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The Explanation Of Moral Phenomena: Comte And Mill On The Architectonics Of The Moral Sciences

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts by contrasting the conception of the explanation of moral phenomena John Stuart Mill endorsed with other approaches he found defective or partial. This survey paves the way for an analysis of the correspondence between Mill and Auguste Comte, which reveals that, at least at a superficial level, both thinkers acknowledged that mental differences, which were at the heart of the sexual equality issue, resulted from a composition of causes. Mill held moral phenomena to be the effects of a composition of at least three different kinds of causes (environmental in the broadest sense of the term, physiological, and psychological). Mill's developments on psychology in the System were part and parcel of the first step of the Deductive Method as applied to the explanation of moral phenomena, that of the ascertainment of the different causes required for the explanation of the phenomenon under scrutiny and of their laws.

Keywords: Auguste Comte; Deductive Method; John Stuart Mill; moral phenomena; sexual equality



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