SOCY 151: Foundations of Modern Social Theory

Lecture 8

 - Smith: The Invisible Hand


John Stuart Mill made important and influential amendments to Bentham’s ideas of utilitarianism. Perhaps most influentially, Mill states that there are not only different quantities of happiness but also qualitative differences in happiness. Humans are capable of higher forms of happiness, and therefore utility must be judged by taking into account quantitative amounts as well as qualitative differences in forms of happiness. Mill also drew a distinction between legality and justice; what is just is not always written in law, and what is written in law is not always just. Justice is a higher principle than the law. Mill’s ideas have been incorporated into the laws of the United States and many people who live here subscribe to his ideas; the United States has some of the most permissive laws ensuring the freedom of speech of all liberal, free democracies. However, Mill’s argument that liberty must never be sacrificed for expediency has been subject to debate in the United States since 9/11/01. In keeping with his views on liberty, Mill held radical views on women for his time; he believed in educational, political (voting), and marital equality for women. Mill believed women are not inferior by nature. Professor Szelényi ends class by going over how he would answer the questions for the first exam with the students.

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Foundations of Modern Social Theory

SOCY 151 - Lecture 8 - Smith: The Invisible Hand

Chapter 1. Higher Happiness [00:00:00]

Professor Iván Szelényi: Let’s get going with John Stuart Mill. Let me just one more time to say John Stuart Mill is formidably influential, very influential on our days. He’s the ultimate of liberalism. And in some ways, among all the authors we will be reading this semester, he’s the most consistent, the clearest one and the most consistent of them all. He draws the line to the logical conclusions, no matter what it is. Right? And taking his point of departure from Adam Smith–Locke, Adam Smith and then Bentham–he pushes the line of utilitarianism to its most logical conclusions, and he’s extremely influential on what we call now neoclassical economics, and he was exactly the person, who made many people who were liberals and Democrats in the 1960s and ’70s, to change and create what they called neo-conservativism or neo-liberalism and went over to the Republican Party. It was an important dividing line. Mill’s staunch insistence on individual liberty, and what follows from this staunch insistence for the role of the state and how far states can interfere with individuals. That was really, I think, the dividing line in which many people who were on the political left, center left, or occasionally far left, by the late 1960s, early ’70s, seeing stuff like the affirmative action, the War on Poverty, they changed their lines. They said, “Look, the Democratic Party, liberalism, really betrays liberalism. That’s not liberalism. Read John Stuart Mill. That’s when you will know what real liberalism is.” Right?

Anyway, so I think this is why his message is very much alive. And I’m sure that this classroom is divided by people. Some people subscribe to John Stuart Mill’s liberalism. Others probably do think that he emphasizes too much individual liberties and there is much more of a role to implement the general good by the government. Okay, I mean, I think we left it right here last week.

These are the main themes of his book on utilitarianism, the way how he departs from Bentham–a very important change that he’s beginning to emphasize there are higher happinesses we can seek. It is not simply quantity but quality of happiness is what we seek. A very important contribution, I think, and this is an idea which is only touched upon by Adam Smith but really not properly developed, and certainly completely missing in Bentham. It is really Mill’s contribution which is very important for contemporary economic theory, neoclassical economics. They call this preferences, that we have preferences, and therefore individuals will attach different values to different utilities. And this really comes from the work of John Stuart Mill, when he makes this distinction between legality and justice, and what is legal is not necessarily just, and what is just is necessarily approved by laws. And then justice and expediency: what is expedient is not necessarily just, and well just may have its cost and may not be the fastest way to get there. Right?

