JSM an english philosopher, raised as a strict utilitarian. On liberty can be understood as attempt to broaden meaning of utility show utilitarianism provided strong protection of rights. -reflected his strong belief that individuality is something to b protected and nurtured. On liberty is reflection of this - views based on legitimate powers of state deriving from -Individual freedom and power state has on individual -rational justification of freedom of individual in opposition to state and society -impose unlimited control thus defence of the rights of the individual against state Mill views of the legitimate powers of the state are derived from his ideas about the importance of individual freedom and powers, that society should have over individual. -outline mill harm principle / also know as liberty principle which states "the sole end for which mankind can be warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any members, is self-protection." Aim was to set limits, which ruler should exercise over community; this limitations = liberty No restrictions should be placed purely on account of tradition, authority. Mill attempts to draw distinction between actions, which are self-regarding and those, which affect other, -state should only interfere when actions are affecting others in harmful way / serious harm enough to violate another's RIGHTS.
(minor form of causing harm to others can be controlled by the public opinion). JC REES maintained that mill uses the notion of interests rather than effect. on contrary some one's actions could cause harm to someone who is extra sensitive, individual taste &other factors, can determine effect of another's conduct. Many actions clearly violate an individual's rights eg murder, rape etc. but there are problematic cases which mill discusses 1. causing offence/ not reason for legal restriction BUT behaviour like rioting can b eg may-day against capitalism 2.
omitting to do things-support family / stop if see a road accident or victim. Trade mill says, is a 'social act', and so restrictions on trade do not violate his liberty: fall within legitimate scope of social intervention.