400, 429.


Jump up ^ Kant, Foundations, pp. 4378.


Jump up ^ Kant, Foundations, pp. 4389. See also Kingdom of Ends


^ Jump up to: a b Immanuel Kant. Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793), Book IV,
Part 1, Section 1, "The Christian religion as a natural religion."


Jump up ^ "Kant's Philosophy of Religion (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Retrieved 2009-07-24.


Jump up ^ The Norman Kemp Smith translation has been used for this section, with citation
noting the pagination of the first and second editions.


^ Jump up to:


Jump up ^ Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A534/B562.




a b

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A448/B476.

Jump up ^ the same distinction of transcendental and practical meaning can be applied to
the idea of God, with the proviso that the practical concept of freedom can be experienced (Critique
of Pure Reason, A801-804/B829-832).
Jump up ^ Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A8002/B82830.
Jump up ^ The concept of freedom is also handled in the third section of the Foundations of
the Metaphysics of Morals. In the Critique of Practical Reason see VII and VIII.
Jump up ^ 5:6567


Jump up ^ Susanne Bobzien, 'Die Kategorien der Freiheit bei Kant', in Kant: Analysen,
Probleme, Kritik Vol.1, 1988, 193220.


Jump up ^ Critique of Judgment in "Kant, Immanuel" Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol 4.

Macmillan, 1973.


Jump up ^ Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A22/B36.


Jump up ^ Beardsley, Monroe. "History of Aesthetics". Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1,

section on "Toward a unified aesthetics", p. 25, Macmillan 1973. Baumgarten coined the term
"aesthetics" and expanded, clarified, and unified Wolffian aesthetic theory, but had left the
Aesthetica unfinished (See also: Tonelli, Giorgio. "Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten". Encyclopedia of
Philosophy. Vol. 1, Macmillan 1973). In Bernard's translation of the Critique of Judgment he
indicates in the notes that Kant's reference in 15 in regard to the identification of perfection and
beauty is probably a reference to Baumgarten.


Jump up ^ German Idealism in "History of Aesthetics" Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol 1.

Macmillan, 1973.


Jump up ^ Kant's general discussions of the distinction between "cognition" and "conscious
of" are also given in the Critique of Pure Reason (notably A320/B376), and section V and the
conclusion of section VIII of his Introduction in Logic.


Jump up ^ Clewis, Robert (2009). "The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom".
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Idea for a Universal History. Trans. Lewis White Beck (20, 22).
Page numbers are Beck's marginal numbers that refer to the page numbers of the standard edition
of Knigliche Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Berlin, 190238.


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Idea for a Universal History. Trans. Lewis White Beck (26).


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795)


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace. Trans. Lewis White Beck (377).


Jump up ^ Manfred Riedel Between Tradition and Revolution: The Hegelian Transformation
of Political Philosophy, Cambridge 1984


Jump up ^ History of Political Philosophy, edited by Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, The
University of Chicago Press, 1987, pp. 581582, 603


Jump up ^ Kant, Immanuel. Perpetual Peace. Trans. Lewis White Beck (352).


Jump up ^ Thomas Sturm, Kant und die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (Paderborn: Mentis
Verlag, 2009).


Jump up ^ Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, ed. Robert B. Louden, introduction
by Manfred Kuehn, Cambridge University Press, 2006


Jump up ^ gregor, brian. "Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. By Immanuel Kant.
Translated and edited by Robert B. Louden.". Heythrop.


Jump up ^ Prof. Oliver A. Johnson claims that, "With the possible exception of Plato's
Republic, (Critique of Pure Reason) is the most important philosophical book ever written." Article
on Kant within the collection "Great thinkers of the Western World", Ian P. McGreal, Ed.,
HarperCollins, 1992.


Jump up ^ See Stephen Palmquist, "The Architectonic Form of Kant's Copernican Logic",
Metaphilosophy 17:4 (October 1986), pp. 266288; revised and reprinted as Chapter III of Kant's
System of Perspectives: An architectonic interpretation of the Critical philosophy (Lanham:
University Press of America, 1993).


Jump up ^ "Kant, Immanuel". Retrieved 2011-10-22.


Jump up ^ There is much debate in the recent scholarship about the extent to which Fichte
and Schelling actually overstep the boundaries of Kant's critical philosophy, thus entering the realm
of dogmatic or pre-Critical philosophy. Beiser's German Idealism discusses some of these issues.
Beiser, Frederick C. German Idealism: The Struggle against Subjectivism, 17811801. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.


Jump up ^ Hegel, Natural Law: The Scientific Ways of Treating Natural Law, Its Place in
Moral Philosophy, and Its Relation to the Positive Sciences. trans. T. M. Knox. Philadelphia, PA:
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1975. Hegel's mature view and his concept of "ethical life" is
elaborated in his Philosophy of Right. Hegel, Philosophy of Right. trans. T. M. Knox. Oxford
University Press, 1967.


Jump up ^ Robert Pippin's Hegel's Idealism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989)
emphasizes the continuity of Hegel's concerns with Kant's. Robert Wallace, Hegel's Philosophy of
Reality, Freedom, and God (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) explains how Hegel's
Science of Logic defends Kant's idea of freedom as going beyond finite "inclinations", contra
skeptics such as David Hume.


Jump up ^ Englefield, Ronald, Kant as Defender of the Faith in Nineteenth-century

England", Question, 12, 1627, (Pemberton, London)


Jump up ^ Englefield, Ronald, Critique of Pure Verbiage, Essays on Abuses of Language in

Literary, Religious, and Philosophical Writings, edited by G. A. Wells and D. R. Oppenheimer, Open
Court, 1990.

