Mill’s Methods (toward insight)

John Stuart Mill is known for his creation of the ethical system of utilitarianism.  The basic idea of utilitarianism is that an action is good (it has utility) to the extent it makes people happy.  There follows a complicated bit of hand-waving whereby happiness is (conceptually) measured and actions are ranked by the predicted amount of happiness they will produce in sum across the population.

What J. S. Mill is not known as well for are his rules for inductive reasoning.  And that’s a shame, because induction is a remarkably important part of the reasoning process, and it’s usually not taught at all, or taught badly. (more…)

Published in: on July 9, 2009 at 11:31 am  Comments (3)  
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