Mill acknowledges that finding the correct limit on the majority's influence is a difficult task, especially since most people have different perceptions of the correct limit to be implemented. Each person, mill claims, will think that their own opinion on a matter is right, but their reasoning is affected by their own self-interest and the external and internal pressures that they may or may not be aware. As a result, several principles determine the standards of a country's the people. First of all, the moral standards and self-perceptions of the higher class in a society will likely have the most influence on the morality of their country. Secondly, men are likely to follow the mandates of their religion and this adds to the rules of conduct for society. Finally, the basic interests of society influence moral sentiments as a whole mill points out that it isn't the actual interests that influence, but rather the empathy and apathy that stem from these interests. From these principles, mill states that it is society's likes and dislikes that create most of the rules for the citizenry. Oftentimes, the question of what society dislikes or likes wrongly supersedes the question of whether society should implement these preferences as laws. An exception to this is in regards to religion, where society was refused the right to uniformly implement its preferences due to the concept of liberty and freedom, along with the minority religious factions that left few majorities to enforce their will.
After a while, people began to see an importance in having their government act as their delegates, a democratic body who would make decisions according to what the writing people wanted. This development was seen as the end to tyranny by many how could people oppress themselves? "Self-government" and "the power of the people over themselves" were common ways to refer to the new, empowered system of government. Mill refuses these characterizations; rather he asserts that the people who have the power are not necessarily those that are affected by the power. He goes on to conclude that the will of the people is simply the will of the majority of the active governed people. Mill asserts that this type of tyranny, tyranny of the majority, is just as evil as any other form of political despotism. In fact, he believes that it is often much worse than other forms of despotism because it is more pervasive and able to infiltrate our lives and social interactions. Mill concludes that there needs to be protection against this tyranny of prevailing opinion.
Vref1 titleJohn Stuart Mill's Theories On Liberty m datenovember 2013 accessdate locationNottingham,. All Answers ltd, 'john Stuart Mill's Theories On Liberty' (m, july 2018) p? Vref1 accessed Reference copied to Clipboard. Mill begins by explaining that his purpose in this essay is to discuss the maximum power that society can exercise over an individual and study the struggle between Liberty and Authority. In earlier times, liberty was utilized as protection against political tyranny because rulers were endowed with the power to both suppress the rights of would-be aggressors and their own citizenry. As time elapsed however, the citizens began to want an limit to be placed on the power of the government in order to achieve their liberty. This attempt to ensure liberty involved two steps: 1) obtaining political rights that were safe against all forms of tyranny and 2) implementing the safeguard of community consent in the form of a mandate or body that would guard against an abuse of power. The first step was easily obtained, but the second step was met with more opposition by governments.
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It is easy to see how. Mill's defence of liberty is highly contentious in views. As explained in this essay, mill's prominent works such as On Liberty, gather traditionalist criticism as well as revisionist support. While traditionalists criticize mill's defence of liberty from a utilitarian ethic, revisionists encourage us to respect Mill's work as a distinct process of developing liberalism. Mill refuses to accept fully the utilitarian principles inherited from his father and Bentham, nor reject them for his belief in 'individual sovereignty', but rather attempts to settle shredder the two antagonistic viewpoints to defend liberty. Cite This Essay, to export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: Essays,. John Stuart Mill's Theories On Liberty.
Reference copied to Clipboard. "John Stuart Mill's Theories On Liberty.". "John Stuart Mill's Theories On Liberty." All Answers Ltd. Vref1 Accessed Reference copied to Clipboard. John Stuart Mill's Theories On Liberty Internet. Accessed ; available from: p? Cite weblastEssays firstuk urlp?
The traditionalist criticize that we cannot clearly distinguish between the two actions Mill propose, as it is inevitable that people's actions affect others because people are not entirely secluded, therefore in theory any individual act can cause harm to others. As Fitzjames Stephen puts it, "I think that the attempt to distinguish between self-regarding acts and acts which regard others, is like an attempt to distinguish between acts which happen in time and acts which happen in space. Every act happens at some time and in some place, and in like manner every act that we do either does or may affect both ourselves and others. I think, therefore, that the distinction (which, by the way, is not at all a common one) is altogether fallacious and unfounded.". In response to traditionalist criticism, revisionists attempt to clarify 'self-regarding' acts and 'other-regarding' acts.
Reese's essay, a re-reading of Mill on Liberty, he distinguishes other-regarding actions to affect other people's interests in their moral rights, that of liberty and security. . Therefore, the "harm to others" implied in On Liberty refers to the harm of an individual's moral interests, resulting in injustice towards the individual. . As such, revisionist argue that 'self-regarding' actions can be clearly distinguished from 'other-regarding actions' and support Mill's harm principle in that actions can be restricted if they are injurious to the moral rights of security and liberty of other people. The significant notion about human nature mill makes in On Liberty, is how people can best understand and learn about their own opinions and activities from accepting challenging and opposing opinions and arguing against them. One can only faithfully understand their opinion by defending. . This belief, based on the social utility of the individual is significantly disputed by traditionalists who argue people may not be able to best understand their opinions and values from dissent. For example, people who have different vocabulary for discussing moral and political issues may simply argue past each other, rather than challenge opposing opinions and therefore a diversity of opinions may not be socially beneficiary as it cannot increase utility, or happiness, which Mill defends. Mill's claim about the need for dissent in order to truly understand one's own opinions is hereby less convincing.
