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John Stuart Mill…read more

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Mill's Background
u He learned Greek, starting at age three
u His father hired sevants who spoke Latin
u He learned "utilitarianism from his father, James
Mill, and his Godfather, Jeremy Bentham
u He suffered an emotional crisis as a young man
u He was devoted to Harriet Taylor and eventually
married her
u He authored works on logic, liberty, and
utilitarianism…read more

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Contrasting Views on Liberty-I
u Positive Liberty (Paternalism)
u This is the view that some people in society,
leaders, know better than the general populace
what is good, right and true. Those leaders
should tell people not only what they must
refrain from because it may harm others, but
also what they must do in order to live a good
life.
u Examples: Plato, Hobbes, Marx, Burke…read more

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Contrasting Views on Liberty-
II
u Negative Liberty (Libertarianism)
u This is the view that government should only
restrict individual choice when one's actions
could harm another. Otherwise, we should act
as autonomous agents, making our own
decisions about what is good for us personally.
u Examples: Locke, Mill, Thoreau, Jefferson,
Kant…read more

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Mill's On Liberty
u Mill is the pre-emminent writer who promotes
negative liberty, the view that government should
only prevent harm, and other decisions, whether or
not they may harm ourselves, must be ours to make.
I can smoke pot if I darn well please!
It only hurts me alone!…read more

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