A much shorter write-up of the next three episodes. While still very good I didn’t take such comprehensive (read, any) notes this time around.

Episode two focused on John Stuart Mill attempting to cling onto utilitarianism by trying to create formulaic definitions of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. This was soundly brought into question in the lecture by introducing, as often also mentioned by <lj-user="alobear">, the difference between "enjoyable",  "popular" and "worthy".

Episode three was devoted entirely to Libertarianism. This swings us back from "whatever is best for the most people" to "I fundamentally own myself and therefore no-one has any rights over me or my property". Tax equals money equals labour equals my some of time. I.e. tax is slavery. A lot of this show was made up of 3 students trying to staunchly defend Libertarianism against the lecturer and the rest of the audience and doing a not bad job of it.

Episode three covered John Locke, the idea of natural inalienable rights and Locke’s notions of consent. Interestingly while Locke agrees with the Libertarians that removal of property without consent is fundamentally wrong he then goes on to say that the definition of ‘property’ is down to the state! The crux of Locke, according to this episode, appears to twist on one line (in paragraph 140) in Two Treatises on Government – namely:

"But still it must be with his own consent, i,e, the consent of the majority, giving it either by themselves or their representatives chosen by them."

This is where Locke steps away from the Libertarian ideal and moves towards the ideal of a Social Contract (although he would not have used that term). More of that I am sure there will be later when we get to Rousseau.

Advertisements