These words had scarcely been written, when, as if to give them an emphatic contradiction, occurred the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858. That illjudged interference with the liberty of public discussion has not, however, induced me to alter a single word in the text, nor has it at all weakened my conviction that, moments of panic excepted, the era of pains and penalties for political discussion has, in our own country, passed away. For, in the first place, the prosecutions were not persisted in, and, in the second, they were never, properly speaking, political prosecutions. The offence charged was not that of criticising institutions, or the acts or persons of rulers, but of circulating what was deemed an immoral doctrine, the lawfulness of Tyrannicide.
There is something both contemptible and frightful in the sort of evidence on which, of late years, any person can be judicially declared unfit for the management of his affairs; and after his death, his disposal of his property can be set aside, if there is enough of it to pay the expenses of litigation—which are charged on the property itself. All the minute details of his daily life are pried into, and whatever is found which, seen through the medium of the perceiving and describing faculties of the lowest of the low, bears an appearance unlike absolute commonplace, is laid before the jury as evidence of insanity, and often with success; the jurors being little, if at all, less vulgar and ignorant than the witnesses; while the judges, with that extraordinary want of knowledge of human nature and life which continually astonishes us in English lawyers, often help to mislead them. These trials speak volumes as to the state of feeling and opinion among the vulgar with regard to human liberty. So far from setting any value on individuality—so far from respecting the of each individual to act, in things indifferent, as seems good to his own judgment and inclinations, judges and juries cannot even conceive that a person in a state of sanity can desire such freedom. In former days, when it was proposed to burn atheists, charitable people used to suggest putting them in a mad-house instead: it would be nothing surprising now-a-days were we to see this done, and the doers applauding themselves, because, instead of persecuting for religion, they had adopted so humane and Christian a mode of treating these unfortunates, not without a silent satisfaction at their having thereby obtained their deserts.
John Stuart Mill's On Liberty - The Imaginative …
A modern assessment is that by John Vincent, (London: Constable, 1966). For the marked influence of Mill on John Morley and other leading liberals of the time see Frances Wentworth Knickerbocker. (Cambridge: Harvard Press, 1943).
John stuart mill utilitarianism on liberty and essay on bent
We know of objects in the world only to the extent that they affect usand give rise to conscious impressions—and such impressions willonly ever be presented by way of the mediating sense faculties. Millclaims that we cannot know anything of objects in themselves, but onlyas they appear to us, and terms this position the “Relativity ofHuman Knowledge” (Examination, IX: 4).
Essays on on liberty - Essay Help
The systematic science treating the topic of how upbringing andenvironment effect the formation of individuals, Mill terms“ethology” (System, VIII: 861). Such a science,which would utilize the principles of psychology to allow us todetermine the conditions most conducive or damaging to the productionof characters we think desirable, “is still to be created”(System, VIII: 872–3). Nevertheless, much ofMill’s work can be seen as an attempt to start such a researchprogramme, charting the effects of social conditions on the creationof character—his own character in the Autobiography,that of women in the Subjection, and those of democraticsocieties in On Liberty (Ball 2010).