(2812)33 Although, in these statements, mill seems to be specifying two necessary conditions of self-regarding conduct—that it does not involve the breach of a specific duty and also that it is not the cause of perceptible hurt to an assignable individual—further consideration shows that the. The cases of contingent injury that Mill specifies are of the following four essay kinds: (1) An individual through some form of self-indulgence harms himself (deteriorates his bodily or mental faculties) with the result that he is unable to use his abilities for the benefit. He cannot be, or any longer function as, a doctor (280).34 (2) Similar conduct on the part of an individual that affects others adversely by serving as a bad example which they follow (280). (3) An act (e.g. Not observing the sabbath) which causes pain and distress to others because it goes against their views and practice (283ff.).35 (4) An individuals success in a competitive examination, or the competitive selection of candidates for a job, causes loss and pain to those who,. The injury caused in these and other cases may be perceptible enough and may clearly affect assignable individuals. For example, selling or renting a house to a black family in a white neighbourhood may bring about a fall in the value of adjacent properties, so that other house-owners suffer serious financial loss.
Where the life of a community is concerned, freedom of discussion is indispensable for great thinkers to pursue bold and novel lines of thought, and much more so for average human beings to attain the mental stature they are capable of (243).31 In other words. Self-regarding conduct and individuality the line dividing the area of individual freedom from that of legitimate social control is identical to that separating self-regarding from other-regarding conduct. Mill indicates from the start that the boundaries of these regions are not to be drawn simply on the basis of determining whether or for not a causal connection exists between the individuals actions and specified effects suffered by others. Rather, he makes it abundantly clear that we need to appeal to a normative criterion in order to demarcate between self-regarding and other-regarding conduct. Thus, in the opening chapter of Liberty, mill describes the area of self-regarding action as comprehending all that portion of a persons life and conduct which affects only himself, or if it affects others, only with their free, voluntary and undeceived consent and participation (225).32. In the sequel,. Chapter 4 of Liberty, mill concedes that the mischief which a person does to himself may seriously affect, both through their sympathies and their interests, those nearly connected with him, and in a minor degree, society at large. When, by conduct of this sort, a person is led to violate a distinct and assignable obligation to any other person or persons, the case is taken out of the self-regarding class, and becomes amenable to moral disapprobation in the proper sense of the term. In like manner, when a person disables himself, by conduct purely self-regarding, from the performance of some definite duty incumbent on him to the public, he is guilty of a social offence Wheneverthere is a definite damage, or a definite risk of damage, either.
But clearly the case that Mill draws attention to is open to a different and more reasonable interpretation. The beliefs he mentions are those whose content essentially spills over into conduct, so that in the consistent absence of relevant actions we may well deny that they are held at all by those who profess them. What we would have then would be cases of hypocrisy and not, as Mill claims, failure to grasp the meaning of these propositions. This is the least satisfactory part of Mills case for freedom of expression. Even if we grant that protecting a belief from criticism implies ignorance of its grounds,28 it does not follow from this that one does not know the meaning of what one believes.29 The view that a racial group is inferior in specified respects may. And, as history shows, there is no reason to hold that such protected beliefs have little or no direct influence on conduct. The strength of Mills case against censorship lies in his central contention that the very idea of rationality regarding beliefs and attitudes depends on the possibility of critical assessment. The value of freedom of expression then consists in the fact that its provision makes it possible for us to be rational.
