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PHL 232: What is Freedom?
Professor Jason D. Hill
Answer any One Question of Your Choice in a double-spaced essay numbering 5 pages. You may write up to 7 pages if you wish. Your essay is due to me via email on Thursday, Fe
uary 22, 2024 by noon. Send your Essays via a WORD DOC or Goole DOC to my D2L email: XXXXXXXXXX Please DO NOT send essays as PDF files as I will not be able to make comments inside such documents. Enclosed you should also find an evaluative ru
ic that delineates the criteria for which grades are assigned.
On your essay title page, please indicate which author and question number to which you are responding.
For Tuesday, Fe
uary 20, Read Chapter IV (4) of ON LIBERTY by John Stuart Mill.
1) In "On Liberty," John Stuart Mill defends the view that individual freedom should be protected even when society disapproves of certain actions or opinions. This freedom ought to be protected by law. Mill asserts, however, that it can be regulated by pubic opinion in cases where human actions are not any business of the law. Paradoxically, Mill inveighs against what he calls, social tyranny: the codification of public mores and norms that stifle the individuality and creativity out of the human personality. How does Mill navigate between these two registers: social oppro
ium is necessary to regulate human behavior in places where it is not any of the law’s business; and social oppro
ium if ca
ied too far can crush the individuality and vitality form the human spirit? What is Mill's justification for this principle, and how does he respond to objections to it? To what extent do you agree or disagree with Mill's position, and why? Provide specific examples to support your argument.
2) Do you think that Todd May’s articulation of a meaningful and significant life presupposes a life that is free? This is the one question he seems to take for granted. There have been millions of people who have been enslaved or, lived lives that are deeply compromised by a paucity of freedom, or mobility and a capacity to navigate the world in as equal a manner as people possessed of greater rights, privileges and advantages. What is your position on this topic? Does a meaningful life require a life of some semblance of significant freedom? Think here of Dilsey as described by May in Faulkner’s novel, The Sound and The Fury. Hers was a highly circumscribed life as one lived as a maid who was Black and who worked in the house of a white family at the height of Jim Crow segregation in Mississippi. In spite of what May says, could Dilsey truly live a meaningful life? Give clearly thought-out reasons to support your answers.
Answered Same Day Feb 22, 2024


Dipali answered on Feb 23 2024
12 Votes
Table of contents
Introduction    4
Mill's Defense of Individual Freedom    4
Balancing Act    5
Justification for Mill's Principle    5
Response to Objections    6
Application of Mill's Principle    7
Personal Perspective    8
Conclusion    9
References    10
John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" is a foundational examination of the complex relationship that exists between personal autonomy and social norms. A pillar of the discussion on individual liberty, Mill's writings from the 19th century continue to be important. We examine Mill's defence of individual freedom in this study, focusing on how he strikes a balance between the dangers of suppressing uniqueness and the need for societal oppro
ium to control behaviour. The conflict arises from wanting to uphold the law's protection of freedom while letting the general public influence behaviour outside of legal boundaries. Mill bases his arguments on the ideas of damage and diversity as a means of advancing society. In order to understand Mill's views' continuing relevance in the complicated world of modern societal norms and values, we shall critically analyze his point of view while also taking into account his reactions to criticisms and the real-world applications of his concept.
Mill's Defense of Individual Freedom
The foundation of John Stuart Mill's defence of individual freedom in "On Liberty" is a sophisticated comprehension of the complex inte
elationship between the self and society. According to Mill, personal autonomy is crucial, and people should be allowed to follow their own paths and take activities that do not directly injure other people. He makes the case for strong legal protections for individual liberty but also presents an important idea: the Harm Principle. According to Mill, behaviour is only subject to social or legal restraint when it endangers other people. According to Mill, societal disapproval is required to control conduct that falls outside the purview of the law (Llewellyn, 2021). He does, however, caution against the perils of what he refers to as "social tyranny"—the overzealous codification of social mores that stifles uniqueness and originality. Mill grounds this careful balancing on his conviction that moral and intellectual advancement result from a society that supports a wide range of human expressions. He argues that suppressing dissident voices and unorthodox viewpoints stunts the growth of society; therefore defending individual liberties is not just a human right but also a shared necessity for progress. Mill's defense of individual freedom, included in the framework of the Harm Principle, continues to be a cornerstone of debates over liberty and the limitations required for a peaceful cohabitation of the individual and society.
Balancing Act
The philosophical tightrope walk that John Stuart Mill does in "On Liberty" is striking a balance between defending individual freedom and admitting that society needs control. Fundamental to it all is Mill's Harm Principle, which states that personal freedom may only be restricted in cases when an activity injures other people. While acknowledging the influence of popular opinion in shaping behaviour outside of legal boundaries, Mill still supports the preservation of autonomy inside the framework of the law. This fine balance becomes essential to avoiding what Mill refers to as...

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