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

Great Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Moreover, education provides a better and successful life for an individual, because it gives new ideas to an individual for their development and financially stability in society. In addition to, education provides the opportunity to look at modern challenges and problems, and thus providing a solution to problems like poverty, unemployment and environmental issues. Because most of the time punctuality, organization. being accountable, maturity and leadership all these qualities came through college life. These things also enhance a person 's character and knowledge.…

    • 789 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    These teachings disable the general public of realizing the purpose for their actions or the value behind it. With this, the looter’s get an extra bonus in teaching the non-existence of reason, values, or law in life; it allows them to do as they please. Whether its speciality railroad service for Kip Chalmers, or expensive parties with Cuffy Meigs, the purpose is to further deny reality; main the illusion that they are more capable, important, and intelligent than they truly…

    • 1396 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    John Stewart Mill’s On Liberty is essential to understand not only liberty and the limits of government, but also on the limits of the majority and democracy to vitalize each individual to pursue his or her fullest potential. This is invaluable to understand for the best and the most prosperous path for the society to live in. To further explore Mill’s concept of liberty, two supplementary readings that I’ve used are a scholarly published article titled—John Stuart Mill and the “Marketplace of Ideas”—by Jill Gordon and an excerpt from Frederick Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty that concerns primarily on freedom. For Gordon’s article on Mill, the paper concentrated on the metaphor that conventional intellectuals use to describe Mill’s freedom…

    • 1303 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    It appeared that he was disdainful of theories not rooted from the periods of Enlightenment and Revolution. Another topic he touched on was Psychological Egoism, and Rachels concluded that this theory brought nothing but a non-factual image of both the human condition and human nature. He backed this notion by his understanding that it would be impossible for reason to demand so much more than what humans can handle. The truth is that humans have aspirations, desires, hopes, and needs whether "the universe" considers these as necessary or not. Thus, Psychological Egoism accounts for every single outcome that reason has brought to us.…

    • 1105 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hence the easiest way to suppress the people is to hide the truth and replace it with the state's own ideas of how a society should be run. This concluded that happiness is only acceptable in ignorance. In summary, Brave New world depicts a meretricious society were on the surface everything is perfect and everyone is happy, but dig deeper, and we see the ugly truth of a conditioned society and a destruction of humanity. If we allow ourselves to fall into a happiness driven society, where we exploit technology and use it to replace basic human interactions and emotion, we are essentially depriving ourselves of growth and learning. We must stop and acknowledge where our current society is growing, and if we need to take a step back and recognise what we need to…

    • 880 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Everyone is given the equal opportunity to participate, exchange ideas freely, and discussion is encouraged. Still he is there to offer guidance and control. His role is more as counsellor and facilitator, because those selected members are experienced and skilled. In returns, this leads to higher productivity, better contributions from group members, and increased group morale. He develops and maintains personal relationships between members by opening up improved channels of communication, providing “psychological hits,” facilitating and demonstrating change in their behaviour.…

    • 1657 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley depicts a totalitarian World State where people are conditioned and manipulated for the sake of stability in society. After analyzing the World State and comparing it to reality, one can clearly see that the sacrifices made to guarantee happiness and stability are not worth the cost of the loss of emotions and feelings in individuals. The ‘perfect’ society highlighted in the Brave New World and their way of life is unrealistic, unsustainable, and unfit for humanity, making it a bad place to live. The World State encourages and enforces a society where people belong to one another; creating a culture that is lacking the most important aspects of human development: family and relationships. In Brave New World, the ten World Controllers have done a phenomenal job in destroying any chance for human relationships to develop in society.…

    • 1176 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Example Of Weak Analysis

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages

    I agree with Taylor on this point. If we are all solely functioning to maximize our output or benefit then we are stripped of what makes up our self and our morals. We lose our moral decisions and solely function to gain; in which we would lose meaningful experiences that we could have otherwise attained. This becomes a problem socially because if we all maximize our efficiency we would all be acting out of self-interest and social affairs would collapse. Instrumental reasoning can also be connected to weak evaluations.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    An example used by Huxley that relates going against the status quo is when he writes “History is Bunk.”(Huxley 34). What Huxley means is that everyone in Brave New World should not have knowledge towards the past but instead they should have knowledge of the present. He wants his perfect society for the future and history from the past can ruin that. Those same people ignore history because if they appreciated what came before all of this technology, they would probably be less willing to put their trust into development and science. If an individual does not have emotions towards the human involvement than there is no point of them being a part of a society built on happiness.…

    • 1340 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Interpreting Whitman and Swift’s distinct viewpoints on individualism and their relationship of the individual to the society, their ideas in this regard are polar opposites. Swift’s ideas about the worth of humans are relatively poor. Swift detests humanity to the point that his satire reflects these views in Gulliver’s Travels. Humans serve no purpose to society other than to ruin it some manner. Swift created the Houyhnhnms to portray that a species that was as honest, productive and functioning as them was only fictional.…

    • 1049 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays