JOHN STUART MILL'S VIEW ON LIBERTY AND PATERNALISM
Paternalism refers to limiting an individual's freedom or liberty in an attempt to protect
them from harm that may arise from the laws of the land or even different forms of coercion.
However, this doesn't apply to situations where there is a common belief that society has the
capacity to intervene in a justifiable manner. Mill is strongly against any form of paternalism. He
even comes up with two specific theories; Harm Principle and Utilitarianism to support his
position. This paper will provide a detailed overview of Mill's anti-paternalism while focusing on
the two theories he uses to argue his case, as well as determine whether there are special occasions
when paternalism should be considered, and a brief look into Gerald Dworkin views on
paternalism and how they differ from Mill's.
According to Mill, every individual knows where his/her best interests lie, hence other
people will most probably misjudge that individual's good intentions and interfere with his
interests. For this reason, there is no need for any form of paternalism or interference. The society
interferes because it regards people's decisions as not good enough, henc...