• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does Mill Successfully reconcile the demands of individual liberty with the demands of general welfare?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Does Mill Successfully reconcile the demands of individual liberty with the demands of general welfare? When responding to the question: "Does Mill successfully reconcile the demands of the individual liberty and the interests of the general welfare"; it is necessary to examine a number of core issues central to Mills work. Through out the essay we will be looking at concepts such as: individuality, freedom (of speech and action), civil rights, rationality, education...that will enable a clearer understanding of individual liberty and general welfare. Firstly the essay will introduce the context in which the author lived in, skimming through some of the factors that may have influenced his manner of thought. Secondly it is necessary to analyse and discuss the book that is central to this argument, On Liberty (18 ); emphasising on the liberty of speech and action, education and the role of the State in relation to the individual and society. Thirdly, the central part of the question will be dedicated to the examination of the adjustment between freedom and social well-being. Finally having seen all these concepts and the analysis of Mills theory, it is useful to indicate those aspects of the theory that have been criticised, the contradictions, flaws, as well as those elements that have been relevant towards the construction of the Modern Liberal State. John Stuart Mill is acclaimed by many, as being one of the most influential intellects of the 19th century. Mills life was far from being ordinary, strongly influenced by his father James Mill and Jeremy Bentham1; he grew up in Victorian England2 in somewhat a humble environment. ...read more.

Middle

corn dealers were the cause of famine or that private property was theft, his opinion should be protected in the name of freedom and individuality. In the moment the opinion was being diffused, inciting society to act against the corn dealers and private property, the opinion would be encroaching on others liberty therefore should be silenced. Acts that are injurious to others should receive a totally different treatment: "Encroachment on their rights; infliction them of any loss or damage, not justified by his own rights; falsehood or duplicity o fin dealing with them; unfair or ungenerous use of advantages over them; even selfish abstinence of defending them against injury- these are fit objects of moral reprobation, and in grave cases moral retribution and punishment" (p93 Gray). This will also be subject of criticism when seeing Mills definition of the States role in society. Happiness plays a central part in the rights of action, this is where Utilitarism appears. Utilitarism is a theory that amongst other things is based on the presumption that human beings should act in consequence with what will offer them the most happiness. In On Utility happiness is measured in units, therefore for example: a person that would indulge in the activities of onanism and self gratification would acquire less units of happiness than another person that would seek pleasure through altruism as the quality of happiness is greater. If we should identify with the first case Mill believes, that Society is in the position to express its disapproval, this to certain degree can be seen as education of the society over the individual. ...read more.

Conclusion

Though the contribution that the author makes towards natural rights and the construction of "The Modern Liberal State" is not to be ignored. On Liberty develops a coherent hypothesis that highlights the importance of freedom for the creation of society; this theory should not be looked at as a guide for the construction of civilization, but merely a philosophy of what ideally society should be. Therefore it can be said that Mill manages to successfully cut out the pieces, even though does not manage to fit them together to form a new structure. 1 Jeremy Bentham: founder of Utilitism, and a central figure in British 19th century legal system. 2 Victorian England suffered from a high degree of conformity in society both formally and informally. 3A strong criticism on Calvinism can be found in chapter III of On liberty. 4 It is necessary to acknowledge hat Mill had a co-author, this was his wife Harriet Taylor. 5 Mill does mention some exceptions when acts are related to close relatives and friends 6 Mill believed, that men were under censorship, and living under unquestionable principles. Though he also admitted, that the constant revision of principles was a difficult talsk 7 Even though Mill is not referring directly to the State, but to the government, we understand that the government is the institution that manages the State affairs 8 This is another problem that arises with the compatibility of the theory of Utility and the theory of liberty. In On Utility there is a certain justification for the limitation of liberty in order to pursuit happiness 9 The strongest critiques were from within the liberal movement: Bagehot, Goldwin Smith, and JF Stephen... ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Work & Leisure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure essays

  1. To what extent do feminist theories remain relevant for interpreting gendered patterns of work.

    Thus, women were left to do both; they had a certain "double expectation". So, with feminist theory warning women of the restrictions of staying at home, many simply could not combine the two, and if they did, they still put in more hours than men.

  2. Participant Observation Exercise

    an insult and he is not trying to defame the person in question. It appears as though the conversation is driven by Dave when talking on this subject. To further reinforce what he is talking about when referring to specific incidents, he can employ the voice of the person he

  1. The Reason behind the Increase of Consumer debt and Materialism

    "One of the most fascinating things about overspending is the number of people that are NOT conscious of their behavior" (Schor). Students, initially, get credit cards with the intention to use for important things like groceries and gas. Soon, you'll find them spending at bars, buying new clothes regularly, and

  2. Education in Nervous Conditions.

    advises Tambu that her going to the convent would make her "forget who you were, what you were and why you were that." Education has its benefits where it frees women like Maiguru from being servants to the capitalist world and where education gives women the power to subvert patriarchy,

  1. Case Study 2: Daimler-Chrysler

    Daimler-Chrysler must weigh the costs and benefits of its individual suppliers and select the supplier for that one engine component based on merit of the supplier. Lastly, the company should set up a quality check system that will perform frequent checks on the manufacturing facilities of its third-party suppliers.

  2. What were the lives of people like in the 19th century cities?

    Dire was melting metals and wood. A lot of unhealthy gases came out during the production processes. The water was also being polluted (waste was thrown into rivers and drinking water often came from that source). Trash was therefore thrown not only on the streets, but also into the water, if possible.

  1. Report on: Lowood Institution for Orphan Girls.

    There were found cracks and crevices in the windows, so that in the winter cold draughts were able to get in and make the big dormitory very cold. The teachers however have rooms of their own. In them, there are comfortable beds, a coffee table in each with chairs around it, and a very warm fireplace.

  2. "Society originates because the individual is not self sufficient and no two of us ...

    is naturally fitted and neglects all others"7. Therefore people should attend to their specific trades and be prepared to share the produce with all so that the community can survive. The need for imports is raised thereby bringing Socrates to construct another group which would trade abroad and would need

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work