Mill quotes - Harm

Quotes from On Liberty linked to his Principle of Harm. (Unless specified otherwise)

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  • Created by: Gemma
  • Created on: 14-05-11 16:38

Harm Principle Quotes

"the only purpose by which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others" (Chapter 1)

"his own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant" (Chapter 1)

"maturity of their faculties" (Chapter 1) -  The principle does not apply to children, those dependent on the state and those living in "barbarian" societies.

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Quotes explained

For the second quote: This is linked to self-regarding and other regarding actions of people. Mill is basically saying that the harm principle only applies in regards to other regarding actions. (Actions which affect other people). This highlights a criticism of the Harm Principle which is over what actually defines a self-regarding action? For example in terms of suicide, it may be harm to oneself yet it still could be argued that the action can affect others around you.

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