Jump up ^ Beck, Lewis White. "Neo-Kantianism". In Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 56.
Macmillan, 1973. Article on Neo-Kantianism by a translator and scholar of Kant.
Jump up ^ Cerf, Walter. "Nicolai Hartmann". In Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 34.
Macmillan, 1973. Nicolai was a realist who later rejected the idealism of Neo-Kantianism, his antiNeo-Kantian views emerging with the publication of the second volume of Hegel (1929).
Jump up ^ Schlegel, Friedrich. "Athenaeum Fragments", in Philosophical Fragments. Trans.
Peter Firchow. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1991. See especially fragments Nos.
1, 43, 44.
Jump up ^ Greenberg, Clement. "Modernist Painting", in The Philosophy of Art, ed. Alex
Neill and Aaron Ridley, McGraw-Hill, 1995.
Jump up ^ See "Essential Works of Foucault: 19541984 vol.2: Aesthetics, Method, and
Epistemology." ed by James Faubion, Trans. Robert Hurley et al. New York City, New York: The New
Press, 1998 (2010 reprint). See essay "Foucault by Maurice Florence" entry by Foucault submitted
under pseudonym.
Jump up ^ For a discussion and qualified defense of this position, see Stephen Palmquist, "A
Priori Knowledge in Perspective: (I) Mathematics, Method and Pure Intuition", The Review of
Metaphysics 41:1 (September 1987), pp. 322.
Jump up ^ Krner, Stephan, The Philosophy of Mathematics, Dover, 1986. For an analysis of
Kant's writings on mathematics see, Friedman, Michael, Kant and the Exact Sciences, Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.
Jump up ^ Ray, James Lee. Does Democracy Cause Peace? Annual Review of Political
Science 1998. 1:2746.
Jump up ^ Strawson, P. F., The Bounds of Sense: An Essay on Kant's Critique of Pure
Reason. Routledge: 2004. When first published in 1966, this book forced many Anglo-American
philosophers to reconsider Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.
Jump up ^ Sellars, Wilfrid, Science and Metaphysics: Variations on Kantian Themes.
Ridgeview Publishing Company, 1967
Jump up ^ Korsgaard, Christine. Creating the Kingdom of Ends. Cambridge; New York, NY,
US: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-521-49644-6, ISBN 0-521-49962-3 (pbk.) Not a
commentary, but a defense of a broadly Kantian approach to ethics
Jump up ^ Brook, Andrew. Kant and the Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1994. See also, Meerbote, R. "Kant's Functionalism". In: J. C. Smith, ed. Historical Foundations of
Cognitive Science. Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel, 1991. Brook has an article on Kant's View of the Mind
in the Stanford Encyclopedia
Jump up ^ See Habermas, J. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action. Trans.
Christian Lenhardt and Shierry Weber Nicholsen. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. For Rawls see,
Rawls, John. Theory of Justice Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971. Rawls has a wellknown essay on Kant's concept of good. See, Rawls, "Themes in Kant's Moral Philosophy" in Kant's
Transcendental Deductions. Ed. Eckart Frster. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989.
Jump up ^ Habermas, J. (1994): The Unity of Reason in the Diversity of Its Voices. In:
Habermas, J. (Eds.): Postmetaphysical Thinking. Political Essays, Cambridge, Massachusetts: 115

Jump up ^ Issacson, Walter. "Einstein: His Life and Universe." p. 20.

Jump up ^ See Tampio, Nicholas. Kantian Courage: Advancing the Enlightenment in
Contemporary Political Theory. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0823245017
Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant. "The Critique of Pure Reason".
Retrieved 2009-07-24.
Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant (20 July 2009). "Projekt Gutenberg-DE Spiegel Online
Nachrichten Kultur". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^

Jump up ^ Frank-Christian Lilienweihs (10 June 1999). "Immanuel Kant: Beantwortung der
Frage: Was ist Aufklaerung?". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^ "Critique of Pure Reason". 31 October 2003. Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^ "Projekt Gutenberg-DE Spiegel Online Nachrichten Kultur". 20 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^

Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant (20 July 2009). "Projekt Gutenberg-DE Spiegel Online
Nachrichten Kultur". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^ s:The Critique of Judgement

Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant. "Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone by Immanuel Kant
1793". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^ "Immanuel Kant, "Perpetual Peace"". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^ "Immanuel Kant: Zum ewigen Frieden, 12.02.2004 (Friedensratschlag)". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^ "Kant, The Contest of Faculties". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^ Immanuel Kant (20 July 2009). "Projekt Gutenberg-DE Spiegel Online
Nachrichten Kultur". Retrieved 2009-07-24.

Jump up ^

Jump up ^ As noted by Allen Wood in his Introduction, p.12. Wood further speculates that
the lectures themselves were delivered in the Winter of 178384.

John steward MILL

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 8 May 1873) was a British philosopher, political economist and civil servant.
He was an influential contributor to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called
"the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century".[3] Mill's conception of liberty
justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.[4]
Mill expresses his view on freedom by illustrating how an individual's amelioration of personal quality and selfimprovement is the sole source of true freedom. Only when an individual is able to attain such a beneficial

standard of one's self, whilst in the absence of rendering external onerosity upon others, in their own journey to
procure a higher calibre of self-worth, that true freedom prevails. Mill's attitude toward freedom and individual
accomplishment through self-improvement has inspired many. By establishing an appreciable level of
worthiness concerned with one's ability to fulfill personal standards of notability and merit, Mill was able to
provide many with a principal example of how they should achieve such particular values.
He was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham. He worked on the theory
of the scientific method.[5] Mill was also a Member of Parliament and an important figure in liberal political