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In On Liberty, mill regards utility "as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions; but it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of a man as a progressive being." That is to say, mill's believes that utilitarianism is principle. For Mill, diversity of opinion leads to positive social good, therefore overlooking the minority and silencing their opinions deprives "the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation." For revisionists, mill as a utilitarian is not essentially inconsistent if he knowingly sacrifices some utility for. Mill's notorious principle of liberty, the "harms principle" has also world been disputed by traditionalist and revisionist views. In chapter four of On Liberty, mill argues that people's actions ought not to be as free as opinions and should be limited if they are a "nuisance to other people". He states "that the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." Traditionalist criticizes Mill's harm principle because mill leaves room to suggest that it would be acceptable. By making "harm to others" a legitimate reason for state interference, the legitimate powers of the state could extend and outweigh the need to value individuality. . Another traditionalist indictment against Mill's principle of liberty is towards his account that actions should only be restricted if those actions are "other-regarding" and effect other people, and not if those actions are "self-regarding which affect only the individual themselves and therefore should be exercised.
In On Liberty, mill defends freedom of the individual against "tyranny of the majority" where dominant groups, more so the dominance of "public resume opinion inhibits lesser individuals. Mill's objection to the majority of society excluding the minority contradicts his utilitarian ethic. 19th Century English critic James Fitzjames Stephen condemns Mill's endeavour to defend individual liberty from a utilitarian viewpoint by arguing that, if the fundamental value for utilitarianism is to effectively enhance happiness of a society to the greatest extent, "then a consistent utilitarian policy. Stephen views that utilitarian principles pursues social welfare through restricting opinions of some members of society and that individualism cannot be viewed with a utilitarian ethic. Mill attempts. On the other hand, revisionists argue that such traditionalist views are misinterpreted and that Mill's contradictions with utilitarianism is a "natural development of his utilitarian predecessors' achievements" and his work not entirely incoherent. Edwards view, mill is a minimizing utilitarian and that the principle of utility does not impose on individuals the moral obligation to maximize utility, but focuses on happiness alone as the "ultimate standard of value" governing all human areas of practice. .
debated. His harms principle and his assumptions on human nature also submit to controversial views. On one hand, traditionalists condemn Mill as a highly inconsistent thinker and his work On Liberty very critical in itself, but on the other hand, revisionists see mill as a consistent thinker who naturally refines and develops pre-existing liberal ideas. Mill's father, james Mill, was a strong utilitarian theorist. His beliefs along with the utilitarianism works of British philosopher Jeremy bentham had a huge influence. In Mill's essay on Liberty, we can examine how his defence of individualism with utilitarian contentions create critical views. Mill believes in the ethic of utilitarianism in that the state and individuals ought to be judged by their ability and action to promote "the greatest happiness for the greatest number" of people, however as traditionalists see it, attaining the utmost social good involves forfeiting. Thus, the rudiment of utilitarianism is in dispute with Mill's beliefs in individuality and self-development.
What is the value of individual liberty that calls for it to be defended so fervently by mill? Individual Liberty and Truth, firstly, mill believes that individual liberty is instrumental in the attainment of truth. No one can claim an infallibility of knowledge or a definite truth. Falsehoods are often sprinkled with specks of truth; and truth may exists as half-truths held by different people, and it is only through controversy that the truth in the parts can be unified into a larger canvas of the ultimate truth. If one's actions were to be censored completely, society would lose those specks of truth amongst the falsehoods, which would be disadvantageous to society. Furthermore, truth is very often not derived from the masses, but from the ideas of a select few. If these people are silenced by repressive laws or mass opinion, society will be deprived of a chance to find out. Print, reference this, published: 23rd March, 2015 3rd may, 2017. John Stuart Mill was one of the foremost liberal theorists of the 19th century, binding modern and classical liberalism in his ideas.
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2353 Words 10 Pages, john Stuart Mill on Individual Liberty. Definition of Individual liberty, in his work On Liberty, mill placed much emphasis on individual liberty and its vital role in political society. To mill, this phrase may be defined as the report liberty of the individual to be the final judge over his actions; to decide what is right and wrong and to act upon that standard. On a secondary level, it also implies one's freedom to pursue one's own individuality. Mill believed in a society in which each individual leads his own distinctive life according to his own unique talents; unfettered by regulations upon thought, opinion, actions etc. However, mill asserts an important caveat; that which he calls the very simple principle'. He writes, That show more content, value of Individual Liberty. Indeed, mill asserted that the cultivation of one's individuality should be the goal of human existence. He wrote On Liberty as an argument against repressive laws which inhibit voluntary association and suppress original ideas and ways of thinking, in a bid to protect the freedom of the individual from stifling social conventions, oppressive legal controls and censorship.