Essay - John Stuart Mill's Concept of Liberty Professes to Be Liberal...


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John Stuart Mill's concept of liberty professes to be liberal but ends up with a distinctly 'non-liberal' feel when analysing the details. This paper endeavours to define exactly what Mills' notion of liberty is and how it should be regulated by studying h***** book "On Liberty." The main discrepancies of his theory will be highlighted so as to demonstrate the apparent contradiction between his ideology and the examples he chooses to s*****case his ***** in its application.

***** defines liberty (civil or *****cial) as "the nature ***** lim***** ***** the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over ***** individual." (Chapter I - Introductory; 1) The obvious wielder of this power Mill identified to be the government. However the ***** can ***** controlled or checked in turn since *****y are still held accountable to the people. Mill recognized another wielder of this control over the individual, ***** '*****' in question that exercises this power over the *****dividual is the majority or those considered to be ***** maj*****ity. However, unlike the government, ***** is held accountable to the people, the majority does not have those checks. Mill states that in many ********** ***** ruling majority is not always the same people who ***** ***** power exercised on them. The majority may even wish to dominate a p*****rt of the population. Therefore, there would still need ***** ***** a *****it*****tion placed on this ruling *****. (Chapter I - Introductory; 4)

The reason behind the importance in limiting the power and influence of ***** and 'society' over its individual constituents lies in the risk of tyranny. Society enforces its own rules and regulations, as well as punishments it metes out to whomever society deems necessary to penalize. However, if society is ********** in its judgment or if society unjustifiably interferes in an individual citizen's affairs, it actually practices *****. If ***** delves *****o deeply in the private affairs of individuals, it leaves that individual less room to m*****euver, less ***** to escape such tyranny, particularly if the allegations of wrongdoing are unfounded. Mill ident*****ies this type of ***** as "enslaving the soul *****elf." (Chapter I - ***** 5) Mill uses this argument to justify protection, not just from the government of the day in secur*****g true *****, but also ***** the majority. "There needs [to be] protection... against the tyranny of prevailing opinion ***** feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its ***** ideas and ***** as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent ***** formation, of any *****ity not in harmony ***** its ways, ***** compel characters ***** f*****hion themselves upon the model of its own." (***** I - Introductory; 5)

The question *****comes, how can we regulate this type of balance between intervention and non-intervention on ***** part of society? Currently, the method ***** doing so is simplistic. Mill has identified this ***** as being largely a reworking of one ***** the Catholic

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