Okay, so let’s labor our way through of this, and leave time to look at the questions. Well the idea is that we are human beings and therefore we have a capacity to have higher appetites than the animal appetites. Right? So we have imagination, what animals don’t have. We have moral sentiments, and these moral sentiments may lead us in our choices. Right? Now you can see–I mentioned that about Adam Smith, that Adam Smith might have had this theory of sympathetic humans, which in a way pointed this direction. This is very central for John Stuart Mill. And therefore, he emphasizes there is a qualitative difference between human and simply animal appetites. So therefore you simply cannot do what Bentham did, simply add up appetites and to say if more appetites are satisfied, better off the society is. The chief good, so he argues, is virtue. Be virtuous and then you will feel good; you will be happier if you are virtuous, as such.

But, you know, these are all qualifications of the kind of elementary utilitarianism; I think qualifications but, by the way, most rational choice theorists and most neoclassical economists will also agree with. Those who are critiques of neo-liberals and utilitarianism very often kind of caricature their position, not really understanding that following John Stuart Mill–they do understand that there is a qualitative differences between utilities. But otherwise he remains by the utilitarian principle. We are rational actors, we are self-interested, we know what our needs are, and we can make good judgments whether the price we have to pay in order to satisfy our needs is worth for us. Right? That is the fundamental idea of utilitarianism, which is, thank you, very healthy today. There are many people who disagree with it. There are many people who agree with it. Right? But this is all John Stuart Mill’s addition.

And now a bit on higher happiness. Well the pleasure of the beast might be felt as degrading by a human being. Right? We want to have some–we have higher needs than just the animal needs. So you go to a five-star restaurant where they serve you a little food. It will be delicious, but it will be unlike these Italian family restaurants down the road on Wooster Street where they give you food what you can hardly eat which satisfies your animal appetites. Right? So anyway, we have higher needs, higher appetites. We want to see our food served in a special way. We just don’t feed our belly, as such. And there are the pleasures of the intellect and imagination; I think we already have seen this in Rousseau, how important imagination is. And if you are in comparative literature or English, of course the aesthetic theories of Schiller, the German poet, who emphasized how important actually imagination and play is in figuring out what beauty is.

All right, and then a bit on quality of pleasures. Right? Really the question is what kind of pleasure satisfies us, rather than just the quantity. And I think this is a very powerful point. Well few humans would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals. Right? No intelligent being would consent to be a fool, even though they should be persuaded that a fool is better satisfied than a lot of man; it’s easier to satisfy occasionally a fool. And this is really beautiful: “It’s better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.” Right? “Better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.” Bingo, right? He got it. I think that’s very beautifully done, powerfully done. Think about it. Very hard to disagree with this. Right? You want to be Socrates and dissatisfied, rather than just being satisfied by your needs.

Chapter 2. Justice and Legality; Justice and Expediency [00:09:52]

Well I don’t want to dwell too much on the issue of justice and legalities. Quite obvious, that there are differences between justice and legality. Well it is unjust if anybody’s deprived from his personal liberty or property, even if that’s what the law tells you. I mean, Communist government confiscated property from people, and they did it legally, but John Stuart Mill will say they did it unjustly. Right? It was legally done, but unjustly. Right? It was against the sense of justice of people who are being deprived from their property. And there are laws which do not exist, though they should exist, because some of the individual rights are not properly defended, and you really should have such laws. And, of course, for him there has not been in his time sufficient laws to protect the rights of women or the rights of slaves.

Well also today we are concerned about whether we have proper protection in this country for individual liberties against surveillance techniques, for instance, which were used very recently in the United States. Many people think we need very stricter controls on the government, whether they can listen to our telephone conversations. Right? We want to have very clear laws which define exactly what torture is. We may be uncertain whether the laws are sufficiently clear. Right? So therefore you need occasionally laws which protects human rights. This argument can be used actually for affirmative action, that you may need occasionally laws which kind of eliminates the inequalities of people’s freedoms. Some people are less free than others because they start from a different starting point. Then you can use John Stuart Mill’s argument then to say you need a law which will protect these people and make sure they are free enough, that you create an equality of freedom; that would be his argument. And there are laws which exist but they should not exist.

