Essay about John Stewart Mill 's Political Philosophy

1433 Words Sep 25th, 2016 6 Pages
On Liberty is considered to be John Stewart Mill’s most significant contribution to political philosophy. He wrote his famous essay in 1859, fast forward 157 years into the future and his essay is being read by students enrolled in Dr. Todd Alway’s political science class at McMaster University. What does this essay comprise of, if it is being examined by students in 2016? Mill lays out a principle, that principle is, “that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That 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”. Within this principle, the freedom of speech, action and association are Mill’s focus points. Mill argues that all of these rights construct the basis of human liberty and should never be interfered with unless they pose harm to other members of society. One of Mill’s most prominent theories revolves around free speech and how free speech should be governed within a liberal democracy. In regards to the freedoms of speech, expression and opinion Mill famously stated “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in…

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