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Mill and Bradley on the Individual

  • Matthew Whittingham
Chapter

Abstract

I give an introduction to atomistic and holistic conceptions of the individual by focusing on the more accessible ethical, social and political issues. I use J.S. Mill as a representative of atomism and the currently underappreciated F.H. Bradley as a representative of holism. There are irreconcilable tensions in Mill’s account of human nature and the human individual which holism can resolve. I therefore argue against Mill that our ultimate end cannot be pleasure but must be self-realisation within a social whole. Human freedom cannot be secured on the basis of maximal negative liberty but must be secured on the basis of participation within concrete social practices. Freedom is achieved by realising ourselves as part of a social whole.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Whittingham
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK

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