John Stuart Mill Individuality Analysis

Great Essays
1
Hatice Çayır
2012202009
Phil 314
Explain and evaluate the role ‘individuality’ plays in Mill’s argument for freedom of life
Individuality is an significant concept which is at the core of Mill’s philosophy. In the third chapter of on liberty, Mill discusses the great importance of individuality as a component of well being. By individuality, Mill does not aim just people’s own benefit, but also considers society’s profit as a whole. This term has many relations with other important terms in Mill’s philosophy such as experiments in living, happiness and freedom. While looking Mill’s philosophy as a whole, it is obvious that individuality is at the core of in his system. However, this point is very interesting since Mill is a utilitarian who
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Thus, the ideal character
1 J. S. Mill, On Liberty 4 for Mill is the one who is able to establish a balance between the general ability to obey the social rules and the capability of thinking for oneself.2
It is now clear that, in Mill’s understanding, society is in the helpful position to improve individuals faculty. However, considering practical life, it is very controversial whether Mill’s theory is applicable. Many scholors seems to be considered Mill’s theory as an inconsistent in itself. The most obvious reason for this is that regarding Mill as a utilitarian, the happiness of the majority should be considered first, but the criteria which is given by Mill seems to be contradicted majoritiy’s priority. Mill also emphasize the importance of society in many place of his writing, but whether we should give priority to individual or society is not clear. If it is society, then the Mill’s theory of individuality is just a theory, it is not applicable. If it is individuality which has priority, then Mill contradicts himself as a utilitarian. It is true that he claims that the increase in human flourishing is also benefit of society, but in order
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Even if they have the same ability, the way for realizing this can not be ‘experience in living’ for everyone.
Considering child development, their way of understanding and learning can be varied from child to child. Some children needs to be allowed for what they want to do, but some of them needs to be instracted and even copy the action of their parents up to certain ages. After certain age, they can find their own way, but before reaching that stage, allowing that much freedom would not be for benefit of them but harms them. However, it should not be ignored that Mill also points out the importance of education and instruction. Additionally, he also mention obeying to social rule in order to prevent harms. However, he should be more clear about the limits of personal freedom and social liberty. By human flourishing and the individuality, it seems that he does not mean something like Kantian autonomy which is doing what reason dictates. He also does not mean doing what one wants to do regardless of everything since he mention harm principle. However, harm principle is not enough if it is lines and restrictions are not determined clearly. Otherwise, there would be probably

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