On Liberty - Study Guide Chapter 2, Of the Liberty of Thought & Discussion Summary & Analysis

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John Stuart Mill begins this chapter by introducing a discourse regarding opinion and the expression thereof. The author claims that the silencing of opinion is a bad thing, a specific kind of evil. He asserts that some efforts by society to improve the freedom of individuals for giving their opinion on a given topic is helpful.

Mill believes that freedoms of speech as a means of clear expression of opinion has the possibility of advancing humanity through the discovery and use of the truth. Sharing views can in fact enhance life for everyone. He notes the importance for learning to at least tolerate hearing the opinions of others, including dissenting ones. He asserts his own view that even if only one individual on the entire face of the Earth holds a particular opinion...

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