How Mill’s reflections on an individual’s knowledge of what makes her happy support his proposal that an individual’s liberty/autonomy – her pursuit of happiness in her own way – should be unrestricted in purely personal matters. (How his Utilitarianism is used to support this conclusion.) Some cases to illustrate Mill’s Harm Principle, i.e., “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others” (page 18). (Explain the distinction between purely personal matters and matters that involve harm to others.) How a Utilitarian might object to Mill’s self-knowledge argument (see Dworkin) and how Mill could respond to this objection (See Mill’s On Liberty, 97-99). Explain how interest views of harm suggest that when addressing the issue of protecting the environment our focus should be on harm to current and future generations of humans and non-human animals. Bowie’s proposal that car corporations are not obligated to make the cars they sell to be as safe as they know how, but rather it is permissible for them they sell a range of cars that vary in their degree of safety. How Mill’s view on liberty can be used to support Bowie’s proposal. (In doing this explain how free acts are often based on weighing benefits with risks/potential harm, as illustrated in Mill’s bridge case.) Explain how Bowie draws an analogy between car corporations and corporations that sell products that vary with respect to the degree to which they are environmentally friendly. Explain how Bowie arrives at his views concerning the roles played by customers, corporations and government regulators in protecting the environment. Critically assess these views by drawing on Mill’s distinction between purely personal matters and matters that involve harm to others as well as interest views of harm.
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