The Criticisms of John Stuart Mill and Its Applications in Today's Society

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“Absolute liberty is the absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself” - Henry Brooks Adams. There has been great debate, past and present with regards to what constitutes as an individuals liberty. It has been subject to constant ridicule and examination due to violations of civil rights. Freedom, liberty, and independence are all important human rights represented within John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. In his essay, Mill explores the two dimensions to liberty; individual and social. Carefully he analyzes the variance between the individual and social sphere through freedom of expression, more specifically, freedom of speech. Throughout the novel, he expresses that…show more content…
Also noted by Mill, dating back to centuries ago the minority was heavily protected by the authority. the stronger. “To prevent the weaker members of the community from being preyed upon by innumerable vultures, it was needful that there should be an animal of prey stronger that the rest” ( Mill, 2) With that said, Mill’s essay speaks strongly on “demanding liberty of conscience in the most comprehensive sense, liberty of thought and feeling, absolute freedom on opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical, or speculative, scientific, moral or theological” (Mill 71) believing that we have the freedom to direct our own destiny. Additionally, Mill also advocates for free speech on the grounds of an individuals safety, more in depth, the physical and emotional safety of a citizen. “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will,is to prevent harm to others”( Mill,8) Here, it is obvious that Mill advocates free speech as long as it doesn't hamper another being. Furthermore, Mill also justifies his belief in free speech on the grounds of ones mental well being stating “necessity to the mental well being of mankind of freedom of opinion.( Mill,43) It is apparent that Mill asserts freedom of speech is acknowledged on the basis of an individuals safety, both physical and mental. In addition to Mill’s strong beliefs with liberty and freedom, he deems true a direct correlation between
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