Item 133 - Letter from John Stuart Mill to Henry Sidgwick

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Add. MS c/94/133


Letter from John Stuart Mill to Henry Sidgwick


  • 26 Nov 1867 (Creation)

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1 doc

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Explains that his long absence from England meant that he did not receive Sidgwick's paper on Tests until long after it was sent. Declares its contents to be 'an exceedingly fair and clear statement of many of the considerations which really exist in the minds of conscientious men and influence their personal behavious in the matter'. Agrees with his contention that there should be 'a set of principles...respecting the bindingness of the obligation of a test'...but believes that 'the question requires to be taken up at an earlier stage, and dealt with as part of the much larger question. Puts forward some questions in relation to the obligation of veracity, and claims that such questions have never been properly addressed because it has never been generally admitted 'that the effect which actions tend to produce on human happiness is what constitutes them right or wrong.' Claims that he [Mill] could not contribute any useful remarks to the discussion, and suggests that it cannot be carried much further than Sidgwick has done.

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