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Liberty in J.S Mill

The Idea of Liberty in J.S Mill


It is understandable that the right or freedom of individual person were being deprived and restricted by the tyrannical government. It is also pertinent to acknowledge the fact that the interest of the minority were not adequately represented. Mill offers a very powerful argument in defence of individual liberty. Mill postulated that people ought to have a say in the government decision. Because individual are rational enough to make decision about their good being and choose any religion they desired. The civil liberty posits that individual should be allowed to pursue that own interest without interference, that government should interfere when it is for the protection of society. Mill argues that freedom of speech is necessary to guard against corrupt or tyrannical government and the restrictions of freedom of speech violate “the moral nature of man”. Mill also insists that the state has no right for the people to choose what is good at any point in time. Mill’s doctrine of harm principle states that each individual has the right to act as he wants, so long as these actions do not harm others. It is essentially expected that at the end of this research work, the interest of the minority will be effectively represented.



1.1   Background of Study:

The study examines John Mill’s in the conception on tyrant government being experienced and captured in the civil society. It has been discovered recently that individual right were deprived and restricted by the oppressive government. The minority might be holding true opinion; because he is the only one positing that opinion, the minority’s opinion will be disregarded, probably the majority’s opinion might be false. This is experienced in the civil society.

The freedom of individual person to express his feelings, ideas, beliefs, and opinion were being tyrannically derived by the curel and oppressive government. In this regard, Mill sees how individuals are suffering, he then posits that individual person must have a say in government decision, so as to minimize the incessant oppressive government. It is vividly expected that at the end of this work, there must be a limitation set in which the ruler should be suffered to exercise their rights to enable them posses absolute freedom as required by the law.

1.2   Statement of Problem

There is still much problem in society as a result of the deprivation of individuals right and liberty. According to Mill, society suffered a lot and they were not given the sense of belonging. The opinion and interest of minority were not being represented.  So called government would be oppressing the society, silencing all individual’s opinion whether it is true or false. People’s right and freedom were being deprived. Mill then sought a solution for these problems, asserting that the interest of the minority ought to be represented effectively.

1.3   Purpose of Study

The aim of this work is to scoop out and x-ray the notion of liberty in John Staurt Mill’s conception. The objective of this study is therefore to be given all the individual person the sense of belonging, and to represent the interest of the minority. At the end of this very work it is essentially expected that every individual will acquire the basic human right.

1.4   Scope of Study

This work will be limited in scope. It will be based to sieve out the view of J.S Mill in liberty. The study therefore is designed to examine John Staurt Mill’s idea of Liberty and the causes and the denial of individuals freedom of thought and expression. Mill also postulates and propose possible solution to the problem of individual.

The concept is meant to disclose how mill conceived Liberty, under this treatise, the general idea of people about the Liberty and human freedom should be upheld. This work which is to be limited is the idea of Liberty, should be followed by the background of Mill’s idea of Liberty. The area or branch of philosophy this title fall is political philosophy and ethics.

1.5   Significance of Study

The importance of this work is to prove that philosophy as a course is not a useless discipline as we have come to realize the essence of philosophy to the development of a nation and self-knowledge. This has equally conceded to us a great deal of opportunity to know what liberty meant in communist society.

The importance of this work, therefore, is to understand vividly the relevance of liberty in Mill’s conception. This study will help provide information for the students who will like to write on a related topic. Even teachers will benefit from it, in the sense that it will serve as a reference to them, it is essentially presupposed that individual person will acquire his full right and freedom of expression. The humanity in the long run will benefit from J. S. Mill’s notion of liberty in this regard.

1.6   Methodology

The method used in this study was purely critical analysis. We shall expose John Staurt Mills idea of liberty. This work is divided into five chapter, thus, in chapter one, we shall see background of study, significant of study and finally the methodology.

1.7   Definition of terms

I shall define some relevant terms to enable us comprehend the subject matter adequately. The subject-matters are liberty, freedom, Human rights and right itself. According to 7th edition Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary; liberty means the freedom to live as you choose without too many restriction from government and authority1.

In other hand, liberty is the state of being free within the society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority in one’s way of life. Liberty is therefore the values of individual to have an agency over their own actions. Liberty in this regard means for everyone to do what he likes, to live as he pleases and not to be tied by any laws.

Freedom is basically the right to do or say what you want without anyone stopping you. According to 7th edition of Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary; Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint2.

Right means what is morally good or acceptable according to a particular law.

Human right, this is commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is human being. According to J.S. Mill, Liberty is the protection against the tyranny of the political rules. I believe that freedom is having the ability to find one’s own-self, and pursue one’s ambitions to the fullest extent as one whishes, so long as no one else is denied this right in the process.

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