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John Stuart Mill and the Meaning of Life

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2020.01.09 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Elijah Millgram, John Stuart Mill and the Meaning of Life, Oxford University Press, 2019, 248pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780190873240. Reviewed by Helen McCabe, University of Nottingham One might imagine that this book is about what John Stuart Mill can tell us about ‘the meaning of life’. It is not. Instead, it is about what Millgram thinks is wrong with analytical philosophical accounts of ‘the meaning of life’, using Mill as a reductio ad absurdum. Millgram attempts to disprove the idea that one’s life, to have meaning, should have (or be) a project, by showing how disastrously wrong this went for Mill, whom Millgram takes to be the archetype of ‘life as project’. Indeed, Millgram goes so far as to argue that Mill’s life was ‘perverse’: rather than a life spent maximising pleasure (in accordance with the tenets of Utilitarianism), Mill deliberately avoided pleasure, even pursuing self-punishing behaviours:... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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