Mill on liberty essay questions

In the part which Mill on liberty essay questions concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Supporting the persecution of such people suggests that their contributions are not truly being valued.

The ancient commonwealths thought themselves entitled to practise, and the ancient philosophers countenanced, the regulation of every part of private conduct by public authority, on the ground that the State had a deep interest in the whole bodily and mental discipline of every one of its citizens, a mode of thinking Mill on liberty essay questions may have been admissible in small republics surrounded by powerful enemies, in constant peril of being subverted by foreign attack or internal commotion, and to which even a short interval of relaxed energy and self-command might so easily be fatal, that they could not afford to wait for the salutary permanent effects of freedom.

Rather, the person behind the action and the action together are valuable. The sentiments, ideals, and morals of the greater number of people governing the political process are imposed upon the minority. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute.

Mill then turns to the reasons why humanity is hurt by silencing opinions. More Essay Examples on Society Rubric The main theme throughout, On Liberty, is the idea that without a strong will to actively cultivate vital individuality, a society will cease to progress.

The early difficulties in the way of spontaneous progress are so great, that there is seldom any choice of means for overcoming them; and a ruler full of the spirit of improvement is warranted in the use of any expedients that will attain an end, perhaps otherwise unattainable.

Society can and does execute its own mandates; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.

Neither was that notion necessarily disturbed by such temporary aberrations as those of the French Revolution, the worst of which were the work of an usurping few, and which, in any case, belonged, not to the permanent working of popular institutions, but to a sudden and convulsive outbreak against monarchical and aristocratic despotism.

The way of living Mill proposes is an internal choice to question the ideals of the majority that are forced upon the minority.

However, when an actual democratic republic developed The United Statesit was realized that the people don't rule themselves. Some rules of conduct, therefore, must be imposed, by law in the first place, and by opinion on many things which are not fit subjects for the operation of law.

But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant — society collectively over the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. When I say only himself, I mean directly, and in the first instance: A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in neither case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.

Among the works of man, which human life is rightly employed in perfecting and beautifying, the first in importance surely is man himself. Society has expended fully as much effort in the attempt according to its lights to compel people to conform to its notions of personal, as of social excellence.


Among so many baser influences, the general and obvious interests of society have of course had a share, and a large one, in the direction of the moral sentiments: Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds.

On a particular issue, people will align themselves either for or against that issue; the side of greatest volume will prevail, but is not necessarily correct. He writes that since human beings are not infallible, they have no authority to decide an issue for all people, and to keep others from coming up with their own judgments.

He sees a lack of progress in society and pinpoints the root of this problem. Rather, he argues that this liberal system will bring people to the good more effectively than physical or emotional coercion.

Advice, instruction, persuasion, and avoidance by other people if thought necessary by them for their own good, are the only measures by which society can justifiably express its dislike or disapprobation of his conduct.

His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant Mill then turns to an overview of the development of the concept of liberty. Asking individuals to make choices, ask questions, and interpret human experience is similar to custom in the way that it asks individuals to live their lives to a certain standard and fulfill certain obligations.

The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion.

He writes that this essay will look at what kind of power society can legitimately exert over the individual.

Mill on Liberty

Mill argues that if one is to accept the legitimacy of punishing irreligious opinions, one must also accept that if one felt, like Marcus Aurelius did, that Christianity was dangerous, one would also be justified in punishing Christianity. First, the unpopular opinion may be right.

And men range themselves on one or the other side in any particular case, according to this general direction of their sentiments; or according to the degree of interest which they feel in the particular thing which it is proposed that the government should do; or according to the belief they entertain that the government would, or would not, do it in the manner they prefer; but very rarely on account of any opinion to which they consistently adhere, as to what things are fit to be done by a government.

John Stuart Mill

Where one can be protected from a tyrant, it is much harder to be protected "against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling. There are often good reasons for not holding him to the responsibility; but these reasons must arise from the special expediencies of the case: Until then, there is nothing for them but implicit obedience to an Akbar or a Charlemagne, if they are so fortunate as to find one.

Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty, which contains a rational justification of the liberty of the individual in opposition to the claims of the state to impose unrestricted control.

Other articles deaing with liberty, freedom and democracy, with special attention to the situation in. liberty, as we saw in the first paragraph of chapter one; the question here about the essay’s object asks what Mill takes to be the object or objective of the work—the main assertion of the essay.

FS (Griffin) Spring, Reading and Discussion Questions: John Stuart Mill, On Liberty The reading questions are aimed to help focus your attention on the more important aspects of Mill's.

Writing Help. Get ready to write your paper on On Liberty with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more. — John Stuart Mill, Essay on Liberty (Library of Liberal Arts edition, p) The renowned essay On Liberty was written by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill () and published inthe year in which Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published.

Mill starts off by limiting the scope of his essay to Civil, or Social Liberty. He writes that this essay will look at what kind of power society can legitimately exert over the individual. Mill predicts that this question will become increasingly important because some humans have entered a more.

Mill on liberty essay questions
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