After reading John Stuart Mill " On Liberty" Chapter 1 Introductory, I was wondering if this would be a good conclusion of his chapter

"Freedoms negates society’s propensity to compel compliance."


1 Is your suggestion that either of these sentences might replace Mill's own final sentence or is it that it should be added to the chapter ?

2 I should have thought that, if a new sentence were needed, it would be something along the lines of :

'I argue on utilitarian grounds for the fullest extent of individual liberty against the coercive power of public opinion within the sole limits of not causing harm to others, the two principal spheres of application of my argument being liberty of thought and discussion and liberty of action.'

3 Such a sentence would thrust us forwards into the main body of the argument whereas your two candidate sentences, with neither of which I disagree, only reflect back on the chapter and draw morals - lessons - from it.

  • I have been asked by my professor to come up with a sentence that would conclude that particular chapter. Thank you so much for the answer. – Flow Apr 25 '18 at 16:03
  • @Flow. Glad to have been of help. Mill is one of my philosophical heroes, at least in politics : the question was irresistible. – Geoffrey Thomas Apr 25 '18 at 16:13
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    @Flow. I have deleted 'or injury'. Mill does use the term eleven times in OL but only as a variant on 'harm' and the the central 'The object of this essay' passage refers only to harm. So safest remove 'or injury'. Best - Geoff – Geoffrey Thomas Apr 25 '18 at 16:28
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    @Flow. I have amended the new sentence so as to point forwards more specifically to the first two - central - chapters of the essay. Sorry if this has caused you any inconvenience but it does produce, I think, a better sentence. It's longer, but then Mill was given to long sentences ;)- – Geoffrey Thomas Apr 26 '18 at 7:31
  • no worries at all. I really appreciate it and the new sentence helps a lot :) – Flow Apr 26 '18 at 14:44

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