On Liberty

1318 Words Nov 2nd, 2014 6 Pages
On John Stuart Mill’s production On Liberty has not only became one of the most widely known political and philosophical writing, but also produces one of the fundamental political questions on finding the balance in between liberty, democracy and authority. Although Mill’s writing was deeply influenced by Bentham’s Utilitarianism philosophy, Mill’s theory in On Liberty emphasized more around the value of individuality, equality and liberty (Donner, 1991; Skorupski, 1998). All three elements focused on by Mill, are closely connected in democratic society, Mill’s major fear was the emergence of dictatorship based on majoritarian and conformist behavior within a society (Skorupski, 2006). This essay will focus on examining Mill’s liberal …show more content…
Further, Feinberg (1977) illustrates the connection between self-interested, selfish, unselfish, and disinterested acts shown in figure 1 below:
Figure 1: J. Feinberg (1977) illustration on the relation between self-interested, selfish, unselfish, and disinterested acts.
Figure 1: J. Feinberg (1977) illustration on the relation between self-interested, selfish, unselfish, and disinterested acts.

Nevertheless, there are several arguments regarding the definition of self-regarding action and other-regarding action. An example in modern society today could be the banning of drug use. As in most countries, drug use is forbidden by legislation, but one could argue that whether the use of drug is self-regarding action or other regarding action. To be fair, the use of drugs could really be a self-regarding action when it came to addiction and self-consumption. However, if taking Washington states in the United States as an example, where it has just recently legalise the use of marihuana, yet it did not set up any regulation regarding to the limitation of use. Hence, the increase of car accident while using marihuana and thus the use of drug could become an other-regarding action. At this point, one could argue that in such a case, the state ought to have the rights to limit individuals’ liberty. Furthermore, taking gun regulation as another example, where most people today around the world purchase a gun as a self-interest action regardless of either hunting or

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