Philanthropy and Injustice in Mill and Addams
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
The idea that philanthropy has promoted social justice is historically well-established. Voluntary action, however, can also be used to perpetuate injustice. In this article I analyze criticisms of philanthropy given by John Stuart Mill and Jane Addams, two individuals who appreciated the value of philanthropic effort but were clearly aware of its potential to perpetuate injustice. Mill argues that injustice in philanthropy results when introduced from other areas of life (political and legal structures or common cultural assumptions, for example) and when philanthropists use poor judgment; Addams criticizes the principle of voluntarism itself.
Copyright © 1995, Jossey-Bass Publishers
Fischer, Marilyn, "Philanthropy and Injustice in Mill and Addams" (1995). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 126.