As the ideas developed, the essay was expanded, rewritten and "sedulously" corrected by Mill and his wife, Harriet Taylor. Mill states that On Liberty "was more directly and literally our joint production than anything else which bears my name. He divides this control of authority into two mechanisms: Mill admits that this new form of society seemed immune to tyranny because "there was no fear of tyrannizing over self.
Composition[ edit ] According to Mill's Autobiography, On Liberty was first conceived as a short essay in As the ideas developed, the essay was expanded, rewritten and "sedulously" corrected by Mill and his wife, Harriet Taylor. Mill, after suffering a mental breakdown and eventually meeting and subsequently marrying Harriet, changed many of his beliefs on moral life and women's rights.
Mill states that On Liberty "was more directly and literally our joint production than anything else which bears my name. He divides this control of authority into two mechanisms: Mill admits that this new form of society seemed immune to tyranny because "there was no fear of tyrannizing over self.
First, even in democracy, the rulers were not always the same sort of people as the ruled. Where one can be protected from a tyrant, it is much harder to be protected "against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling.
Mill's proof goes as follows: The only justification for a person's preference for a particular moral belief is that it is that person's preference. 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.
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. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant Over himself, over his body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
For example, according to Mill, children and "barbarian" nations are benefited by limited freedom. Mill concludes the Introduction by discussing what he claimed were the three basic liberties in order of importance: This includes the freedom to act on such thought, i.
Mill attempts to prove his claim from the first chapter that opinions ought never to be suppressed. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility. Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.
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.
And not only this, but, fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost, or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct: Therefore, Mill concludes that suppression of opinion based on belief in infallible doctrine is dangerous.
Mill points out the inherent value of individuality since individuality is ex vi termini i. He states that he fears that Western civilization approaches this well-intentioned conformity to praiseworthy maxims characterized by the Chinese civilization. Rather, the person behind the action and the action together are valuable.
Among the works of man, which human life is rightly employed in perfecting and beautifying, the first in importance surely is man himself. Supposing it were possible to get houses built, corn grown, battles fought, causes tried, and even churches erected and prayers said, by machinery—by automatons in human form—it would be a considerable loss to exchange for these automatons even the men and women who at present inhabit the more civilised parts of the world, and who assuredly are but starved specimens of what nature can and will produce.
Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.
Mill explains a system in which a person can discern what aspects of life should be governed by the individual and which by society. In such a situation, "society has jurisdiction over [the person's conduct].On Liberty is a philosophical work by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, originally intended as a short essay.
The work, published in , applies Mill's ethical system of . A summary of Chapter 3, Of Individuality, as one of the Elements of Well-being in John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of On Liberty and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
As he understood it, it meant the complete liberty to all, freedom of worship, among Christians, who worshipped upon the same foundation. It meant toleration of all sects and denominations of Christians who believed in the one mediation.". - John Stewarat Mill's On Liberty and the Subjection of Women Born in , John Stewart Mill was an English philosopher who highly prized the Utilitarian belief system, or the doctrine of seeking the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.
John Stuart Mill-Enlightenment and the freedom of thought Short biography John Stuart Mill was born in , after the Enlightenment and after the American Declaration of Independence, but his interpretation of the basic ideas of liberty, individual rights, women's rights, and other issues contribute to the continuing development of democratic.
John Stuart Mill (–73) was the most influential English language philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook.