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The Criticisms of Scalon's Millan Principle - Essay Example

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The Criticisms of Scalon's Millan Principle

The Millian principle on Liberty simply means that certain harms may have had no probability of occurring if, not for some expressed actions. However, once these harms occur, the perpetrators may not justify their actions by legally restricting the actions. These harms include; those that originate from certain acts of expression, which include deceiving the individuals into having false beliefs and acts of expressions, which lead people into acting in ways that may lead to harmful consequences, especially in situations where there is a correlation between the act of expression and the succeeding harmful consequences. This correlation simply includes a mere fact that the act of expression facilitated the agents’ belief or led them to believe that it would be worthy performing the acts. Scanlon defended this principle by illustrating that it was a consequence of a certain idea regarding limits of justifiable political authority. That the government’s legitimate powers are restricted to people that can be protected on incompatibility grounds, with the citizen’s authority Scanlon (1979, p. 529). However, Scanlon does not fully agree with this principle. In his criticism, Scanlon argues that the Millian principle aimed at ruling out censorship arguments to which Mill was responding. The principle did this by declaring that the harmful consequences appealed by this argument cannot count as prospective justification for lawful restrictions of expression. However, Scanlon argues that there are supplementary ways of arriving at policies that would seem incompatible with freedom of expression. Freedom of expression refers to the participant’s right not to be prohibited from expressing themselves Bosmajian (1988 p. 122). Scanlon argues that the principle obtains what seems to be an implausible consequence in certain instances. He says that it would be difficult to see how this principle squares laws against misleading advertising on television. In this respect, Scanlon articulates that probably the regulation policies violate the freedom of expression Scanlon (1979, p.534). However, if the policies are acceptable, then they could be paradigms of paternalism. In Scanlon’s view, if anyone could take the first clause of the Millian principle as a restriction set aside in instances where rational capacities are rigorously diminished, it would constitute a dismissal of paternalism. An adequate justification doctrine of paternalism must consider certain factors such as the value associated with the ability for an individual to make their own decisions, the costs of making these decisions and the risks associated with empowering the government to make decisions on people’s behalf. These factors are unique to every case, and may be applicable even in cases where there is no common loss of rational capabilities. However, Scanlon argues that the problems associated with the Millian principle are not only limited to justification of paternalism. The principle also protects the interests of important audiences. These interests include the interest of choosing their beliefs and reasons to act on their beliefs. These interests rely not only on the freedom of expression, but also on means of accessing information, education and other issues critical to decision making. Sometimes, supplementary information is ...Show more


The Millian Principle Course Institution Date The Millian Principle “There are some harms, which even though would not transpire but for some acts of expression, however, cannot be included in the justifications for legal limitations on these acts…
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The Criticisms of Scalons Millan Principle essay example
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