Nineteenth Century Philosophy

John Stuart Mill

What were John Stuart Mill’s views on marriage?

Mill concluded that human virtue flourishes best in friendships between equals, and that was his ideal for marriage, “by a real enrichment of the two natures, each acquiring the tastes and capacities of the other.” As a utilitarian, Mill justified this ideal of friendship between equals for marriage by claiming that it would allow half of the human population to make contributions to civilized life, which had not yet been made. He also believed that women had already demonstrated distinctive moral strengths and altruistic impulses, so that their participation in civic life and the professions would advance civilized values in general.


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