2nd paper - 1 Caffrey Francis October 29, 2010 Dr. Felis...

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1 Caffrey Francis October 29, 2010 Dr. Felis M/W/F- 11:00-11:50 Mill and Hobhouse justification on interference Individual liberty is an individual’s right to act according to his or her own will. Mill and Hobhouse both agree that people have the right to concern themselves with the well-being of others and persuade others to see their point of view. They also agree that people should be free to form their own opinions and express them without restraining themselves. Although Mill and Hobhouse agree on the definition of individual liberty they disagree on when coercive interference is warranted. Mill has established his stance on coercive interference in individual liberty as violating an individual’s freedom because an individual should be capable of making good decisions for their self. If the individual cannot then they should be able to withstand whatever legal and or social consequences there may be. Mill also thinks society has the right to exercise coercive control if someone hurts others, but if an individual is inflicting harm on their self then it is not justified for someone to interfere. On the other hand, Hobhouse’s stance on this issue is a little different; he thinks everyone’s actions affect others directly or indirectly and we should exercise coercive interference. Mill, however, thinks that an individual who is an adult and is capable of the ordinary amount of understanding of their own consequences to their actions, such as; harming their self, then there is no justified reason for people to interfere with that individual’s decision. He does consider Hobhouse’s argument that if one individual hurts themselves then they do affect everyone else. Mill also recognizes Hobhouse’s argument that if people protect children
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2 from messing up in society then people should continue protecting each other when they become adults. Mill’s argument against Hobhouse’s arguments is that parents have their chance to bring up their child to not hurt themselves, and if that child chooses to, they have the freedom to do so since it is at their own risk. Also if society lets people grow up without the education level and maturity of an adult that is able to make good decisions about their actions, then the members in society are the ones to blame. Without interference in an individual’s life, there is no foundation of common good. Without a foundation of common good, there are no common individual rights. These
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2nd paper - 1 Caffrey Francis October 29, 2010 Dr. Felis...

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