1 Biography

2 Works

2.1 Theory of liberty

2.1.1 Social liberty and tyranny of majority

2.1.2 Liberty

2.1.3 Freedom of speech

2.2 Colonialism

2.3 Slavery

2.4 Women's rights

2.5 Utilitarianism

2.6 Economic philosophy

2.6.1 Economic democracy

2.6.2 Political democracy

2.6.3 The environment

2.6.4 Economic development

2.6.5 Control of population growth

2.6.6 Wage fund

2.6.7 Rate of capital accumulation

2.6.8 Rate of profit

3 Major publications

4 See also

5 Notes

6 References

7 External links

7.1 Mill's works

7.2 Secondary works

7.3 Further information

John Stuart Mill was born on Rodney Street in the Pentonville area of London, the eldest son of the Scottish
philosopher, historian and economist James Mill, and Harriet Burrow. John Stuart was educated by his father,
with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place. He was given an extremely rigorous
upbringing, and was deliberately shielded from association with children his own age other than his siblings.
His father, a follower of Bentham and an adherent of associationism, had as his explicit aim to create a genius
intellect that would carry on the cause of utilitarianism and its implementation after he and Bentham had died.[6]
Mill was a notably precocious child. He describes his education in his autobiography. At the age of three he was
taught Greek.[7] By the age of eight, he had read Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis,[7] and the whole of
Herodotus,[7] and was acquainted with Lucian, Diogenes Lartius, Isocrates and six dialogues of Plato.[7] He had
also read a great deal of history in English and had been taught arithmetic, physics and astronomy.
At the age of eight, Mill began studying Latin, the works of Euclid, and algebra, and was appointed
schoolmaster to the younger children of the family. His main reading was still history, but he went through all
the commonly taught Latin and Greek authors and by the age of ten could read Plato and Demosthenes with
ease. His father also thought that it was important for Mill to study and compose poetry. One of Mill's earliest
poetry compositions was a continuation of the Iliad. In his spare time, he also enjoyed reading about natural
sciences and popular novels, such as Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe.
His father's work, The History of British India was published in 1818; immediately thereafter, about the age of
twelve, Mill began a thorough study of the scholastic logic, at the same time reading Aristotle's logical treatises
in the original language. In the following year he was introduced to political economy and studied Adam Smith
and David Ricardo with his father, ultimately completing their classical economic view of factors of production.
Mill's comptes rendus of his daily economy lessons helped his father in writing Elements of Political Economy
in 1821, a textbook to promote the ideas of Ricardian economics; however, the book lacked popular support.[8]
Ricardo, who was a close friend of his father, used to invite the young Mill to his house for a walk in order to
talk about political economy.

At the age of fourteen, Mill stayed a year in France with the family of Sir Samuel Bentham, brother of Jeremy
Bentham. The mountain scenery he saw led to a lifelong taste for mountain landscapes. The lively and friendly
way of life of the French also left a deep impression on him. In Montpellier, he attended the winter courses on
chemistry, zoology, logic of the Facult des Sciences, as well as taking a course of the higher mathematics.
While coming and going from France, he stayed in Paris for a few days in the house of the renowned economist
Jean-Baptiste Say, a friend of Mill's father. There he met many leaders of the Liberal party, as well as other
notable Parisians, including Henri Saint-Simon.
This intensive study however had injurious effects on Mill's mental health, and state of mind. At the age of
twenty[9] he suffered a nervous breakdown. In chapter V of his Autobiography, he claims that this was caused by
the great physical and mental arduousness of his studies which had suppressed any feelings he might have
developed normally in childhood. Nevertheless, this depression eventually began to dissipate, as he began to
find solace in the Mmoires of Jean-Franois Marmontel and the poetry of William Wordsworth.[10]
Mill had been engaged in a pen-friendship with Auguste Comte, the founder of positivism and sociology, since
Mill first contacted Comte in November 1841. Comte's sociologie was more an early philosophy of science than
we perhaps know it today, and the positive philosophy aided in Mill's broad rejection of Benthamism.[11]
As a nonconformist who refused to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, Mill was not
eligible to study at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge.[12] Instead he followed his father to
work for the East India Company until 1858, and attended University College, London, to hear the lectures of
John Austin, the first Professor of Jurisprudence.[13] He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1856.[14]
In 1851, Mill married Harriet Taylor after 21 years of an intimate friendship. Taylor was married when they
met, and their relationship was close but generally believed to be chaste during the years before her first
husband died. Brilliant in her own right, Taylor was a significant influence on Mill's work and ideas during both
friendship and marriage. His relationship with Harriet Taylor reinforced Mill's advocacy of women's rights. He
cites her influence in his final revision of On Liberty, which was published shortly after her death. Taylor died
in 1858 after developing severe lung congestion, after only seven years of marriage to Mill.
Between the years 1865 and 1868 Mill served as Lord Rector of the University of St. Andrews. During the same
period, 186568, he was a Member of Parliament for City and Westminster,[15] sitting for the Liberal Party.
During his time as an MP, Mill advocated easing the burdens on Ireland. In 1866, Mill became the first person
in the history of Parliament to call for women to be given the right to vote, vigorously defending this position in
subsequent debate. Mill became a strong advocate of such social reforms as labour unions and farm
cooperatives. In Considerations on Representative Government, Mill called for various reforms of Parliament
and voting, especially proportional representation, the Single Transferable Vote, and the extension of suffrage.
He was godfather to the philosopher Bertrand Russell.
In his views on religion, Mill was an atheist.[16][17]
Mill died in 1873 of erysipelas in Avignon, France, where he was buried alongside his wife.


