ADVANTAGES

Mill's utilitarian justification of secondary principles is intendedas a contrast with the intuitionism of William Whewell and others. Ashe makes clear in his essay “Whewell on MoralPhilosophy”(CW X), Mill thinks that the intuitionistwrongly treats familiar moral precepts as ultimate moral factors whosejustification is supposed to be self-evident. By contrast, Mill'saccount of secondary principles recognizes their importance in moralreasoning but insists that they are neither innate nor infallible; theyare precepts that have been adopted and internalized because of theiracceptance value, and their continued use should be suitably regulatedby their ongoing comparative acceptance value. Far from underminingutilitarian first principles, Mill thinks, appeal to the importance ofsuch moral principles actually provides support for utilitarianism.

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