The Principle Of A Social Contract Essay

1426 Words Nov 24th, 2014 6 Pages
Mill focuses on the concept of a clear distinction between when the authority of society can limit individuality and when there can be “sovereignty of the individual over himself”; however, he also argues the point that control should be given whenever society and the individual have an interest in a particular part of human life (82). Mill rejects the notion of a social contract, which Locke argues for, but due to the protections provided by society, the citizens owe a return for these benefits. He defines the harm principle by each individual having the right to act however they please, as long as it does not affect the person undertaking the action. Society cannot intervene, even if the act the person is committing causes harm to them. Each individual in society should defend not only themselves, but also other members from injury. An individual may be reprimanded for their opinion by harming others, but not by law. Society has jurisdiction over any aspect of human behavior that “affects prejudicially the interests of others” (83). The author discusses that an individual has an obligation to not violate another person’s rights and to not hurt others in exchange for the protection and benefits the society offers, while contributing to the society as a whole. Mill begins by explaining the struggle between authority and liberty. He argues that the proper conduct is on how an individual should act whenever they are participating in society. Due to the fact that some people…

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