Essay, 6 pages (1400 words)

Freedom: john stuart mill essay

1. John Stuart Mill: Freedom

Freedom is by and large defined. by a dictionary. as the status or right of being able or allowed to make. state. believe. etc. whatever you want to. without being controlled or limited ( Cambridge ) . This means there is no intervention or influence in ones’ actions or sentiments by anyone else. There is no domination or dictatorial authorities who affects these actions or sentiments. John Stuart Mill. an English philosopher and economic expert. gives a similar position on freedom as the Cambridge lexicon. and looks at the ‘ nature and bounds of the power which can be lawfully exercised by society over the individual’ ( Mill. 6 ) . Mill’s position of freedom. as he writes in his book On Liberty. is that “ Over himself. over his ain organic structure and head. the person is autonomous. ” ( Mill. 13 ) . By this he means that an person is free when they make independent picks. have independent sentiments and have independent actions.

When a individual thinks and acts without the influence of outside sentiment. a individual exercises his or her ain freedom. Mill divides human autonomy into three parts. The first is the ‘ domain of the conscience’ and ‘ liberty of idea and feeling. ’ ( Mill. 15 ) . The 2nd is the ‘ liberty of gustatory sensations and chases. ’ and ‘ framing the program of your life’ ( Mill. 16 ) . The 3rd part is ‘ the freedom to unify. for any purpose non affecting injury to others’ ( Mill. 16 ) . He states that if a society has a regard for these three parts of human autonomy. so a society is free ( Mill. 16 ) . ‘ The merely freedom which deserves the name. is that of prosecuting our ain good in our ain manner. so long as we do non try to deprive others of theirs. or hinder their attempts to obtain it’ ( Mill. 16 ) .

However. he states that if an person exercises their freedom in a manner that threatens injury to another. there should be intervention to forestall injury from being done. He asserts that the lone clip anyone can interfere with or exercising power over an individual’s autonomy is when that person is endangering injury to another and this intervention is used for self-defense. ( Mill. 13 ) . If an person is practising their ain freedom in their ain manner. without forestalling others from making so. so there should be no intervention with the person. For illustration. if an single decides to imbibe an alcoholic drink. such as a beer. at 10 in the forenoon. so there should be no intervention with that. He knows intoxicant is harmful. he is taking to imbibe the beer and every bit long as his actions do non interfere with anyone else so he should non be interfered with.

However if his imbibing makes him violent. and he decides to get down a battle with person else. there should be intervention to forestall the drunk person from doing injury to another person. Mill’s states that the right of autonomy does non use to kids. ‘ those who are still in a province to necessitate being taken attention of by others’ or ‘ backward provinces of society’ ( Mill. 14 ) . Another battle discussed by Mill in his book. is the battle between society and the person about which should hold control over the individual’s actions. Mill observes that the universe seems to be in a topographic point where in a society. Torahs and public sentiment have more power over an individuals’ actions and ideas. than the person has over himself.

However society seems to prefer conformance and even demand it. Mill argues that due to conformance. an person is unable to do meaningful picks. which keeps him from personal development. He believes that freedom. along with individualism. is indispensable to both single every bit good as societal advancement ( Mill. 66 ) . Conformity keeps people from larning from each other and they are unable to near their life in an appealing manner. In his sentiment. “ the curious immorality of hushing the look of an sentiment is. that it is robbing the human race. ” ( Mills. 19. )

When contrasting Mill’s position on freedom with the Dutch philosopher Benedict de Spinozas’ position. there is a clear difference. Spinoza defined freedom as self-caused. which implied that merely God can be free ( Kisner. 8 ) . He did non believe that worlds could be free because we are non free from being determined by outside agents ( McKinnon. 109 ) . He besides believed that finite things. such as a humans’ encephalon. could non do a pick that was non caused by external factors. In Spinoza’s IIp48 he asserted that “ In the Mind there is no absolute. or free. will. but the Mind is determined to will this or that by a cause that is besides determined by another. and this once more by another. and so to eternity. ”

He did non believe in free will. because he strongly believed that something can non be caused by nil. therefore God is the lone entity that is free. as he is non limited by outside agents ( Kisner. 12 ) . For illustration. an single taking a sip of H2O could reason that they did so because they chose to make so. However external factors are involved as the pick to imbibe H2O could be because they wanted to turn out that they have free will. which would be because they believed in free will. The person could besides hold chosen to imbibe H2O because of thirst. which was caused by the individual’s organic structure losing H2O. which could be a cause of playing athleticss in the hot Sun. due to being portion of a school athleticss squad. and so on until eternity.

Friedrich August Hayek. an Austro-Hungarian economic expert and philosopher. has an interesting similar yet opposing position from Mill’s. His position of freedom is when an person is non a portion of ‘ coercion by the arbitrary will of another or others’ ( Lukes. 160 ) but besides that it is ‘ not the absolute autonomy to make as one pleases. instead it is a acknowledgment of the necessity of jurisprudence and morality in order to guarantee that human interaction is concerted and orderly. ’ ( Horwitz ) . For Hayek freedom depends on whether an person can do his ain single determinations on what class of action to take. or whether person else uses power to pull strings this person’s pick of action. to do the single act as they want them to ( Lukes. 160 ) .

Hayek states that a society with jurisprudence should seek and keep negative freedom. the freedom to non make anything prohibited and to avoid positive freedom. giving people the power to make things. which allows people to be absent from coercion. as there is no inequality in power under the jurisprudence ( Roberts ) . Hayek and Mill portion the belief that freedom involves no coercion. An person should non be manipulated or forced to make something that the person did non make up one’s mind himself. However Hayek and Mill disagree on the position of conformance. While Hayek states that jurisprudence and morality are of import for a society. Mill disagrees and says that it keeps persons from come oning. and that it hurts a society as a whole.

In decision. there are many philosophers who have contrasting every bit good as similar positions on freedom as John Stuart Mill. Mill believes that a individual is responsible for his or herself. the manner the act. what their sentiment is. and should non be interfered with unless the single poses a menace to person else.

Bibliography MLA

Cambridge University. “ Definition of Freedom Noun from Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus. ” Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus – Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University. 2010. 11 Sept. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //dictionary. Cambridge University. org/dictionary/british/freedom? q= freedom & gt ; . Horwitz. Steven. “ Hayek and Freedom. ” The Freeman. May 2006. 13 Sept. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. thefreemanonline. org/ & gt ; .

Kisner. Matthew J. Spinoza on Human Freedom: Reason. Autonomy and the Good Life. Cambridge. United kingdom: Cambridge UP. 2011.
Lukes. Steven. Power: a Extremist View. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2005. McKinnon. Catriona. Issues in Political Theory. Oxford: Oxford UP. 2008. Mill. John Stuart. On Autonomy: 1859. 4th erectile dysfunction. London: Longman. Roberts & A ; Green. 1869. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //socserv. McMaster. ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/mill/liberty. pdf & gt ; Roberts. Andrew. “ Friedrich Hayek and Freedom. ” Study More. Middlesex Universty. 2007. 13 Sept. 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //studymore. org. uk/ & gt ; .

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