There are bad and unjust laws. Well we debate this issue a great deal. I’m sure there are some people in this country who do think that the government should not kill. Right? There are some people who are against the death penalty. Probably the majority is for the death penalty, but there is probably a minority in this room–I don’t want to ask you to show hands, though I might <>–but I’m sure there are some people who think the government should not kill people. I’m one of those. I don’t think that’s right. I think life is sacred. I believe sufficiently in Hobbes’ First Law of Nature, no government should kill. So death penalty, I don’t think it’s right. But you can argue it’s necessary to defend other people’s freedom. Right? But I think John Stuart Mill probably would have been unhappy with the death penalty.

So you may want to change legislation. Right? You may want to have a legislation which eliminates the death penalty. Or another issue is let’s say–again I’m sure this audience here is divided on the question of abortion. There are some people who believe that abortion should be prohibited by law because you should defend the freedom and right of existence of the unborn child. Right? There are others who argue the freedom argument on the other side. Right? They say, “No, you should not prohibit abortion because you should defend the liberty of the woman who carries the child.” Right? Well, these are just examples that these issues are talking to very contemporary issues.

All right, justice and equality. Well this is a very interesting idea, what he’s playing around. He said we have actually a sense that justice is somehow related to equality–that we occasionally feel that some degree of inequality is already unjust. Even if it is legally achieved by legal means, we may see it is unjust. Usually inequalities are explained and justified by expediency. Right? You have to create these high levels of inequality because you have to create incentives.

We just heard this debate the last couple of weeks. If you try to limit the bonuses the guys on Wall Street do get, you do a lot of damage because these hot brokers will be hired by the competition. Therefore they have to get these hundred million dollar bonuses; otherwise the business will be hurt. Right? And there were banks which were paying back billions of dollars to the federal government so the federal government cannot intervene and cannot overrule how much bonuses they pay. Right? Expediency, right? They say, “Oh give me a break about this justice stuff, that this is unfair that somebody earns a hundred million dollars. They should earn, because otherwise the competition gets them.” Right? Well this is the argument of expediency, not the argument of justice. Right?

All right, well there are different components of justice. Well the first and most important one: “It is unjust to deprive anyone of his personal liberty and property.” That’s the most important point in John Stuart Mill. He’s staunchly defending individual liberty. The second one: “Legal right is deprived, may be rights which ought not to have belonged to him.” Right? There may be privileges–I mean, in contemporary societies this is much less common. In his time there were a lot of laws which defended people’s privileges–feudal privileges, what he wanted to get rid of. Right? They were unjust.

Well he also then suggests that each person should obtain what he or she deserves, even if it is not guaranteed by law. Well how far you go with this argument–it again can be very controversial. You can say, “Well you need a welfare state. You have to provide the basic goods and services for everybody.” You know, this argument can be used. You have to provide housing. You should not let anybody without shelter, or you should not let anybody without healthcare. That would be consistent with John Stuart Mill.

And then he said, “Well it is unjust if you break faith.” Right? You promise somebody I will do it, and then you take your word back. That’s unjust; you should not do that. And finally–this is very important–justice cannot be partial. Right? It has to be blind and has to be equal to all parties.

And now justice and expediency. I again don’t want to labor on this. This is obvious, that what is expedient is not necessarily just. Expedient is if you reach that goal with minimum effort, but occasionally you don’t–you better not make shortcuts; making those shortcuts may be unjust and unfair.

And then, of course, sympathy. Right? We are all capable to sympathize, not only with people we know but with the whole humankind we have sympathy. Sympathy for our country and our mankind. It’s a bit like Rousseau’s l’amour propre idea. I think I’ll probably skip this one. I think it’s quite obvious why justice and expediency do have a complicated relationship.

Chapter 3. On Liberty: Freedom and Individuality [00:19:15]

And now on the other book, On Liberty. Right? Well while Bentham only emphasized that we are seeking pleasure, Mill emphasized self-development. He said we have to–in our lifetime, we have to develop our capacities. Right? And what follows from this, individualism and liberty; these are the major values, rather than just satisfying our needs.

