Respected Philosopher, John Stuart Mill, Author of On Liberty

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John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), a British philosopher, is one of history's most respectable moral philosophers. Mill's most well-known work on the rights and freedom of an individual is his book entitled On Liberty. On Liberty discusses the struggle between liberty and authority between society and government, and how the limits of power can be practiced by society over an individual. Mill's essay consists of arguing what laws government has that ables them to be given the right to force people to act and live in certain ways. He establishes a society that can interfere with the government, demand freedom of individuals, and allow individuals free will to do what they choose, without interfering with the rights of others. This idea of free will and liberty leads to Mill’s harm principle. On Liberty is the founding document of the harm principle. The harm principle is defined in Mill’s introduction to On Liberty:
That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number is self-protection. That 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.1

The harm principle states that all individuals have the free will to carry through any action they desire to make, as long as it does not hamper or effect the rights of others. Mill has arguments, although inconclusive to many, that support his position.
***Mill spends a substantial amount of time exhibiting his harm principle by saying, “that actions can only be punished when they harm others.”2 I feel that the most primitive and obvious issue is whether Mill’s harm princi...

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... principle of morality, we require subordinate principles to apply it by: the impossibility without them being common to all systems, can afford no argument against one one in particular...without drawing any general conclusions from the experience of human life...has ever reached in philosophical controversy. 3

Mill's moral theory is not accurately described. It remains recognizably utilitarian. According to Skorupski, he believes that the “mental, moral, and aesthetic stature”4 is capable for human nature, according to Mill. Utility has a place when Mill states that the greatest of interests is not normally classed “under the head of interest.” 5
Clarifying several points about Mill’s opinion on the principle of liberty will give supporting evidence that unless the harm to others can be averted, any reason for the limitation of liberty would not exist.

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