What does MILL insist on freedom of thought and expression in ON LIBERTY?ANSWER

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that that Mill insists that personal freedom is not curtailed and enhanced by the social and political orders.  One of the fundamental challenges he sets out to overcome in his writing is the idea that individual freedom and autonomy has been limited over time by ruling external bodies.  His insistence on that government and social orders really have no grounds to limit personal expression and thought is compelling evidence to reflect that his faith in the personal realm of freedom is vitally important.  Coercion becomes Mill's greatest enemy.  He does argue that there might be moments when the state has to act in the best interests of the individual if there is a chance that harm could fall onto the individual from their own hands, but overall, there is the feeling that the realm of individual decision making is of vital importance to Mill.