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And summary as they must declare it to be true without permitting it to be criticized, they present themselves as infallible.23 In the second part of his case against censorship Mill proceeds as if he concedes for the sake of argument that truth is not logically. But, mill declares, this still does not justify protecting it from criticism because such a move reduces the belief in question to a dead dogma,—held in the manner of a prejudice deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct, as a mere formal. If beliefs are to function as living truths governing the conduct and affairs of those who hold them, they need to be fully and frequently put to the test of critical discussion. Mill suggests that where there is a natural and general consensus in favour of some view, it may be necessary to introduce artificially a programme of dissent and criticism in order to vitalize it (251).25 It is not clear why, and consequently in what sense. On the one hand, orders we are told that they have no effect on character and conduct in that they involve only a verbal adherence.26 Those who hold a belief or subscribe to a doctrine in the absence of discussion do not in any proper sense. On the other hand, the protected beliefs are said to be held as mere prejudice, without any rational consideration of their grounds (244). But as we all know, prejudice serves very effectively as a determinant of dispositions and actions.
Moreover, the examples that Mill gives of dead beliefs do little to clarify the conception. He points out that the maxims and precepts contained in the new Testament, which constitute the central doctrines of the faith, were accepted as living truths by the early Christians because they were held in the face of active and hostile criticism. These same doctrines have become dead dogmas because in the modern era Christianity is protected from critical dissent. With hardly any exception, latter-day christians merely verbally acknowledge that one should love ones neighbours as oneself or take no thought for the morrow, or that it is doubtful that the rich can enter the kingdom of heaven, etc. Without acting on these beliefs (24850).
The central argument13 that Mill cites against censorship is epitomized in the statement that All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility and, therefore, unjustified since any such assumption must be unfounded (22930).14 The argument proceeds on the basis that Complete liberty of contradicting. Mills contention is that we are entitled to hold a belief or declare it to be true only if it is open to criticism and survives attempted refutations. Consequently, if discussion and criticism of an opinion are prevented by legal or social restrictions, then there can be no rational basis for taking it to be true or false. This principle of the rationality of beliefs is explicitly acknowledged in the following passage: The beliefs which we have most warrant for, have no safeguard to rest on, but a standing invitation to the whole world to prove them unfounded. If the challenge is not accepted, or is accepted and the attempt fails, we are far enough from certainty still; but we have done the best that the existing state of human reason admits of; we have neglected nothing that could give the truth.
This is the amount of certainty attainable by a fallible being, and this the sole way of attaining. (232)16 The passage also indicates that in Mills view there are no absolutely certain beliefs and that all claims to truth are provisional in so far as subsequent criticism may overthrow them.17 Of course, as Isaiah Berlin points out, those who maintain that. He pointed out that censorship may be, and commonly is, justified not because the suppressed opinion or doctrine is considered to be false but because it is not considered desirable that it should be discussed (3.30, 77). Mill anticipates such a move which, as he puts it, seeks to make the justification of restraints on discussion not a question of the truth of doctrines, but of their usefulness; and flatters itself by that means to escape the responsibility of claiming. And as the usefulness of a belief requires that it should be subscribed to, it follows that its utility would also require it to be regarded as true.22 What Mill is maintaining here is not to be questioned on the grounds that many useful beliefs. What, in his view, is necessary is that when these beliefs are held they are subjectively taken to be true. Consequently, beliefs protected from criticism on the basis of their utility must also be viewed as true, and those contrary to them as false, thus exposing such a move to the original charge of irrationality. No doubt those who protect a belief because of its utility—the censors— need not take it to be true and may even regard it as false. But they cannot avoid declaring it to be true in so far as they want to promote subscription.
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Mills concern is to defend freedom you of speech regarding only the subjects he specifically mentions, thus excluding matters pertaining to a persons private affairs. It is with respect to this specified area of thought that he supports absolute or unrestricted freedom of expression,12 and seeks to justify it on grounds other than those based on the distinction between self-regarding and other-regarding conduct. The essential ideas which constitute or underpin Mills defence of individual freedom are the distinction between self- and other-regarding conduct, the rejection of paternalism, the unrestricted right to freedom of expression, and the ethical doctrine to which he appeals. These are the theses that his critics have challenged ever since the publication of Liberty. And the fact that they are still being questioned speaks not only for the central character of the issues Mill addresses but also for the strength of the arguments that can be mounted in defence of his answer. Freedom of expression chapter 1 of Liberty, which sets out Mills general position, is followed by his defence of freedom of expression. Almost a third of the book is devoted to this subject and it is clear that Mill regards the arguments and considerations that he advanced in support of free speech to have special significance for individual liberty.
