Mill rejects the notion of a social contract, which Locke argues for, but due to the protections provided by society, the citizens owe a return for these benefits. He defines the harm principle by each individual having the right to act however they please, as long as it does not affect the person undertaking the action. Society cannot intervene, even if the act the person is committing causes harm to them. The excessive autonomy proposed by the principle will be counterproductive to the rule of law. People could not be allowed to live the way they want; the world will be in chaos.
John Stuart Mill On Liberty Analysis
A Rhetorical Analysis of "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill Essay - Words
Essay Examples. He takes issue with the illegitimate power society has over the individual. Although he fears that the despotism of custom will lead to the stagnation of society, his solution to this problem ironically requires that we adopt his concern for well being of others as custom. 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.
A Rhetorical Analysis of "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill
Published in , it applies Mill's ethical system of utilitarianism to society and state. He emphasizes the importance of individuality , which he considers prerequisite to the higher pleasures—the summum bonum of utilitarianism. Furthermore, Mill asserts that democratic ideals may result in the tyranny of the majority.
On Liberty is not merely a political text explaining the intricacies of how the state ought to act. This is the idea that people should only be stopped or restrained from acting when their conduct may harm another individual. He also discusses the struggle between liberty and authority, the importance of individuality, the limits of state authority, and the practical application of the harm principle. It is a small yet dense essay with many questions about how a free society ought to treat its citizens.