Well this is an extremely important idea, and very much an idea of John Stuart Mill. We should not take freedom as granted. And he said, “Be very careful of rulers who identify with the people. It does not guarantee freedom, because it can lead to the tyranny of the majority. You have to defend the rights of the individuals, the rights of the minorities, that they should be also free to choose.” This follows very logically from his argument of these higher happinesses, preferences, arrived at by individual judgments–not superimposed by government but individuals decide what is the higher value they attach to a utility. And therefore it can be minorities which do have different preferences, and we have to respect those preferences. That’s very crucially important ideas.

And individual liberty should always take precedence over short-term utilitarian consideration. Right? The main value is that individually that–believe me, this is not a contradiction, it follows very logically from the idea of preferences and from the idea that there are qualitative differences between utilities, and you are the only one who can decide what is worse for you. Nobody else can make a decision, a judgment for you. This is consistent with Adam Smith, by the way.

And then freedom of expression. There is nobody whom we will read who stands so strongly for freedom of expression–complete, unlimited freedom of expression. And the United States comes very close to this, and this is the only country in the world which comes so close to it. In other countries which are democratic, free, and liberal, freedom of speech may be limited. Hate speech may be actually limited. Right? Denying the Holocaust and you end up in jail in Germany. Right? But in the U.S., we are very close to the Millian idea. And he said this is absolutely necessary to have total freedom of speech because an opinion, which suppressed right, then we lose the opportunity to exchange truths for error.

So therefore it’s obvious that it’s non-controversial–that truth, even if it’s unpleasant, should be allowed to be spoken. Right? What is more problematic should we allow to people to speak falsehood? I mean, we know that the Holocaust existed. Should we allow those crazy people to tell us, against all this strong evidence what we have, that there was no Holocaust? He argues yes we should, because this is the only way how we can find out the error, if we talk about this. It’s a very controversial argument. As I said, there are not many countries in this world which do subscribe to it. Right? So, and he said we have to listen to both sides; that’s the only way how we find out what the truth is.

And tyranny by the majority. Well this is a very, very important argument; namely, one of the major evils of a mass democratic society is a tyranny of the majority. There will be a very strong tendency to suppress dissent and to create conformity with the majority views. And he said well, we have to try to resist it, and we have to emphasize individuality.

Conformism is moral repression. Right? There’s a lot of pressure on you to conform with the major–the mainstream, as such, and he said this is one of the big evils what we have to resist. We have to defend individual liberties, and we have to fight against intervention; legal or non-legal intervention. Right? He did not live in a mass communication society, but he would have been outraged how the media tries to brainwash people and put into a conformist behavior on people. Right? He wanted to defend people’s individual choices of lifestyles and sexual preferences and whatever you name; it has to be defended.

And this is very important. This is a clear extension, very clearly argued–Adam Smith did basically agree with this, but he did not put it so strongly and so clearly–“Therefore intervention by a government is only permissible if injury has taken place.” The government cannot limit individual liberties, only if that causes injury. And he said, “Look, believe me, I’m not indifferent. I am for compassion. All what I am asking you is tolerance. Respect other people’s choices. Do feel compassion, but don’t try to make decisions for others; don’t impose your will on others.” That’s I think the–and conformity, he really disliked conformity. It’s a century ahead of his time. This becomes a very big issue in the 1960s and ’70s, that conformism is an evil, and he already writes about this in the mid-nineteenth century.

And well interference. The only justification is self-protection. Right? This is very much in line of Hobbes’ argument. And therefore he said, “I’m not for indifference, but I am for permissiveness, for tolerance as such.” Well we should help each other, but that’s different than to impose our will or our taste or our preferences on other people. Right? “Neither one person, nor any number of person, is warranted in saying to other human creatures of ripe years”–that’s different with children–“that he shall not do with his life for his own benefit what he chooses to do with it.”