The individuals own good or simply the perceived wrongness of his or her conduct is never a sufficient warrant for any kind of coercive interference on the part of society or anyone else. Mills uncompromising stand against paternalism has provoked much criticism and has found little favour even amongst many of those who claim to support his other views and his general outlook.9 Mill claims that his case for individual liberty is based on utilitarian grounds: I forego. I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions; but it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being (224). However, this qualification of the principle of utility, particularly as Mill presents it in the detail of his argument, has led some commentators to hold that Mill has abandoned utilitarianism,10 and many others to assign to him doctrines which are more or less radically modified. The view that self-regarding conduct should be protected from external coercive interference implies, as Mill points out, the freedom to frame and pursue our plan of life so long as what we do does not harm others; and also the freedom to associate with others. Mill also specifies as a necessary feature of a free society: liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological (225). However, mill does not justify freedom of speech on the grounds of a simple appeal to the self-protection principle. Although expressions of opinion may be said to be a species of other-regarding conduct, the question of their permissibility or otherwise is not to be decided on the basis of how they affect others—because The liberty of expressing and publishing ambedkar opinionbeing almost of as much.
and mind, the individual is sovereign. Two points fundamental to mills doctrine are affirmed here. Firstly, the self-protection principle, invoked to justify social and other external restrictions on individual independence, appeals to the distinction between conduct that only concerns the individual and that which also concerns others. This distinction, commonly referred to as that between self-regarding and other-regarding actions,7 has often been the target of Mills critics. They have sought, by challenging the validity of the distinction, to undermine mills entire case for individual liberty. The standard objection has consisted in denying that there is, or can be, any such thing as purely self-regarding conduct. James Fitzjames Stephen, a younger contemporary of Mill and a most vehement critic, declared that every act that we do either does or may affect both ourselves and others, consequently the distinction between self-regarding and other-regarding actions is altogether fallacious and unfounded.8 And in spite. The second feature of Mills doctrine that is emphasized in the passage"d above is the rejection of paternalism—the view that society is justified in preventing otherwise fully responsible people from hurting or injuring themselves.
Bentham 4 and in his reviews of Alexis de tocquevilles, democracy in America.5 In, liberty the main threat to individual independence is portrayed as coming from majority rule. This is because mill believed that, at least in the western world, democracy based on universal suffrage was the inevitable next stage of history (218).6 But it makes little difference to his main arguments whether the threat to individual liberty comes from a majority dominated. In order to draw the dividing line between the area of individual independence and social control, mill appeals to a very simple principle initially stated and elucidated as follows: the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty. The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter essay him, must be calculated to produce evil to some one else.
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Interpretation, mill, john Stuart: Ethics and politics. S.Mill, ethics writing and politics an, on liberty, john Stuart Mills mature views on ethics and politics are to be found. On Liberty (published in 1859 Utilitarianism (1861 considerations on Representative, government (1861) and, the subjection of Women (written in 18612 but published in 1869). Of these, liberty is the centrepiece, detailing the doctrines and themes which govern most of the discussion in the other works. It is also the work by which Mill will be most remembered. He himself picked it out as likely to survive longer than anything else that he had written.1 It has aroused more controversy than any other of his writings, and the essay, on Liberty has been taken by many of Mills critics as well as his. In Mills words, the subject of the essay is moral, social, and intellectual liberty asserted against the despotism of society whether exercised by governments or by public opinion (15:581). From the outset, mill emphasizes the threat to individual liberty posed by the tyranny of the majority exercised either by a democratically elected government or through the non-legal pressure of public opinion (21920).3 This was a concern that. Mill had expressed in earlier writings, notably in the article.