John Stuart Mill Principle Analysis

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John Stuart Mill discusses the commencement of liberty in many ways in his book, Of Liberty. One of the major arguments Mill demonstrates is the Harm Principal. This is just one subtopic of Mill's extensive thoughts about the conception on liberty and freedom on action. Through this paper, by examining his arguments, claims, and critiques of the Harm Principal I am hoping by expressing my opinion and outlook on the argument to present the idea that the push for personal freedom over societal rule would be more beneficial to society as a whole. The harm principal was published in Mill's work of Liberty in 1859, making of the most influential philosophical books of all time. In the harm principal, his main concern had to do with the right to use methods of control on another human being. Mill stated, "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, 1). Mill believes that the right to control another individual can be "rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others" (Mill, chapter 1). By this, Mill means that liberty should not be constrained unless it is to avert harm to other people. In Of Liberty, Mill also says, "over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign" (Mill, chapter 1). He claims that individuals can essentially do anything to themselves as authority has no say in what they do to themselves. By looking at this direct quote, it can be seen that Mill believes strongly that people have the liberty to think for themselves and develop their own opinions. In addition to this, it is seen that he believes that people should have th... ... middle of paper ... ...act that not every individual has other people's best interest in mind. In 1859, Mill's harm principal was published in one of the most influential pieces of philosophical work in history. In chapter four, Of the Limits to the Authority of Society over the Individual, Mill looks at how his "harm principal" and his the push for personal freedom over societal rule would be more beneficial to society as a whole. He states how people are not completely isolated from society and that their actions and words affect other human beings. By examining his principal, guidelines, and conditions it can be seen that a society would benefit more by Mill's harm principal because of the push and strive for personal freedom. Hopefully, by looking at the arguments made by critics, and observing how Mill would respond, both sides can be compared and the principal can shine through.
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