Right? A very strong argument, and very troubling. You know? What do you think about drug use? Right? Well if John Stuart Mill errs, he errs on the libertarian side. He probably would be arguing for the decriminalization of most of the drugs, on these grounds. It’s people’s choice. If they know that they hurt their life, this is their story.

Chapter 4. The Subjection of Women: Major Themes [00:27:27]

Now very briefly on his views on women. And I don’t have to introduce you to the background. You know that in the mid-nineteenth century women did not have equal rights, even not in England, not in the United States. They not only did not have the right to vote, but they actually did not have the right to own property, as such. Well as I mentioned, Harriet Taylor, his lover and wife, was a radical feminist–as far as we know, an extremely smart woman. She was more radical than Smith [Correction: Mill], because she actually, as I pointed out, opposed even the institution of marriage.

So what are the major themes in this book? The first point is “marriage is the only remaining case of slavery.” Well it’s not true of course. Slavery has existed elsewhere, and unfortunately de facto still exists around the world. But he said, you know, “The subjugation of women is a case of slavery, and it cannot be explained by the nature of women.” And he makes a case for it. He argues for legal equality in marriage, and equality of women in politics and education, and finally makes a case for marital friendship.

So he said marriage is the only remaining example of slavery because they cannot own property and, in fact, their husbands can use them for sexual desires. So in this sense it is even worse than slavery. At least the slaves are not expected to love their slave owners; the wives are expected to love their husbands. So he said this is even worse than slavery. Right? And here he kind of elaborates on this issue–that it is not simply the obedience what man wants, but also their love. And usually these relationships were in the nineteenth century, and in many cases even in the twenty-first century, asymmetrical. Right? Man probably does not feel as much obliged to express love towards their wives than they expect their wives to express love towards the man. Right? Unfortunately I think there are still men like this.

Okay, so that’s I think very provocative, very important statements, written in the mid-nineteenth century. Well, and then he said. “This cannot be explained by the nature of women.” He expects the counterargument well different–you know, the Rousseauian argument, women are different. They want to knit, they want to be subjugated. He said, no, there are two counterarguments. One is that we don’t know what the nature of women are because they did not have a chance for self-development. And then he said in order to justify women’s sublimation [correction: subjugation], you should be able to show that no women were ever capable to occupy certain positions of political authority. If there were women who did that, then it cannot come from the nature of women. Right? That’s a neat argument. Well here is the citation. “How would we know what the nature of the women is? Therefore this is an invalid argument.”

He argues for the equality for marriage, and that’s today a kind of commonsensical; it doesn’t need any further elaboration. And equality of women in politics and education and jobs. This is still very important. Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, probably had not read his John Stuart Mill carefully enough when he said that women are just not good enough to do engineering. Right? He should have read John Stuart Mill, and he should have known there is nothing in the nature of women why they would not do as well in engineering as men would. Sort of–and, you know, we still need some attention to diversity, women’s diversity, in order to make sure that women do end up in political and other jobs.

And then he makes a case for marital friendship. He said, “Well I still believe in marriage because marriage can be based on equality of partners.” So this is John Stuart Mill. I hope you enjoy him. I think he is a controversial person, pushes his point as far as it can. But I think he’s a very smart person.

Chapter 5. Review of First Test Questions [00:32:41]

So let me just–I have twelve more minutes to go–and look at the questions and make a few comments how I would try to myself deal with these questions in answering, if I were in your shoes. Okay. And here we go. Let me see how far I can go. Okay, so question number one. The first point what I would try to make here is there are people who read Hobbes as believing that humans are evil by nature. This is not unreasonable. After all, why on earth you need a Leviathan, unless there is something wrong with us? One can also say well Locke puts a lot of emphasis how rational we are in the state of nature, and Rousseau is explicit about his noble savage idea. Right? It is society which corrupts. We all come out perfect from the hands of the creator and then society screws us. So there seems to be really an argument here, would I try to say it quickly, that there is a controversy.