Theory of liberty[edit]
Main article: On Liberty

Mill's On Liberty addresses the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by society over
the individual. However Mill is clear that his concern for liberty does not extend to all individuals and all
societies. He states that "Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians".[18]
Mill states that it is acceptable to harm oneself as long the person doing so is not harming others. He also argues
that individuals should be prevented from doing lasting, serious harm to themselves or their property by the
harm principle. Because no one exists in isolation, harm done to oneself may also harm others, and destroying
property deprives the community as well as oneself.[19] Mill excuses those who are "incapable of selfgovernment" from this principle, such as young children or those living in "backward states of society".
Though this principle seems clear, there are a number of complications. For example, Mill explicitly states that
"harms" may include acts of omission as well as acts of commission. Thus, failing to rescue a drowning child
counts as a harmful act, as does failing to pay taxes, or failing to appear as a witness in court. All such harmful
omissions may be regulated, according to Mill. By contrast, it does not count as harming someone if without
force or fraud the affected individual consents to assume the risk: thus one may permissibly offer unsafe
employment to others, provided there is no deception involved. (Mill does, however, recognise one limit to
consent: society should not permit people to sell themselves into slavery). In these and other cases, it is
important to bear in mind that the arguments in On Liberty are grounded on the principle of Utility, and not on
appeals to natural rights.
The question of what counts as a self-regarding action and what actions, whether of omission or commission,
constitute harmful actions subject to regulation, continues to exercise interpreters of Mill. It is important to
emphasise that Mill did not consider giving offence to constitute "harm"; an action could not be restricted
because it violated the conventions or morals of a given society.
On Liberty involves an impassioned defence of free speech. Mill argues that free discourse is a necessary
condition for intellectual and social progress. We can never be sure, he contends, that a silenced opinion does
not contain some element of the truth. He also argues that allowing people to air false opinions is productive for
two reasons. First, individuals are more likely to abandon erroneous beliefs if they are engaged in an open
exchange of ideas. Second, by forcing other individuals to re-examine and re-affirm their beliefs in the process
of debate, these beliefs are kept from declining into mere dogma. It is not enough for Mill that one simply has
an unexamined belief that happens to be true; one must understand why the belief in question is the true one.
Along those same lines Mill wrote, "unmeasured vituperation, employed on the side of prevailing opinion,
really does deter people from expressing contrary opinions, and from listening to those who express them."[20]

John Stuart Mill and Helen Taylor. Helen was the daughter of Harriet Taylor and collaborated with
Mill for fifteen years after her mother's death in 1858.
Social liberty and tyranny of majority[edit]
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this
article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be
challenged and removed. (April 2013)

Mill believed that "the struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of
history." For him, liberty in antiquity was a "contest... between subjects, or some classes of subjects, and the
government." Mill defined "social liberty" as protection from "the tyranny of political rulers." He introduced a
number of different concepts of the form tyranny can take, referred to as social tyranny, and tyranny of the
majority respectively.
Social liberty for Mill meant putting limits on the ruler's power so that he would not be able to use his power on
his own wishes and make decisions which could harm society; in other words, people should have the right to
have a say in the government's decisions. He said that social liberty was "the nature and limits of the power
which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual". It was attempted in two ways: first, by
obtaining recognition of certain immunities, called political liberties or rights; second, by establishment of a
system of "constitutional checks".
However, in Mill's view, limiting the power of government was not enough. He stated, "Society can and does
execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with
which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political
oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape,
penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself."[21]

John Stuart Mill's view on liberty, which was influenced by Joseph Priestley and Josiah Warren, is that the
individual ought to be free to do as he wishes unless he harms others. Individuals are rational enough to make
decisions about their well being. Government should interfere when it is for the protection of society. Mill

The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of
action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully
exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own
good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear
because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to
do so would be wise, or even right...The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society,
is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is, of right, absolute.
Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.[22]
Mill added: "Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be
their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end. Liberty, as a principle, has no
application to any state of things anterior to the time when mankind have become capable of being improved by
free and equal discussion."[23]
Freedom of speech[edit]

An influential advocate of freedom of speech, Mill objected to censorship. He says:

I choose, by preference the cases which are least favourable to me In which the argument opposing freedom
of opinion, both on truth and that of utility, is considered the strongest. Let the opinions impugned be the belief
of God and in a future state, or any of the commonly received doctrines of morality... But I must be permitted to
observe that it is not the feeling sure of a doctrine (be it what it may) which I call an assumption of infallibility.
It is the undertaking to decide that question for others, without allowing them to hear what can be said on the
contrary side. And I denounce and reprobate this pretension not the less if it is put forth on the side of my most
solemn convictions. However, positive anyone's persuasion may be, not only of the faculty but of the pernicious
consequences, but (to adopt expressions which I altogether condemn) the immorality and impiety of opinion.
yet if, in pursuance of that private judgement, though backed by the public judgement of his country or
contemporaries, he prevents the opinion from being heard in its defence, he assumes infallibility. And so far
from the assumption being less objectionable or less dangerous because the opinion is called immoral or
impious, this is the case of all others in which it is most fatal.[24]
Mill outlines the benefits of 'searching for and discovering the truth' as a way to further knowledge. He argued
that even if an opinion is false, the truth can be better understood by refuting the error. And as most opinions are
neither completely true nor completely false, he points out that allowing free expression allows the airing of
competing views as a way to preserve partial truth in various opinions.[25] Worried about minority views being
suppressed, Mill also argued in support of freedom of speech on political grounds, stating that it is a critical
component for a representative government to have in order to empower debate over public policy.[25] Mill also
eloquently argued that freedom of expression allows for personal growth and self-realization. He said that
freedom of speech was a vital way to develop talents and realise a person's potential and creativity. He
repeatedly said that eccentricity was preferable to uniformity and stagnation.[25]

Mill, an employee for the British East India Company from 1823 to 1858,[26] argued in support of what he called
a 'benevolent despotism' with regard to the colonies.[27] Mill argued that "To suppose that the same international
customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and
between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error....To characterize any conduct whatever towards a
barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered
the subject."[28]


Domenico Losurdo argues that "In Mill's view, 'any means were licit for those who took on the task of
educating 'savage tribes'; 'slavery' was sometimes a mandatory stage for inducing them to work and making
them useful to civilization and progress."[29]
In 1850, Mill sent an anonymous letter (which came to be known under the title "The Negro Question"),[30] in
rebuttal to Thomas Carlyle's anonymous letter to Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country which argued for
slavery. Mill supported abolition in the United States.
Women's rights[edit]

"A Feminine Philosopher". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1873.

