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. Dissenters are an example of those individuals who actively cultivate vital individuality. Mill suggests that closed-minded individuals who reject the unalike beliefs of others will never truly know their views to be the whole truth.
Mill, John Stuart | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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. Among the standards proposed are Mill's three basic liberties of individuals, his three legitimate objections to government intervention, and his two maxims regarding the relationship of the individual to society.
John Stuart Mill (1806—1873)
In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill outlines his unique political theory based on the liberty of men in society. His argument stands out because it is not typical social contract theory. It does not begin by examining men in the state of nature, it does not outline an ideal government structure, and the contract itself is vague, though not without a purpose. Like Tocqueville, Mill was also concerned about the tyranny that a majority can form. But unlike the others, his concern was not just limited to the wrong exercise of the power by law makers over minorities but he was also apprehensive about the prevailing social opinion of the majority class over minority.
John Stuart Mill was an English philosopher and a progressive in British politics during the 17th century. He lived during a time of political transformation in England caused by the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution brought social mobility to the middle and lower class, along with more political participation.