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Unformatted text preview: PHM 2204 Fall, 2007 David Copp JOHN STUART MILL: FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND DISCUSSION 1. The Goal of the Chapter: to defend freedom of conscience: the proposition that society ought to assure that all adults have a“freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects” and the freedom to express and publish such opinions – except when this freedom threatens harm to others 2. The Argument * Freedom of conscience is supposed to follow from The Harm Principle : any adult has a right not to have her choices or actions be interfered with, either by law or public opinion, unless such interference is necessary in order to prevent harm to others. 1. Society would promote the overall happiness if it were to have an enforceable legal policy as well as a political culture that protects freedom of conscience.... 2. A person has a right to something if and only if society ought to defend the person in the possession of it, “either by force of law or by that of education and opinion.” (BW 290 -- Util. , ch. 5) 3. Society ought to do what would tend to promote the overall happiness...
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2008 for the course PHM 2204 taught by Professor Copp during the Spring '07 term at University of Florida.
- Spring '07