Ladenson on Mill's Defence of Individuality

Chin Liew Ten, Professor of Philosophy, National University of Singapore

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Note 15 to Chapter 5 of the author's Mill on Liberty, which Yale University Press published in 1975. It has been included in the Victorian Web with the kind permission of the author and of the Clarendon Press, which retains copyright.

Robert F. Ladenson gives a utilitarian account of Mill's defence of individuality. According to him, when Mill says that individuality has "intrinsic worth", he simply means that people desire individuality as a source of pleasure in its own right. But this does not explain the importance Mill attaches to the intrinsic worth of individuality, for Mill believes that only a few persons desire individuality for this reason. See Ladenson, p. 169.

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Last modified 18 April 2001