Homework Assignment 3

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MILL'S ON LIBERTY, CHAPTER 3

  1. Mill says that individuality is `one of the principal ingredients of human happiness,' `one of the leading essentials of well-being,' and that there are two requisites for cultivating `individuality of power and development.'
    1. What are those `two requisites?'
    2. What does Mill mean by `individuality?' (What are some synonyms he uses?)
    3. Mill gives three reasons for saying that "it is the privilege and proper condition of a human being, arrived at the maturity of his faculties, to use and interpret experience in his own way" (35). What are those three reasons (in your own words!)?
  2. In Chapter 3, Mill argues that individuality is valuable both for individuals and for society (i.e., other people).
    1. In a paragraph and in your own words, explain Mill's reason or one of his reasons for thinking that individuality is valuable or beneficial to the individual.
    2. In a paragraph and in your own words, explain Mill's reason or one of his reasons for thinking that individuality is socially beneficial.
  3. Does Mill think that human beings are more like machines or more like trees? Explain.
  4. Is Mill for or against the `despotism of custom?' Explain. (What is the despotism of custom?)
  5. What is the connection between the Harm Principle and Mill's defense of individuality?
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