Special Topics in Value Theory (PHIL 496/596)
John Stuart Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy
Dr. Marie Jayasekera
Tuesdays and Thursdays · 11:00am–12:15pm · LA5–355
John Stuart Mill is thought by many to be the most influential English-language philosopher of the nineteenth century, and his defenses of utilitarianism and liberalism are still widely discussed today. This course will focus on his moral and political philosophy and his most popular and best known works, Utilitarianism (1861) and On Liberty (1859). But we will also read excerpts of other works in his corpus to gain a better understanding of his practical philosophy as a whole, including his views on human flourishing, meaning in life, autonomy, and equality.
As a student in this course, you will work on developing your ability to read historical texts; practice identifying, articulating, and analyzing arguments and positions from those texts; and practice constructing your own arguments about the texts and expressing those arguments in writing and orally during class meetings. You should be prepared to engage actively in discussion with the material and the ideas of the other participants in the class.