Love, poetry, & the good life : Mill's autobiography & perfectionist ethics

Clark, Samuel (2010) Love, poetry, & the good life : Mill's autobiography & perfectionist ethics. Inquiry, 53 (6). pp. 565-578. ISSN 0020-174X

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I argue for a perfectionist reading of Mill's account of the good life, by using the failures of development recorded in his Autobiography as a way to understand his official account of happiness in Utilitarianism. This work offers both a new perspective on Mill's thought, and a distinctive account of the role of aesthetic and emotional capacities in the most choiceworthy human life. I consider the philosophical purposes of autobiography, Mill's disagreements with Bentham, and the nature of competent judges and the pleasure they take in higher culture. I conclude that Millian perfectionism is an attractive and underappreciated option for contemporary value theory.

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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Inquiry, 53 (6), 2010, © Informa Plc
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26 Jan 2011 10:10
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18 Dec 2023 01:09