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Frieden durch Recht und Öffentlichkeit: Die Hoffnungen und Verwirrungen der ersten Utilitaristen

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The international thought of the early utilitarian thinkers Jeremy Bentham and James Mill remains little known and largely misunderstood. Most commentators give them a superficial appreciation or criticize their supposed naivety, in both cases mostly assuming that Mill borrowed his thoughts from Bentham's writings alone. This questionable reception overlooks some essential aspects of Bentham's and Mill's extensive reflections on war and peace, in particular their constant effort to overcome the tension between individual freedom and collective security. In reality, the fertile dialogue between the two thinkers gradually crystallized into an independent utilitarian peace theory centered on law and public opinion as instruments of an ambitious reform of international relations according to the principle of utility. They managed to elaborate a fragile synthesis between liberal principles and considerations of political realism, which grants their utilitarian peace theory a singular place in the historical efforts to systematically define the conditions of world peace.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • The journal Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, appearing since 1946, is among the most important academic German language journals. It is open to all topics, approaches, and positions of philosophical thought. Given the increasing differentiation and specialization of the field, it thus constitutes a forum offering its various disciplines the opportunity for mutual recognition and exchange. The articles published in it are subject to an anonymous peer review in which internationally renowned scholars of all areas of contemporary philosophical research participate.

    Die seit 1946 erscheinende Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung gehört zu den wichtigsten deutschsprachigen Fachzeitschriften und steht allen Themen, Richtungen und Positionen der philosophischen Forschung offen. Angesichts der zunehmenden Ausdifferenzierung und Spezialisierung des Faches bietet sie damit auch ein Forum, in dem die verschiedenen Teildisziplinen sich gegenseitig wahrnehmen und in ein gemeinsames Gespräch kommen können. Die in ihr publizierten Abhandlungen durchlaufen ein anonymes Begutachtungsverfahren, an dem international anerkannte Forscher aus allen Spezialgebieten der gegenwärtigen philosophischen Forschung beteiligt sind.
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