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16
Aug
2012

Taking an In-depth Look at the Thoughts of Philosopher John Stuart Mill

by admin

Harmony - Philosopher's Stone - Harry and Hermione Image (11495739 ...John Stuart Mill was, without question, a philosopher who was far ahead of his time. An intelligent and introspective deep thinker, what separated Mill from many of his philosophical contemporaries was his deep feelings of compassion for others. At times when it certainly was not popular nor “politically correct” to do so, John Stuart Mill spoke out in defense of women’s rights and against the cruel and horrible wrongs of slavery.

Born in Pentonville, London, England in 1806, John Stuart Mill was a strong and hugely influential contributor to both social and political theory. A stong believer in utilitarianism, the ethical theory that was created by Jeremy Bentham, Mill is thought by a great many number of historians to be the number one most influential English speaking philosopher in the entire nineteenth century. In addition to his work philosopher and political economist, Mill served as a member of the British parliament and played a very important and influential role in shaping the liberal political philosophy of his time.

John Stuart Mill’s philosophy very strongly recognized the importance of and supported the freedom of the individual in opposition to the strength and power of the state. Social liberty, as Mill defined it, was protection from and against the tyranny of the political rulers. To Mill, social liberty required the limitation of a ruler’s power to ensure that the ruler would never use his power to benefit himself and harm society as a whole. Mill strongly believed that people must have the right to play a role in government decisions.

Mill’s thoughts on liberty were that an individual should be entirely free to do as he wishes so long as he does not harm others. Mill believed that people were rational and capable of making their own decisions without the interference of government. He felt government should only interfere for the protection of society.

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