Mill saw women's issues as important and began to write in favour of greater rights for women. With this, Mill
can be considered among the earliest women's rights advocates. His book The Subjection of Women (1861,
published 1869) is one of the earliest written on this subject by a male author.[citation needed] In The Subjection of
Women Mill attempts to prove that the legal subjugation of women is wrong and that it should give way to
perfect equality.[31] He talks about the role of women in marriage and how he felt it needed to be changed. There,
Mill comments on three major facets of women's lives that he felt are hindering them: society and gender
construction, education, and marriage. He felt that the oppression of women was one of the few remaining relics
from ancient times, a set of prejudices that severely impeded the progress of humanity.[32]
Mill's ideas were opposed by Ernest Belfort Bax in his treatise, The Legal Subjection of Men.[33]
Main article: Utilitarianism (book)

The canonical statement of Mill's utilitarianism can be found in Utilitarianism. This philosophy has a long
tradition, although Mill's account is primarily influenced by Jeremy Bentham and Mill's father James Mill.
Jeremy Bentham's famous formulation of utilitarianism is known as the "greatest-happiness principle". It holds
that one must always act so as to produce the greatest aggregate happiness among all sentient beings, within
reason. Mill's major contribution to utilitarianism is his argument for the qualitative separation of pleasures.

Bentham treats all forms of happiness as equal, whereas Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures
(higher pleasures) are superior to more physical forms of pleasure (lower pleasures). Mill distinguishes between
happiness and contentment, claiming that the former is of higher value than the latter, a belief wittily
encapsulated in the statement that "it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be
Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they
only know their own side of the question."[34]
Mill defines the difference between higher and lower forms of happiness with the principle that those who have
experienced both tend to prefer one over the other. This is, perhaps, in direct contrast with Bentham's statement
that "Quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry",[35] that, if a simple child's game like
hopscotch causes more pleasure to more people than a night at the opera house, it is more imperative upon a
society to devote more resources to propagating hopscotch than running opera houses. Mill's argument is that
the "simple pleasures" tend to be preferred by people who have no experience with high art, and are therefore
not in a proper position to judge. Mill also argues that people who, for example, are noble or practice
philosophy, benefit society more than those who engage in individualist practices for pleasure, which are lower
forms of happiness. It is not the agent's own greatest happiness that matters "but the greatest amount of
happiness altogether".[36]
Mill supported legislation that would have granted extra voting power to university graduates on the grounds
that they were in a better position to judge what would be best for society. (For he believed that education itself,
not the intrinsic nature of educated people, qualified them to have more influence in government.)
The qualitative account of happiness that Mill advocates thus sheds light on his account presented in On
Liberty. As Mill suggests in that text, utility is to be conceived in relation to humanity "as a progressive being",
which includes the development and exercise of rational capacities as we strive to achieve a "higher mode of
existence". The rejection of censorship and paternalism is intended to provide the necessary social conditions
for the achievement of knowledge and the greatest ability for the greatest number to develop and exercise their
deliberative and rational capacities.
Economic philosophy[edit]
Main article: Principles of Political Economy

Mill's early economic philosophy was one of free markets. However, he accepted interventions in the economy,
such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. He also accepted the principle of legislative
intervention for the purpose of animal welfare.[37] Mill originally believed that "equality of taxation" meant
"equality of sacrifice" and that progressive taxation penalised those who worked harder and saved more and was
therefore "a mild form of robbery".[38]
Given an equal tax rate regardless of income, Mill agreed that inheritance should be taxed. A utilitarian society
would agree that everyone should be equal one way or another. Therefore receiving inheritance would put one
ahead of society unless taxed on the inheritance. Those who donate should consider and choose carefully where
their money goessome charities are more deserving than others. Considering public charities boards such as a
government will disburse the money equally. However, a private charity board like a church would disburse the
monies fairly to those who are in more need than others.[39]
Later he altered his views toward a more socialist bent, adding chapters to his Principles of Political Economy
in defence of a socialist outlook, and defending some socialist causes.[40] Within this revised work he also made
the radical proposal that the whole wage system be abolished in favour of a co-operative wage system.
Nonetheless, some of his views on the idea of flat taxation remained,[41] albeit altered in the third edition of the

Principles of Political Economy to reflect a concern for differentiating restrictions on "unearned" incomes,
which he favoured, and those on "earned" incomes, which he did not favour.[42]
Mill's Principles, first published in 1848, was one of the most widely read of all books on economics in the
period.[43] As Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations had during an earlier period, Mill's Principles dominated
economics teaching. In the case of Oxford University it was the standard text until 1919, when it was replaced
by Marshall's Principles of Economics.
Economic democracy[edit]

Mill promoted economic democracy instead of capitalism, in the manner of substituting capitalist businesses
with worker cooperatives. He says:
The form of association, however, which if mankind continue to improve, must be expected in the end to
predominate, is not that which can exist between a capitalist as chief, and work-people without a voice in the
management, but the association of the labourers themselves on terms of equality, collectively owning the
capital with which they carry on their operations, and working under managers elected and removable by
Political democracy[edit]

Mill's major work on political democracy, Considerations on Representative Government, defends two
fundamental principles, extensive participation by citizens and enlightened competence of rulers.[45] The two
values are obviously in tension, and some readers have concluded that he is an elitist democrat,[46] while others
count him as an earlier participatory democrat.[47] In one section he appears to defend plural voting, in which
more competent citizens are given extra votes (a view he later repudiated). But in chapter 3 he presents what is
still one of the most eloquent cases for the value of participation by all citizens. He believed that the
incompetence of the masses could eventually be overcome if they were given a chance to take part in politics,
especially at the local level.
Mill is one of the few political philosophers ever to serve in government as an elected official. In his three years
in Parliament, he was more willing to compromise than the "radical" principles expressed in his writing would
lead one to expect.[48]
The environment[edit]

Mill demonstrated an early insight into the value of the natural world in particular in Book IV, chapter VI of
"Principles of Political Economy": "Of the Stationary State"[49][50] in which Mill recognised wealth beyond the
material, and argued that the logical conclusion of unlimited growth was destruction of the environment and a
reduced quality of life. He concluded that a stationary state could be preferable to unending economic growth:
I cannot, therefore, regard the stationary states of capital and wealth with the unaffected aversion so generally
manifested towards it by political economists of the old school.
If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of
wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a
better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be
stationary, long before necessity compel them to it.

