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"Mill says" - Where to get started

phantom113 1 / -  
Sep 23, 2008   #1
I'm a little confused by the prompts my professor gives me. They usually have multiple questions that are hard to relate in one essay. This is the prompt I am working with right now.

Mill says that "no one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead. Truth gains more even by errors of one who thinks for himself than by the true opinions of those who hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think."

Based on the readings and films we have encountered in the course to this point, is there any evidence that politicians can, or do, meet Mill's minimum condition for being great thinkers? Do Sullivan, Walzer, or Machiavelli think that politicians should aspire to be great thinkers? If so, why? If not, why not? Is there any example, so far, of someone who followed Mill's maxim? Does democracy encourage or discourage the kind of thinking that Mill values?

I have an outline with answers to each of the questions but I'm not really sure how to form that into one paper or how to create a thesis sentence based on that. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks in advance.
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Sep 23, 2008   #2
Good afternoon.

A thesis should be contained in an introductory paragraph that begins broad, including context, then dwindle down, much like a funnel, to the actual statement. I suggest putting your outline information down into a first rough draft. Once you see what your draft looks like then you can write an introduction to a partially finished paper. It is very difficult to write an opening to a paper that isn't written yet!

You could include something like, "Politicians do/do not meet Mill's minimum condition for being great thinkers because..." and then follow up with your examples. Put your information together and then you can post it here and we can work on a thesis. That might be easier.

Moderator, EssayForum.com
collegebound28 13 / 22  
May 5, 2013   #3
Essay Thesis- Defending John Stuart Mill

Ok this is the assignment: Utilitarian thought is often employed as a way of avoiding some of the problematic metaphysical assumptions usually thought necessary to liberalism. Do you find John Stuart Mill's attempts to avoid these metaphysical problems in On Liberty to be successful? Does he have a viable political philosophy?

Thesis: Thesis: In the text " On Liberty" John Stuart Mill successfully vindicates liberal tenants on the nature of the atomistic self and one's relationship to society. But in contrast to classical liberalism, he rejects the metaphysical assumptions that liberal thought rests on. In doing so, Mill creates a viable political philosophy, without the need for tenuous metaphysical assumptions.
Fiorella Li 2 / 2  
May 21, 2013   #4
Utilitarian thought is often employed as a way of avoiding some of the problematic metaphysical assumptions usually thought necessary to liberalism.
I like this sentence, reasonable

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