The Desirability Of Individuality In J. S. Mill's On Liberty

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In Chapter 3 of J.S Mill’s “On Liberty” an exceptionally significant philosophical concept is addressed, namely that of individuality and how it affects development, not only of the self but of society as well. Mills addresses multiple factors that benefit and obstruct the development of individuality as well as the role individuality plays in creating a healthy society and personal life. In conclusion Mills claims that freedom is an absolute necessity for development of the self. All of which will be proven or debated within this writing. First off, Mills idea or definition of individuality is similar but not identical to the commonly accepted definition of the word in our current time period, rather his definition of individuality focuses …show more content…
Involving ideas like individuality benefits society as a whole through peer to peer learning, develops your own personal being or character and when created with freedom it spawns knowledge or in some cases genius. Mills provides a variety of ideas to prove each of these points, many of which are still valid in our society today. First of all if everyone lives their lives differently (in a positive manner of course) there is so much to be learned through peer-to-peer learning about different ways of life. Concepts or tendencies that you observe within other people’s living experience you can adapt within your own lifestyle, leading to a much more richer and fulfilling life. Mill explains this by stating that humans are fallible, thus by witnessing different experiments of living we gain the value of techniques to create a happier existence. By this point it is obvious that Mill believes that individual expression is absolutely indispensible for individual and social …show more content…
He explains this argument by stating that genius comes from those free of conformity, additionally it is explained that those conformists or un original people that try to make you conform are quick to reject originality, also causing them to shun genius for mediocrity. In other words Mill believe that the pressure put on you by society or stifling social norms was and is capable of oppressing genius produced by new creative ways of thinking. Mills belief that genius can only be created or developed in a place free of social pressures or forced conformity is showcased in a quote of his on page 72 which reads “ Genius can only breathe freely in an atmosphere of freedom” (Mills, 72). The truth behind this quote lies in the fact that people of genius status for the most part, are un-ordinary and in past occurrences have been discriminated against for being this way. The point Mill is trying to get across is if we force people to conform under the belief that the way of the majority is best for everyone, then really we are losing access to progress as a society by the rejection of genius. Conversely if we reject genius or force people who could have potentially changed the world to be exactly like the majority of average people, we are in turn halting the progress of society and humanity as a whole. Mill addresses this point when he talks about how we need

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