Economic development[edit]
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this
article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be
challenged and removed. (April 2013)

Mill regarded economic development as a function of land, labour and capital. While land and labour are the
two original factors of production, capital is "a stock, previously accumulated of the products of former labour."
Increase in wealth is possible only if land and capital help to increase production faster than the labour force. It
is productive labour that is productive of wealth and capital accumulation. "The rate of capital accumulation is
the function of the proportion of the labour force employed ' productively. Profits earned by employing
unproductive labours are merely transfers of income; unproductive labour does not generate wealth or income" .
It is productive labourers who do productive consumption. Productive consumption is that "which maintains
and increase the productive capacity of the community." It implies that productive consumption is an input
necessary to maintain productive labourers.[51]
Control of population growth[edit]
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be
challenged and removed. (September 2011)

Mill supported the Malthusian theory of population. By population he meant the number of the working class
only. He was therefore concerned about the growth in number of labourers who worked for hire. He believed
that population control was essential for improving the condition of the working class so that they might enjoy
the fruits of the technological progress and capital accumulation. Mill advocated birth control. In 1823 Mill and
a friend were arrested while distributing pamphlets on birth control by Francis Place to women in working class
Wage fund[edit]
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be
challenged and removed. (September 2011)

According to Mill, supply is very elastic in response to wages. Wages generally exceed the minimum
subsistence level, and are paid out of capital. Hence, wages are limited by existing capital for paying wages.
Thus, wage per worker can be derived by dividing the total circulating capital by the size of the working
population. Wages can increase by an increase in the capital used in paying wages, or by decrease in the number
of workers. If wages rise, supply of labour will rise. Competition among workers not only brings down wages,
but also keeps some workers out of employment. This is based on Mill's notion that "demand for commodities is
not demand for labourers". It means that income invested as advances of wages to labour creates employment,
and not income spent on consumer goods. An increase in consumption causes a decline in investment. So
increased investment leads to increases in the wage fund and to economic progress.
Rate of capital accumulation[edit]
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be
challenged and removed. (September 2011)

According to Mill, the rate of capital accumulation depends on: (1) "the amount of fund from which saving can
be made" or "the size of the net produce of the industry", and (2) the " disposition to save". Capital is the result
of savings, and the savings come from the "abstinence from present consumption for the sake of future goods".

Although capital is the result of saving, it is nevertheless consumed. This means saving is spending. Since
saving depends on the net produce of the industry, it grows with profits and rent which go into making the net
produce. On the other hand, the disposition to save depends on (1) the rate of profit and (2) the desire to save, or
what Mill called "effective desire of accumulation". However, profit also depends on the cost of labour, and the
rate of profit is the ratio of profits to wages. When profits rise or wages fall, the rate of profits increases, which
in turn increases the rate of capital accumulation. Similarly, it is the desire to save which tends to increase the
rate of capital accumulation.
Rate of profit[edit]

According to Mill, the ultimate tendency in an economy is for the rate of profit to decline due to diminishing
returns in agriculture and increase in population at a Malthusian rate.[citation needed]

Major publications[edit]



"Two Letters on the Measure of Value"


"The Traveller"

"Questions of Population"


"Black Dwarf"

"War Expenditure"



"Quarterly Review Political Economy"



"Review of Miss Martineau's Tales"



"The Spirit of the Age"



"Use and Abuse of Political Terms"


"What is Poetry"


"Rationale of Representation"


"De Tocqueville on Democracy in America [i]"


"State of Society In America"




"Essay on Bentham"


"Essay on Coleridge"


"Essays On Government"





"De Tocqueville on Democracy in America [ii]"


A System of Logic


Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy


"Claims of Labour"


The Principles of Political Economy: with some of their applications to

social philosophy


"The Negro Question"


"Reform of the Civil Service"


Dissertations and Discussions


A Few Words on Non-intervention


On Liberty


'Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform


Considerations on Representative Government





"The Contest in America"





An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy


Auguste Comte and Positivism


Inaugural Address at St. Andrews Rectorial Inaugural Address at the

University of St. Andrews, concerning the value of culture


"Speech In Favor of Capital Punishment"[53][54]


England and Ireland


"Thornton on Labor and its Claims"








The Subjection of Women


Chapters and Speeches on the Irish Land Question


On Nature


Autobiography of John Stuart Mill


Three Essays on Religion


"Notes on N.W. Senior's Political Economy"



See also[edit]
Biography portal

List of liberal theorists

Mill's Methods

Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom

On Social Freedom


Jump up ^ Friedrich Hayek (1941). "The Counter-Revolution of Science". Economica

(Economica, Vol. 8, No. 31) 8 (31): 281320. doi:10.2307/2549335. JSTOR 2549335.


^ Jump up to: a b c "The Project Gutenberg EBook of Autobiography, by John Stuart Mill" Retrieved 11 June 2013.


Jump up ^ John Stuart Mill (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


Jump up ^ "John Stuart Mill's On Liberty". victorianweb. Retrieved 23 July 2009. On Liberty
is a rational justification of the freedom of the individual in opposition to the claims of the state to
impose unlimited control and is thus a defense of the rights of the individual against the state.


