Liberal - Essay Example

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In his life, he made a number of publications in contribution to the field of philosophy. This paper explores his ideas in the publication titled ‘on liberty’. The paper discuses his main argument and…
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Download file to see previous pages In establishing this argument, Mill explains that the contentious issue is the set of people’s actions towards interpersonal relationships and the forces that influences such actions. While liberty is a common element in liberalism and a person can undertake any act in his or her environment, such acts, whether of omission or of commission, must take into account legal, moral or social obligations that an individual owes to other members of the society. The main argument therefore identifies limitations to a person’s liberty as long as such liberty promises threats to other people’s welfare. The argument also justifies the regulations to control an individual’s exercise of personal liberty. It applies the moral utilitarian doctrine of ensuring good as a basis for necessity of such measures against an individual’s liberty (p. 17).
The society’s power, whether legal or moral, over a person’s liberty also extend to actions at personal level. Consequently, an individual’s act may not be aimed at the society but liberty over such an act may still be controlled if the society or any other person apart from the individual actor may feel the act’s consequences. The external effect must however be first established before justifying infringement of the actor’s liberty. Similarly, a person may be compelled into an action, against personal will. An example is participation in a judicial process as a witness. Even though the subject is not a party to the case, his or her action has a direct effect on the privity parties to establish ground for infringement of personal liberty. Liberty is therefore a subject of macro environmental forces (p. 17- 19).
Even though John’s period is closer to classical liberalism than modern liberalism, he should be classified as a modern liberal. This is primarily because of his ideas that correspond to the features of modern liberalism. His idea on liberty for example identifies a macro ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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