John Stuart Mill On Liberty Summary
Tutorial Name and Code: Moral and Political Controversies PY1011
Tutor Name: Ravi Thakral
Essay Question: Mill might object to Waldron’s anti-constitutionalism by saying that it increases the likelihood of a tyranny of the majority. Construct an objection along these lines on Mill’s behalf and discuss whether it successfully undermines Waldron’s position.
Essay Title: A Sufficient, Mill-inspired response to Waldron’s Anti Constitutionalism
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In this paper, I will refute Waldron’s anti-constitutionalism in the spirit of John Stuart Mill by showing that a valuing of representation entails a …show more content…
In On Liberty, Mill first postulates that governments acting against what might maximize the utility of their constituents without reason can be considered morally unsavory. It is precisely because governments are in the business of ameliorating unneeded suffering that their failure to do so is especially egregious. As such, the role of government is to enact policies geared toward minimizing the harm that citizens might inflict on each other, such as laws penalizing murder, theft, and perjury. This conception of what government ought to do is commonly known as the harm principle, whereby governments pen legislation in accordance with what will best curtail unnecessary harm amongst its citizens. In Mill’s own words: “[This] principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of any of their number, is self-protection,” (Mill, 12-13). The government’s province is thus in allaying needless and avoidable