Jump up ^ "John Stuart Mill (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)".

Retrieved 31 July 2009.


Jump up ^ Halevy, Elie (1966). The Growth of Philosophic Radicalism. Beacon Press.
pp. 282284. ISBN 0-19-101020-0.


^ Jump up to:

a b c d

Journals: New Englander (18431892)

Jump up ^ Murray N. Rothbard (1 February 2006). An Austrian Perspective on the History of

Economic Thought. Ludwig von Mises Institute. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-945466-48-2. Retrieved 21
January 2011.


Jump up ^ Mill, J.S. Autobiography, Part V (1873).


Jump up ^ Journals: New Englander (18431892)


Jump up ^ Pickering, Mary (1993) Auguste Comte: an intellectual biography Cambridge

University Press, pp. 540


Jump up ^ Capaldi, Nicholas. John Stuart Mill: A Biography. p.33, Cambridge, 2004, ISBN 0521-62024-4.


Jump up ^ Journals: New Englander (18431892)


Jump up ^ "Book of Members, 17802010: Chapter M". American Academy of Arts and
Sciences. Retrieved 15 April 2011.


Jump up ^ Capaldi, Nicholas. John Stuart Mill: A Biography. p. 321322, Cambridge, 2004,
ISBN 0-521-62024-4.


Jump up ^ Henry R. West (2004). An Introduction to Mill's Utilitarian Ethics. Cambridge

University Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780521535410. Mill had no religious instruction as a child, growing up
an atheist.


Jump up ^ Linda C. Raeder (2002). "Spirit of the Age". John Stuart Mill and the Religion of
Humanity. University of Missouri Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780826263278. Comte welcomed the prospect
of being attacked publicly for his irreligion, he said, as this would permit him to clarify the
nonatheistic nature of his and Mill's "atheism".


Jump up ^ On Liberty, by John Stuart Mill, pp. 1819.


Jump up ^ Mill, John Stuart "On Liberty" Penguin Classics, 2006 ISBN 978-0-14-144147-4
pages 9091


Jump up ^ Mill, John Stuart, On Liberty, Harvard Classics: Volume 25, p 258, PF Collier &
Sons Company New York 1909


Jump up ^ Mill, John Stuart "On Liberty" Penguin Classics, 2006 ISBN 978-0-14-144147-4
pp. 1011


Jump up ^ John Stuart Mill (18061873), "The Contest in America." Harper's New Monthly
Magazine, Volume 24, Issue 143, pp. 683684. Harper & Bros., New York, April 1862.


Jump up ^ "John Stuart Mill and Liberal Imperialism" Retrieved 11 June 2013.


Jump up ^ John Stuart Mill (18061873) "On Liberty" 1859. ed. Gertrude Himmelfarb, UK:
Penguin, 1985, pp.8384


^ Jump up to:
Jeffrey Paul


a b c

Freedom of Speech, Volume 21, by Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred Dycus Miller,

Jump up ^ J. S. Mill's Career at the East India Company


Jump up ^ David Theo Goldberg (2000) Liberalism's limits: Carlyle and Mill on "the negro
question", Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 22:2, 203216, DOI:


Jump up ^ John Stuart Mill, Dissertations and Discussions: Political, Philosophical, and
Historical (New York 1874) Vol. 3, pp. 252253.


Jump up ^ Dominco Losurdo, Liberalism: A Counter-History, Verso, London, 2011, p. 7


Jump up ^ The Negro Question, pp. 130137. by John Stuart Mill.


Jump up ^ John Stuart Mill: critical assessments, Volume 4, By John Cunningham Wood


Jump up ^ Mill, J.S. (1869) The Subjection of Women, Chapter 1


Jump up ^ s:The Legal Subjection of Men


Jump up ^ Mill, John Stuart, Utilitarianism (Project Gutenberg online edition)


Jump up ^ Poetry, push pin and utility


Jump up ^ Mill 1906, p. 16


Jump up ^ [1][dead link]


Jump up ^ IREF | Pour la liberte economique et la concurrence fiscale [dead link] (PDF)


Jump up ^ (Strasser,1991)


Jump up ^ Mill, John Stuart and Bentham, Jeremy edited by Ryan, Alan. (2004).
Utilitarianism and other essays. London: Penguin Books. p. 11. ISBN 0-14-043272-8.


Jump up ^ Wilson, Fred (2007). "John Stuart Mill: Political Economy". Stanford Encyclopedia
of Philosophy. Stanford University. Retrieved 4 May 2009.


Jump up ^ Mill, John Stuart (1852 (3rd edition; the passage about flat taxation was altered
by the author in this edition, which is acknowledged in this online edition's footnote 8: "[This
sentence replaced in the 3rd ed. a sentence of the original: 'It is partial taxation, which is a mild
form of robbery.']")). "On The General Principles of Taxation, V.2.14". Principles of Political Economy.
Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved 6 January 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)


Jump up ^ Ekelund, Robert B., Jr. and Hbert, Robert F. (1997). A history of economic theory
and method (4th ed.). Waveland Press [Long Grove, Illinois]. p. 172. ISBN 1-57766-381-0.


Jump up ^ Principles of Political Economy with some of their Applications to Social

Philosophy, IV.7.21 John Stuart Mill: Political Economy, IV.7.21


Jump up ^ Thompson, Dennis. John Stuart Mill and Representative Government. Princeton
University Press, 1976. ISBN 978-0691021874


Jump up ^ Letwin, Shirley. The Pursuit of Certainty. Cambridge University Press, 1965 (p.
306). ISBN 978-0865971943


Jump up ^ Pateman, Carole. Participation and Democratic Theory. Cambridge University

Press, 1970 (p. 28). ISBN 978-0521290043



Jump up ^ Thompson, Dennis. "Mill in Parliament: When Should a Philosopher

Compromise?" in J.S. Mill's Political Thought, eds. N. Urbinati and A. Zakaras (Cambridge University
Press, 2007), pp. 16699. ISBN 978-0521677561
Jump up ^ The Principles of Political Economy, Book 4, Chapter VI.


