Analysis Of John Stuart Mill's Social Contract

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Mill focuses on the concept of a clear distinction between when the authority of society can limit individuality and when there can be “sovereignty of the individual over himself”; however, he also argues the point that control should be given whenever society and the individual have an interest in a particular part of human life (82). Mill rejects the notion of a social contract, which Locke argues for, but due to the protections provided by society, the citizens owe a return for these benefits. He defines the harm principle by each individual having the right to act however they please, as long as it does not affect the person undertaking the action. Society cannot intervene, even if the act the person is committing causes harm to them. Each …show more content…
He argues that the proper conduct is on how an individual should act whenever they are participating in society. Due to the fact that some people cause harm and cannot be punished by law, Mill explains that the opinion and judgment by society is enough for punishment. This causes some notable problems because in fact, it may not be enough punishment for an individual, especially if they continue to cause injury to others. Also, the author encourages public scrutiny and criticism of the individual causing harm. Whenever society gains jurisdiction, they can disclose their opinion of an individual and warn others of the potential danger that they may cause. Mill typically does not encourage coercion, but in this particular situation, he does. The author’s overall argument is complex and he provides an explanation as to why he feels this particular way about how an individual should act and when it is an acceptable time for society to intervene. I agree with the author’s point in this context, but I do not think that society should ever be belittling and scrutinizing where they stoop down to the level of criticizing a certain individual. Each person can create an opinion of their own and society should not encourage demeaning remarks because then they are causing harm just like the individual that is already being punished for their

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