PHIL 1034 Lecture Notes - Lecture 28: John Stuart Mill

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Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Mill on Freedom of Expression
John Stuart Mill
Lecture Notes
12.3.2015
Sunday before finals 7-9 pm, south lobby room 1 upper and lower entrances
-Mills argument was that if we want to suppress a view then that argument that is suppressed
might be false
-Says that even the statement that “people who hold bad views will cause bad consequences”
that itself is an infallibility
-First Mill argument: we might suppress the truth
Mill, in the second part of his argument, claims that censorship can render the truth a ‘dead
dogma’. What does he mean, and why does he regard this a bad thing.
-Second part of the argument: Mill worried that suddenly things will become a dead dogma
People won’t even understand what they're believing or saying, they're just going to be
repeating what they’ve been taught
ex. trinity in one
It’s going to easily be torn away from then
-He says if people want to hold a belief, they need to hold sufficient argument against them to
defend their views at least
-Thus people who have dissenting views give you an opportunity to defend your views as we'll
as to remind you of your underlying reason that you hold your beliefs
-Says that people will start to construe misunderstanding of definitions to true views and deny
them
-Mills: if views aren't challenged they'll fail to add these views to their beliefs - they’ll be
unknowledgeable
-Mill also says that one of the most important things for intellectuals is to have a backing for
what we believe of other people. If we don’t do such to help ourselves then we’re little better
than sheep or pig
-Mill rejects hedonism —> pleasure has different levels
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