Jump up ^ "The early history of modern ecological economics Inge Rpke in Ecological
Economics Volume 50, Issues 34, 1 October 2004". Retrieved 8 August 2008.


Jump up ^ John Stuart Mill's Social and Political Thought: Critical Assessments, By John
Stuart Mill


Jump up ^ Nicholas Capaldi (12 January 2004). John Stuart Mill: A Biography. Cambridge
University Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-139-44920-5. Retrieved 1 September 2013.


Jump up ^ Hansard report of Commons Sitting: CAPITAL PUNISHMENT WITHIN PRISONS BILL
[BILL 36.] COMMITTEE stage: HC Deb 21 April 1868 vol 191 cc1033-63 including Mill's speech Col.


Jump up ^ His speech against the abolition of capital punishment was commented upon in
an editorial in The Times, Wednesday, 22 April 1868; pg. 8; Issue 26105; col E:


Duncan Bell, "John Stuart Mill on Colonies," Political Theory, Vol. 38 (February 2010), pp.

David O. Brink, "Mill's Deliberative Utilitarianism," in Philosophy and Public Affairs 21

(1992), 67103.

Clifford G. Christians and John C. Merrill (eds.) Ethical Communication: Five Moral Stances
in Human Dialogue, Columbia, MO.: University of Missouri Press, 2009

Adam Gopnik, "Right Again, The passions of John Stuart Mill," The New Yorker, 6 October

Harrington, Jack (2010). Sir John Malcolm and the Creation of British India, Ch. 5. New York:
Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-10885-1

Sterling Harwood, "Eleven Objections to Utilitarianism," in Louis P. Pojman, ed., Moral

Philosophy: A Reader (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 1998), and in Sterling
Harwood, ed., Business as Ethical and Business as Usual (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
Publishing Co., 1996), Chapter 7, and in [2]

Samuel Hollander, The Economics of John Stuart Mill (University of Toronto Press, 1985)

Wendy Kolmar and Frances Bartowski. Feminist Theory. 2nd ed. New York: Mc Graw Hill,

Shirley Letwin, The Pursuit of Certainty (Cambridge University Press, 1965). ISBN 9780865971943

Michael St. John Packe, The Life of John Stuart Mill, Macmillan (1952).

Carole Pateman, Participation and Democratic Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1970).
ISBN 978-0521290043

Richard Reeves, John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand, Atlantic Books (2007), paperback
2008. ISBN 978-1-84354-644-3

Robinson, Dave & Groves, Judy (2003). Introducing Political Philosophy. Icon Books. ISBN 184046-450-X.

Frederick Rosen, Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to Mill (Routledge Studies in Ethics &
Moral Theory), 2003. ISBN 0-415-22094-7

Mark Philip Strasser, "Moral Philosophy of John Stuart Mill," Longwood Academic (1991).
Wakefield, New Hampshire. ISBN 0-89341-681-9

Chin Liew Ten, Mill on Liberty, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1980, full-text online at Contents (National University of Singapore)

Dennis Thompson, John Stuart Mill and Representative Government (Princeton University
Press, 1976). ISBN 978-0691021874

Dennis Thompson, "Mill in Parliament: When Should a Philosopher Compromise?" in J.S.

Mill's Political Thought, eds. N. Urbinati and A. Zakaras (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
ISBN 978-0521677561

External links[edit]
Mill's works[edit]
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
John Stuart Mill
Wikiquote has quotations related to: John Stuart Mill

Works by or about John Stuart Mill in libraries (WorldCat catalog)

Collected Works of John Stuart Mill Definitive Edition in 33 volumes, plus separate titles, on
the Online Library of Liberty

A System of Logic, University Press of the Pacific, Honolulu, 2002, ISBN 1-4102-0252-6

Works by John Stuart Mill at Project Gutenberg

Works by John Stuart Mill in free audio format from LibriVox

The Online Books Page lists works on various sites

Works, readable and downloadable

Primary and secondary works

More easily readable versions of On Liberty, Utilitarianism, Three Essays on Religion, The
Subjection of Women, and A System of Logic

Of the Composition of Causes, Chapter VI of System of Logic (1859)

John Stuart Mill's diary of a walking tour at Mount Holyoke College

Secondary works[edit]

John Stuart Mill (18061873). The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of

Economics and Liberty (2nd ed.) (Liberty Fund). 2008.

John Stuart Mill entry by Fred Wilson in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

John Stuart Mill in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

John Stuart Mill: Ethics in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

A podcast interview of Richard Reeves on Mill's On Liberty

Mill On Liberty, by Chin Liew Ten (C.L. Ten), Clarendon Press, 1980 (full-text online)

Utilitarianism as Secondary Ethic An overview of utilitarianism with summary of its critics.

How far did JS Mill let liberalism down? Did he prefer Socialism to Liberalism? by David

"Organic Conservatism, Administrative Realism, and the Imperialist Ethos in the 'Indian
Career' of John Stuart Mill, by Vinay Lal (review of "John Stuart Mill and India" by Lynn
Zastoupil, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 1994.)

"On John Stuart Mill" in Some Reflections on Ethics by Dr.Ramendra, Mill

Principles of Political Economy with some of their Applications to Social Philosophy (Ashley
ed.) [1848]. See original text in The Online Library of Liberty.

The Subjection of Women (1878 ed.). See original text in The Online Library of Liberty.

Bendle, Mervyn F. (December 2009). "On liberty: Isaiah Berlin, John Stuart Mill and the
ends of life". Quadrant 53 (12): 3643. Retrieved 8 August 2011.

Ethical teaching