Human Fallibilism and Individual Self-Development in John Stuart Mill’s Theory of Liberty
J. S. Mill regards individuality as the most fundamental of human interests – the principal condition of and main ingredient in self-development. But in addition to the individualist-functionalist element in Mill’s thought there is also a strong element of fallibilism derived from an empiricist view of the nature and possibilities of human knowledge. A corollary of Mill’s fallibilism is his conception of human nature as essentially open and incomplete. His doctrine of individuality and self-development, on the other hand, implies that the individual is definable by certain necessary and permanent characteristics. Following a discussion of the empiricist and fallibilist strain in Mill’s liberalism, the present paper offers an interpretation of Mill’s view that reconciles these two seemingly discordant elements in his understanding of man.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XV (2013) 2
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
George Mousourakis, "Human Fallibilism and Individual Self-Development in John Stuart Mill’s Theory of Liberty", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XV (2013) 2, pp. 386-396.