Well I may try to qualify it in a sentence or two–that of course Hobbes could be read in a more complex way. Because after all Hobbes also believes that we are making rational decisions when we are sort of adjudicating between our desires and our fears, and we come to a rational decision about this. Therefore it’s not that obvious that this is, maybe, but I would say that this is a qualification; that is, still one can see a controversy.

Well Rousseau, yes he states that we are, you know, come out perfect from the hands of God, but after all in the state of nature we are savages, and therefore we need some general will to overrule our judgments. So there is some qualification how much faith Jean Jacques had in us. Right? He had a bit suspicious of us. So these are the kind of footnotes, qualifications to the argument. But then I would love–what I would do, I would say, “Well I am a bit tormented what to think about it. You know? Because I do know that indeed people can be quite evil. Right? And therefore we do need law and order, we do need some intervention. On the other hand, I think I am probably more inclined, if I have to err, to err on the side of Rousseau or John Stuart Mill, to believe that people are after all ethical and will act out of goodwill. And therefore I would like to see less of central planners telling me what I should be doing and what my needs are, and I would better live in a society where individuals can decide, make their free choices.” That would be my line. But you could argue the other way around. Right? Tell us what your view is. Anyway, that’s the way how I would deal with this question. That’s I think quite clear.

[Now addressing question 2] Hobbes believed in a strong and clearly identifiable sovereign–easy to support it with text. I think this is uncontroversial. And it’s also quite clear that Locke wanted to limit the power of the executive. That’s why he wants to separate the executive from the legislative. So I did that, and in comparing them is now pretty [un]controversial. You don’t have to have many qualifications to this. Right? That’s quite straightforward.

Now, what do you think, what is your view on this? And you may say, “Well, Hobbes has got a lot to say.” Think about September 11th, 9/11. Right? Well we need a strong government. Right? We need security. Right? We just cannot push too far for equality. Or you can take the opposite argument. He said–“Well I think all what happened after 9/11 was wrong. We should not have limited individual liberties. That’s the American way, that you stand by liberty.” Anyway, I’m sure people are divided on this, and I would like to hear your views on this.

[Now addressing question 3] It’s a hard question to answer. In fact, it is also a question who is a methodological individualist, and a collectivist? I would say a methodological collectivist argues that there is stuff which is more than the sum total of individual. Montesquieu’s emphasis on law is a very good one–that the law, you cannot explain the law by looking at each individual and end it up and that’s the law. The law is there, and then it enters the individuals. Right? So there is a collective conscience which precedes the individual and enters individuals.

And others like Hobbes or Locke argues the other way: “No, we have to start with the individual. The only thing what we can observe is the individual action and desires and will, and then we can arrive at the collectivity.” Right? Well I’m not so sure whether you are a methodological individualist or not. But you can actually make a case whether you really think whether the right way is to think about the individual’s action and the individuals, rather about the collective good which comes from something, somewhere else more historically.

Well Rousseau’s general will makes a strong case for it–easy to make, right? There is obviously something what is necessary for a general will. You want to believe, for instance, in universal healthcare, and to say, “Well this should not be left to individuals to decide whether they take out health insurance or not. Everybody should be insured, right? It’s easy to see, right? Let’s not fool us around, right? We need a general will.” So I think an argument can be made.

But then you can use Locke or Montesquieu or Mill or whomever to say, “Well there is trouble with this argument. Where on earth the general will is coming from?” Like methodological individualists, usually–let’s say what about methodological collectivists? Where do you know what it is? Right? Where does it come from, if it is not in any individual consciousness, right? So where–how do government know what is my need? Did they get a letter telling them what my needs are and overrule my decision that I think this is my need and my preference? Right? So that can be devastating.

