On Liberty Essay

1088 Words 5 Pages
Analysis & Critique of
J.S. Mill's On Liberty
     
     The perception of liberty has been an issue that has bewildered the human race for a long time. It seems with every aspiring leader comes a new definition of liberty, some more realistic than others. We have seen, though, that some tend to have a grasp of what true liberty is. One of these scholars was the English philosopher and economist J.S. Mill. Mill's On Liberty provided a great example of what, in his opinion, liberty is and how it is to be protected. In this essay we will examine Mill's ideals concerning liberty and point out a few things he may not have been realistic about.

      For Mill,
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Not to silence them in favor of having no opposition. All that is accomplished by this is the handicapping of society, for it is true in every aspect of life that the only way to improve is to go against opposition and to learn from it. Along these lines it would make sense that the most important ideas out there are the unpopular ones because these are the issues that are being neglected.

     The protection of this "individuality" poses a problem. What causes harm and what ultimately leads to good? When should government step in and when should it let things be? Knowing where that line is tough. Mill's answer to this is that society has jurisdiction over every aspect of behavior that, "affects prejudicially the interests of others." More specifically society has no interest in the aspects of one's life that affect only the individual acting, or others, for that matter, that are affect at their own consent. Society has no right to keep a person from doing with his life what they wish, and it is stupid to do so their own good for nobody will every truly know what someone else aspires to do. Though Mill rejects the concept of the social contract he does believe that people do have obligations to the society in exchange for the protection of their freedom. And if one acts in a manner that harms the society as a whole then they are subject to punishment. Not

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