Tag Archives: John Stuart Mill

Peridot and the Meep-Morp of Life

Peridot Title

After over 100 episodes, I finally found an excuse to combine two of my favorite things in the world into one: the cartoon series Steven Universe and John Stuart Mill’s utilitarian ethics. That it took so long to do so is more of a testament to the high quality of the show than anything else. The sheer expanse of the show and the topics it deals with – from basic lessons about friendship to in-depth explorations of grief, loss, and trauma in the aftermath of relationships and war – kind of makes it a bit intimidating to get a grasp on it. What finally inspired this long-awaited excuse to stuff utilitarianism into yet more cartoons (see my long, long list of utilitarian ethics inspired analysis of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) was the two-parter episodes of Beta and Earthlings, the 100 and 101the episodes according to the Steven Universe wiki.

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John Stuart Mill and Pinkie Pie: A Crisis of Moral Unfreedom

Pinkie Pie and Moral Unfreedom

In this article I discuss the similarities between the mental crisis of John Stuart Mill in his young adulthood with that of the identity crisis that Pinkie Pie suffers in the episode “Too Many Pinkie Pie’s.” This is done through the use of Mill’s concept on “moral freedom”, which is the state of having a multiple desires capable of trumping others as needed. The Mirror Pool incident, I argue, causes Pinkie Pie to reflect on her own state of moral unfreedom before eventually restoring herself to a state of moral freedom when she shows she can put aside her desire for fun for the desire of keeping her friends.

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Filed under Episode Analysis