And you can say, “Well this opens up the door to totalitarianism.” Right? That’s why Karl Marx loved Jean Jacques Rousseau so much. That’s why Lenin loved Jean Jacques Rousseau so much, because they wanted to have the central planners which tell you, “This is your need. You don’t–you know only your short-term needs. I know your long-term needs and therefore you have to do what I tell you to do.” Right? And Rousseau does that, right? He says, “You have to be forced to be free. Right? I can’t let you just to be free. I have to tell you what your real freedom is, what your real needs are.” And you can be critical about this. So you see, you can make the point in both directions. I think both are respectable positions.

[Addressing question 5] Well Adam Smith pursues self-interest; you achieve the common good. Many of you believe in this. Right? Let’s have free, unregulated markets, and then it will end up with the collective good. But, you know, Rousseau believes in the general will, which is more than the sum total of individuals. Well you can contrast it. It’s very similar to the previous question. Right? And you can make a case, you know, why you think Adam Smith is right; where on earth you will figure out what needs are, unless people decide for themselves? Or you can say, “Well Adam Smith is not living in the real world, because he assumes perfect self-regulating markets and perfect informations, and none of those exist. So in the real world Adam Smith does not apply, and in the real world, well actually Jean Jacques Rousseau makes much more sense.” Well again your call, how you make your decision about this.

[Addressing question 6] Well strong government, by Hobbes, and Smith is about invisible hand, as little government as possible. Again, I don’t think I have to elaborate on this; you can see the line of argument. Easy to show that Hobbes indeed stood for strong government. You have the citation–Adam Smith, for the invisible hand. You can add the footnote there is a controversy about this, but most people today in the twenty-first century interpret Adam Smith as the person of the invisible hand and small government. And then you can say what is your view. And again I think this class must be split, fifty/fifty percent. Some people still believe, you know, Ronald Reagan, the government is not the solution, the government is the problem. Other people believe in–liberal democrats who say, “No, no, no, we need big government, and just see what happened now in the global financial crisis, when there was not enough government and there was too much deregulation. We need regulation, and just see what George W. Bush did. Right? He bailed out from taxpayers’ money.” Anyway, you see the point, what you can do. You can argue it both ways.

[Addressing question 7] Well the gender issue. Well hard to defend Rousseau, he really sucks. <> But read him carefully. I gave you the citations. He said–well he foreshadows the idea of distinction between sex and gender. One can say he’s a sophisticated feminist. He said women should not look like men. They have equally humans, they have the same human rights, but it would be wrong for women to dress like men. Right? What’s wrong about a woman being feminine? There are some contemporary feminists who argue this way. So don’t dismiss him too easy. Well Mill I don’t think needs too much defense for feminists, though I could offer some criticism, feminist criticism, of him.

[Addressing question 9] Well Mill was a utilitarian. Well what is his difference between Adam Smith? Well this is a hard question to ask. There is not that much difference. But as I was trying to point out in the lecture today, there is a difference, right? John Stuart Mill is much more conscious about preferences and the qualitative differences we attach to different utilities. The idea is not something what Adam Smith would oppose to, but certainly an idea which has not been as elaborately developed in Adam Smith than it was in John Stuart Mill.

[Question 10] Well this is very easy, right? Again, Hobbes arguing for security and Mill or Locke arguing for freedom. You can make the case, we have done it in earlier questions, and you can tell us what do you think. Again I think the room will be split. Do you want to allow people to carry guns? Some people think yes, for individual liberty. Others will say, “This is crazy. Most countries in the world wouldn’t allow it, and just see these mutts mass murdering people in schools. Of course they do, if they can carry guns.” 9/11, right? Torture. Listening to people’s telephone conversations. Some people will say, “Well we are living in a dangerous world, we should allow the CIA to do that.” Right? Others will say, “No, no, no. Our individual liberties are sacrosanct.” Right? And this is what I would like to hear from you. Okay, have fun, and please do enjoy it. Right? It’s not regurgitating. This exercise is about thinking. Thank you.

[end of transcript]

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