Utilitas 32 (2):219-235 (2020)

Tammy Wilkinson
University of Kent
Mill's On Liberty is centrally concerned with avoiding social tyranny. But Mill's Principle of Liberty defines interfering, in the context of social pressure, as intentionally punishing and it seems to allow speech and actions that critics have thought would conflict with liberty in self-regarding matters. To critics, Mill draws distinctions among social influences where no genuine difference is to be found and he permits more social pressure than can be accepted by someone who values liberty highly. In this article, I explain where and why Mill draws the line he does between permitted and forbidden influences and show the line is coherent and tracks a genuine difference. I also show that although the Principle leaves residual social pressure, Mill has resources besides the Principle that can prevent social influences that threaten individuality while retaining beneficial social influences.
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820819000554
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The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill.Alan Ryan - 1975 - Mind 84 (334):313-314.

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