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Answer the following questions about history (HIST 4028) - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: John Stuart Mill on Liberty John Stuart Mill wrote an essay in discourse where he discussed matters concerned with human liberty and the distinctions that exist between liberty and authority. The essay was written in the 1800s over a period of years of editing…
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Answer the following questions about history (HIST 4028)
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Download file to see previous pages Mills remonstrates in his essay from a non-paternalistic point of view where he identifies three basic areas of human liberty. He claims that an individual should not be deterred from pursuits meant for self gratification as long as they do not pose any harm to others. The only instance that a person can be denied their liberties is when they pose a risk or harm to other persons. He sums this up when he describes this as every individual’s right to exercise his or her inward domain of consciousness (Winks & Neuberger 51). The other area, which Mills identifies, is a person’s right to decide on the path, in life, they wish to take, which is represented as the liberty of tastes and pursuits. In this, he tries to show how humans are a dynamic entity that is capable of forging its own destiny individually without having to rely on guidelines from other people. The notion being forwarded by Mill’s three basic principles of human liberty are focused on individuality. Individuality is the key tenent in human nature that determines the influence and the impact that people have on others and the world. Individuality determines whether a person’s liberties are construed as dangerous to society because that person’s nature is expressed by how he utilizes his rights of liberty (Winker & Neuberger 59). History played a critical role on the development of philosophies and principles that he used to write his essay. Mills argued that there was a need for a scientific perspective and approach towards history in order for it to be used effectively utilized in society. Mills termed history as a progressive record in the course of events that contribute to the development of mankind. There were some scholars of his time who did not see the sense in his views, and some went ahead and disputed his postulates about the importance of history. This saw Mills go through a depressing time in his life and a change in his views on some subjects that he had earlier agreed upon. His depression created a period in his life where he was able to reflect on a wide range of ideas. His conviction on the importance of history in the study of other disciplines, in the humanities, grew stronger during this period. Mills focused his attention on French history, which he deemed more appropriate because most French thinkers at the time seemed to share in his schools of thought. Mills believed that historical events had a significant bearing on the development of society in the present. He also postulated that these events also had a substantial bearing to future events if inferences could be made on the past with regard to the future. Mills was able to study history through a scientific mindset and analyze historical facts. Mills forwarded the notion that historical facts can be used to unveil the law of progress which can enable people predict the future. There were some significant influences in his life that contributed to his notions about the role history had to play in relation with other disciplines. One of the influences came from his interaction with French scholars and their written works concerning a wide range of subjects some, which intrigued him because of their philosophies regarding history’s role. Mills involvement in the The London Debating Society gave him the opportunity to make acquaintance of people like Samuel Coleridge (Winker & Neuberger 184). Coleridge’s philosophies regarding history complemented Mill’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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