John Stuart Mill says we all have a right to individual freedom, which gives us the freedom to express our thoughts and opinions without getting punished for it, as long as our opinions don’t interfere with someone else’s individual freedom. A good example of this concept comes from Zechariah Chafee, Jr. who says “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” One of John Stuart Mill’s principles was that of individual freedom, which he speaks of in On Liberty. As we use our own thought to base our feelings of concepts and ideas, we are utilising our individual freedom. The freedom no one can take from us is the liberty to think as we would like. Expressing those thoughts, however, is a different story, for not everyone in this world is as free to express as they are to think without certain consequences. Our thoughts are the beginning of everything: from a simple thought grows an idea. It’s like having a seed to a plant and knowing what will grow of it, but not how it will affect those around it. In his …show more content…
By pushing one another to do better and to live a more virtuous life, we are heading towards the greater good. One must have individual freedom in order to rationalize what the greatest amount of good is for the greater number of people. John Stuart Mill states that “If human beings are to live, rather than die—to flourish, rather than stagnate—they need to use their own minds to support their own lives.” In this, he is saying that if we are not flourishing by expressing your own thoughts, then we are stagnate and not growing. If we are stagnate and not willing to think about problems, and ideas, then we are not contributing to society. Not contributing to society can stagnate it, since no one else can think exactly like we ourselves may be able
Mill begins “On Liberty” by asserting the principle that we should never regulate the actions of others, except if those actions harm others. He goes on to suggest that we should not restrict speech, even when we find it false. What seems odd about this is that Mill is a utilitarian, which means that the rightness or wrongness of a policy or action depends on its consequences. Clearly, some speech does an awful lot of harm and not much good, so how can Mill hold the view that we should never censor? (Your answer should include Mill’s discussion of why censorship “robs the human race” and you should cover both cases in which the minority view is false and when it’s
One of the more severe charges against Mill's conception of liberty involves socio-cultural background of the author's politics. Mill advocates paternalism on moral grounds in several instances that suggest an intellectual bias and a level of intellectual superiority, embedded in the nineteenth century culture and the Western world. Under Mill's paradigm, freedom is limited to those who are capable of rationality, allowing despotism as a sufficient alternative to 'educating' in all other instances (Goldberg, 2000). Thus, one's incompetence allows for a coercive force and social control (Conly, 2013).
In relation to social obligations and advancement of society, Mill writes advocating the expression of one’s opinion as the main driving force. Mill states, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in sile...
For Mill, the freedom that enables each individual to explore his or her own particular way of life is essential for a generous and diverse development of humanity. The only source of potential within society to further continue human development is the spontaneity or creativity that lies within each individual. Mill has a utilitarian view on freedom. He was especially keen on individual liberty because it allowed the greatest measure of happiness. His concern is not to declare liberty as a natural right but to rather set out the appropriate constraints within ‘Civil or Social liberty’. Civil liberty is defined as the limit society can exert its legitimate power over each individual and social liberty has much to do with a political principle
The short essay On Liberty was written by an English philosopher by the name of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). In this essay Mill basically talk about the system of utilitarianism to society and the state. Mill attempts to establish standards for the relationship between authority and liberty. He emphasizes the importance of individuality which he conceived as a prerequisite to the higher pleasures the “summum bonum” of Utilitarianism. Furthermore, Mill criticized the errors of past attempts to defend individuality where democratic ideals resulted in the "tyranny of the majority". Mill explains his concept of individual freedom of his ideas on history and on the state. On Liberty relies on the idea that society progresses from lower to higher stages and that this
John Locke (1632-1704) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) are two important thinkers of liberty in modern political thought. They have revolutionized the idea of human freedom at their time and have influenced many political thinkers afterwards. Although their important book on human freedom, John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government (1689) and John Mill’s On Liberty (1859), are separated 170 years, some scholars thinks that they are belonging to the same conceptual tradition, English Liberalism. In this essay, I will elaborate John Locke and John Stuart Mill view on human freedom and try to find the difference between their concept of human freedom despite their similar liberal tradition background.
In On Liberty by John Stuart Mills, he presents four arguments regarding freedom of expression. According to Mills, we should encourage free speech and discussion, even though it may oppose a belief you deem to be true. Essentially, when you open up to other opinions, Mills believes you will end up closer to the truth. Instead of just accepting something as true because you are told, Mills argues that accepting both sides will make you understand why your side is true or false. Mills is persuasive in all four of his claims because as history would show, accepting both sides of an argument is how society improves.
