[MUSIC] Introduction to happiness and utility. Welcome back. In this series of segments, we'll consider one family of answers to the question, why should we have a state? This family of answers, this set of answers, suggest that the state is either useful or essential for bringing about various good outcomes. In particular, for improving the welfare or happiness of those people living under the state. This is a familiar rationale for the state. Consider, for example, the United States' Declaration of Independence, which says, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they're endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely, and this is the relevant bit, to affect their safety and happiness. Or, we might consider this from the Preamble to the United States Constitution. We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. So in both of these cases, many different rationales for this state are offered but happiness or well-being is one of them. We might also look around the world. So, from the preamble to the constitution for South Korea officially the Republic of Korea, which refers to, among other things, the role of the government being to provide for the fullest development of individual capabilities in all fields, including political, economic, social and cultural life by further strengthening the basic free and democratic order conducive to private initiative and public harmony. And to elevate the quality of life for all citizens and contribute to lasting world peace and the common prosperity of mankind and thereby to ensure security, liberty and happiness for ourselves and our posterity forever. So this is another example of a constitution with a different tradition from a very different legal system, but similarly identifying promoting happiness or welfare as one of the roles for the state. And then finally, we can look to the constitution of South Africa, which sets out one of the purposes of government as being to improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person. There are many more such examples I could have chosen from all around the world. So, these are official state documents that sort of set out this purpose. Additionally, philosophers have highlighted the role that the state can play in improving our lives from a number of different vantage points. So, in the upcoming segments, we'll cover a number of these different rationales, all sort of focusing on happiness or what some people call utility, where that might be something a little bit more general than happiness per se. So, we'll begin by talking about Thomas Hobbes and the arguments of those who maintain that the state is useful for escaping what's called the state of nature, and for avoiding violence, vengeance and for promoting peace amongst people who live near each other. We'll then discuss John Stuart Mill's harm principle and a view on which the state improves human welfare by preventing us from harming each other, largely through the criminal law. Both of these views have somewhat of a negative character, suggesting that we are flawed by our natures and need the state to intervene to prevent us from harming each other. Neither of them suggests much of a role for the state in building good things or working together to improve each other's lives. Or at least this role is not foregrounded on views of this kind. It might be somewhere in the picture, but not necessarily in the foreground. These views focus on trying to keep us out of each other's way. A different conception of how the state can improve welfare or happiness focuses on how the state can help us to help each other, and to build and do things together that we might not be able to build or do on our own. So, we will consider the capabilities approach to promoting human flourishing that has been developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, among others, identifying the role that the state can play in helping all of us to access the material and other kinds of resources we need to develop our capabilities as human beings. Turning to arguments from the world of economics, we will discuss the possible role for the state in helping to solve collective action problems and provide valuable public goods. We'll talk more about what a collective action problem is and what a public good is in that sec, segment. In a related vein, we'll consider views that maintain that state institutions and particularly legal institutions are needed in order to support contract law, property law, court law, and criminal law. And all of these are suggested to be essential for various forms of economic development, for efficient exchange of goods and services, and for the promotion of socially productive relationships. All of these which contribute to happiness or human welfare. Finally, we'll consider ways in which state institutions can help to harness the knowledge that we as a community possess, where anyone of us might not know everything, but together we know quite a lot. Arguments of this form are referred to as epistemic arguments for the state. And these can focus on promoting general welfare and happiness, just as these others. Within each of these segments, we'll think about how they answer the question, why should we have a state? That'll be our primary focus. But we'll also want to think about how these particular answers rule out or compete with the others. So, we'll want to see whether we can embrace all of them or whether we have to choose one of them as our rationale for having the state. A second question we'll consider throughout is how the possibility of disagreement about what is good or what is valuable or what the state should be involved in doing might undermine some of these answers or complicate some of these answers. What happens if we don't all agree in what makes life go well or what constitutes happiness? In that case, it might be difficult to use one of these rationales as the motivation for having the state in a context where not everyone under that state agrees. Finally, a question that will run throughout this discussion and the others is, why should we have the state do this rather than, say, private associations? Is there something special about government filling these roles or could we have this done by various kinds of private arrangements not involving a state?