On Liberty

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Ticknor and Fields, 1863 - 223 páginas
From the Introduction In his Autobiography, Mill predicts that the essay On Liberty is "likely to survive longer than anything else that I have written." He goes on to say that the essay is the expression of a "single truth: " "the importance, to man and society, of a large variety of types of character, and of giving full freedom to human nature to expand itself in innumerable and conflicting directions." In the essay itself, Mill defines his subject as "the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual." He defends the absolute freedom of individuals to engage in conduct not harmful to others, and the near-absolute freedom to express and discuss opinions of all kinds. Mill's essay survives, as he had predicted, because his powerful message is still widely rejected by the powerful, and by those who continue to seek power over the lives of others.

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Página 23 - ... the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because in the opinions of others to do so would be wise or even right.
Página 35 - If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
Página 28 - Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits ; of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character ; of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow : without impediment from our fellow-creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though. they should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong.
Página 222 - ... a State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes— will find...
Página 13 - ... desire to oppress a part of their number; and precautions are as much needed against this as against any other abuse of power. The limitation, therefore, of the power of government over individuals loses none of its importance when the holders of power are regularly accountable to the community, that is, to the strongest party therein.
Página 41 - ... the source of everything respectable in man either as an intellectual or as a moral being, namely, that his errors are corrigible. He is capable of rectifying his mistakes by discussion and experience. Not by experience alone. There must be discussion to show how experience is to be interpreted. Wrong opinions and practices gradually yield to fact and argument; but facts and arguments, to produce any effect on the mind, must be brought before it. Very few facts are able to tell their own story...
Página 27 - But there is a sphere of action in which society, as distinguished from the individual, has, if any, only an indirect interest; comprehending all that portion of a person's life and conduct which affects only himself, or, if it also affects others, only with their free, voluntary, and undeceived consent and participation.
Página 121 - In proportion to the development of his individuality, each person becomes more valuable to himself, and is therefore capable of being more valuable to others.
Página 102 - Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds.
Página 22 - The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion.

Acerca del autor (1863)

John Stuart Mill, Classical economist, was born in 1806. His father was the Ricardian economist, James Mill. John Stuart Mill's writings on economics and philosophy were prodigious. His "Principles of Political Economy, With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy," published in 1848, was the leading economics textbook of the English-speaking world during the second half of the 19th century. Some of Mill's other works include "Considerations on Representative Government," "Auguste Comte and Positivism," "The Subjection of Women," and "Three Essays on Religion." John Mill died in 1873.

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