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A pioneer in the doctrine of legal libertarianism John Stuart Mill proposes a principle suggesting that legal interventions are only justified to prevent individuals from infringing the rights and interests of others However this principle of harm which Mill contends is believed by Feinberg to be insufficient to protect the necessary personal autonomy for the development of a rationally and morally responsible being He suggests that the Millian harm principle should be supplemented by a principle of mere offense for a more extensive protection of individual liberty and rights and without which the unregulated psychological effects of offenses may prove to be detrimental to the goal of individuals achieving developed rational constructsIn his text Mill elaborates the value of individual liberty through its instrumentality for personal intellectual fulfillment and social progression Advocating the ideal that all individuals should strive for the achievement of their own intellectual potential Mill considers an environment where personal autonomy is respected a necessary condition for the fulfillment of that ideal 2 Mill p70-71 The exercise of individual liberty like the freedom of opinion even in the face of opposing majority is instrumental for one to assume rationality and make decisions Mill believes that liberty especially freedom of expression is important in three ways to counteract the assumption of infallibility and to construct a free market of ideas which would supplement truth and prevent dogma For assumption of infallibility he argues that if subjects are governed by the states without liberty to choose how to live their lives even well intentioned states could not warrant that their beliefs of the interests of the subjects are always accurate since as there is no specific way of life which accommodates all individuals individuals are the best judge of their own interests 3 Mill p65-66 Moreover it is only with freedom of expression could a free market of ideas form which allows the exchange of opinions among individuals to accumulate truth and prevent truths
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