Description - John Stuart Mill's Deliberative Landscape by Candace A. Vogler
This work charts the fate of a philosophical theory and its influence on a philosopher whose whole early education was predicated upon the truth of the theory. The philosopher in question is John Stuart Mill and the theory is 'Instrumentalism about Practical Rationality' - the view that there is nothing more to be said on behalf of any goal other than that achieving it will help achieve further goals. The chief objection to this theory is that it leaves our goals unsupported by reason and unacceptably arbitrary. The author argues that Mill was an Instrumentalist, that the crisis he suffered in his mid-twenties can be read as an embodiment of the arbitrariness objection, and that his subsequent work reveals both a subtle attempt to provide an Instrumentalist response to this objection and an incohate rejection of Instrumentalism. This Instrumentalist response fails to answer the underlying concern. Drawing on the anti-instrumentalist strands of Millian thought, Vogler constructs a powerful objection to the theory of Instrumentalism about Practical Rationality.
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(216mm x 140mm x 12mm)
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Author Biography - Candace A. Vogler
Candace A. Vogler is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.