Thu, Nov 11


Utilitarianism and J.S. Mill, Level 1 Event

Berlin Stoics introduces itself for the first time into utilitarianism, an ethical framework distinct from virtue ethics. As Stoics and eclectics we must study all philosophies to get a better perspective of ethics in general and come to truthful conclusions about the world.

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Utilitarianism and J.S. Mill, Level 1 Event

Time & Location

Nov 11, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM GMT+1

About the Event

Greetings fellow Stoics!

Today we're hosting a discussion on what utilitarianism is via some of John Stuart Mill's work. This is part of our newly invigorated motivation to study philosophers outside the Stoic tradition to help inform ourselves of the world from multiple perspectives so that we're in a better position to either continue defending, end up refuting, or augmenting Stoic ethics, and as well, in general, to make truthful propositions about the world and understand ourselves, our preferences and so forth. In February 2022 we read Montaigne; this week, we will have read J.S. Mill.

Specifically, we're recommending the following:

There are definitely more works and more of those same works we could have read, but we have only roughly two weeks and furthermore, we each have our own lives in addition to the next Book of the Month in December for which to prepare. These passages from Mill should provide a good start for us to understand Mill's utilitarianism and naturalism. The former being that philosophy famous for proposing that ethical situations should be acted on based on what will ultimately achieve the most good for the most people, and the latter being in a way shared with the Stoics, that induction - not a priori knowledge - is the most accurate method to make truthful conclusions.

Usually our virtual discussions are level 2 events, which means you must be familiar with some basic Stoic concepts and have some experience living Stoicism already in order to feel comfortable in this discussion. INSTEAD, this time this discussion is a level 1 event, which means you need have no prior experience with Stoicism or with philosophical concepts, although they do help. Please consult the details on what these levels mean here: Anyone can attend, and everyone is encouraged to attend, if only to listen.

Today's discussion will run 1.5 hours. We don't partition the time, but we will always connect the theory to practice.

A couple of words: (1) If you haven't already, you can join our Telegram discussion group and our announcements channel by contacting us and we'll send you a link to the channel. (2) The link to this event will be active between 20 and 10 minutes ahead of the start time, and we use for our video conferencing. (3) Lastly, we have recently been streaming our events live on youtube and saving them on file, especially for those who cannot make particular events; at the start of each event, Steve will of course ask if everyone is okay or anyone has a problem with this. Furthermore, we only share recordings afterwards if we reach the threshold of 4 participants (other than the facilitator).

We look forward to seeing you there!

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