On Liberty

Mill's harm principle

From the perspective of Mill's harm principle, consider the value of legal theorists arguing about what the law "ought" to be and for particular visions of the "good society" as opposed to focusing solely on questions about the nature of law.

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John Stuart Mill's harm principle makes the law into a rather simple matter: namely, it is about maximizing the individual's capacity to make choices while limiting his or her ability to harm other individuals. Therefore legal theorists ought only to think of the individual's "liberty" in this specific way when making laws. The good society is a society in which liberty is maintained in a maximal manner by a maximal number of people.