In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill speaks on matters concerning the “struggle between authority and liberty” and determining how the government should be balanced with the will of the common people. To aid these balances, Mill lays out indisputable freedoms for everyone including freedoms of thought and speech. He stresses that these freedoms are justified as long as they abstain from harm onto other people, but words have been known to hurt or offend. Hateful and unpopular thoughts can be ignored by common people just as they can say and believe whatever they wish to, but in the creation of laws that do affect everyone, leaders cannot discriminate against hearing any sort of opinion because doing so would increase the possibility of tyranny against a minority of any kind Mill wants to prevent. Every single opinion, no matter how unpopular, deserves to be heard by people of power, for even a thought of the unpopular or the minority could provide a shred of truth when leaders make decisions to better a majority of lives.
John Stuart Mill discusses the conception of liberty in many ways. I’d like to focus of his ideas of the harm principle and a touch a little on his thoughts about the freedom of action. The harm principle and freedom on action are just two subtopics of Mill’s extensive thoughts about the conception on liberty. Not only do I plan to discuss and explain each of these parts on the conception of liberty, but I also plan to discuss my thoughts and feelings. I have a few disagreements with Mill on the harm principle; they will be stated and explained. My thoughts and feelings on Mill vary but I’d like to share my negative opinion towards the principle and hope to put it in a different perspective.
Mill argues that society should be able to express their thoughts in a correct manner. He writes, "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 6 ). This quote means that a human being should have a certain limit to prevent harm to another human being (Harm principle). For example, I tend to believe that my manager harms others by cutting down their hours weekly if the employee calls into work if something harmful happens to them. Therefore, Mill’s point is that the concept speech is that we shouldn’t harm someone if we’re going to harm them.
...Mill does not implicitly trust or distrust man and therefore does not explicitly limit freedom, in fact he does define freedom in very liberal terms, however he does leave the potential for unlimited intervention into the personal freedoms of the individual by the state. This nullifies any freedoms or rights individuals are said to have because they subject to the whims and fancy of the state. All three beliefs regarding the nature of man and the purpose of the state are bound to their respective views regarding freedom, because one position perpetuates and demands a conclusion regarding another.
John Stuart Mill discusses in his essay On Liberty, whether or not an authority should be able to limit another beings expression of their own opinion. The essay is centered on liberty, and transfers into Mills opinion on freedom of expression and speech. Mill argues that “if all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind” (Mill 20). This argument parallels Thrasymachus’ argument in Plato’s The Republic, because Mill appears to be arguing that the stronger group is allowed to limit the expression of the weaker group, much where Thrasymachus believes justice is the advantage of the stronger. Mill believes that the Harm Principle must protect people from some expressions, but not though. While thought is personal, and only affects oneself, expression of those thoughts can occasionally affect others. Because expression can harm others, Mill believes that under the Harm Principle, it can be regulated. Mill does eventually consider, however, that “the
John Stuart Mill came up with when one person is happy but the majority of people does something that makes that person upset, but the majority matters more than the one person who is upset. According to John Stuart Mill, “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind” (izquotes.com). This quote means that if one person had a different opinion than a whole majority of people then the whole majority are more stronger than the one person, so they can go along with the majority opinion. John Locke believed in life, liberty, and property and thought everyone had human rights to do what they wanted. According to John Locke, “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself”(pintrest.com). It means that everyone has their own property to themselves and everybody else has rights but not to their property. For instance, our society came from two philosopher ideas of John Stuart Mill and John
Chapter two of Mill’s On Liberty discusses the freedom of speech. Mill ultimately declares that a person is free to express his/her opinion as long as it does not cause physical harm to an individual’s person or possessions. This opinion can be “correct” or “wrong” and/or it can cause emotional harm; as long as Mill’s former harm principle is not violated, a person can have unlimited free speech. Mill explains that there is no possible way for one to know for certain that an opinion is true or false, only that one can work towards a more reasonable and logical opinion. Certainty means little if many people are certain that their differing opinions are true, and many opinions thought to be true have later been proven to be false such as slavery being accepted to it being inhumane. His strongest argument for this claim is that to suppress an opinion, one must be certain that it is incorrect and that the suppressor is infallible.