Kant And Mill 's Views On Freedom And Civil Rights

Decent Essays
Kant and Mill would disagree in their views of freedom, and civil rights. The former would consider defending liberty and civil rights as a duty one could not break. The latter, on the other hand, would consider liberty and civil rights as valuable inasmuch as they promoted the achievement of some greater good. Thus while Kant would take it as a categorical imperative that one promote freedom and civil rights, in as much as one would want their own freedoms and civil rights to be respected (to personally experience the maxim by which they conduct themselves , to others), for Mill, there may be times when the rights and liberties of individuals might need to be restricted in order to promote the general happiness of the many. This would be a general point of contest between the two ethical philosophers, and their respective worldviews, and it deserves to be examined more closely, first looking at the basic construct of Mill’s philosophy, then looking at the basic construct of Kant’s. From here, we can look at the problem of how both would approach questions of justice and civil rights within their own ethical frameworks. ====================== Mill thinks happiness is the ultimate aim of human efforts, which is also, simultaneously, the absense of pain. Furthermore, the greater the fulfillment of this happiness principle among the mass, the greater it can be fulfilled within the individual. Of course, by “happiness,” Mill does not mean hedonism, as this of course
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