Honors | College of Arts and Sciences
E104 | 0167 | Furniss

In this course we will take a look at the troubled boundary between the
value of individual liberty and the requirements of an increasingly
diverse democratic society. Within prescribed limits we cherish the
freedom to do and say what we want, and we often, not always, acknowledge
the responsibilities associated with this freedom. But at the same time,
for many of us individual liberty is not a solitary value. Does the
exercise of our freedoms make sense only within the framework of a
democratic nation and a pluralist society? Is individual liberty an end in
This course explores these questions from a number of directions. We begin
with John Stuart Mill's famous treatise, On Liberty and its relation to
American political values and current political and social issues. We then
consider a number of objections and alternatives. We conclude by looking
at whether in the modern world the value of "toleration" is a useful or
necessary complement of the value of "liberty".
In the Honors discussion section we will consider a case study of concern
to the Bloomington community: An effort by elements associated with the
"World Church of the Creator" to disseminate "hate literature" and the
community response, much of it organized by "Bloomington United."
I would be pleased to discuss details of readings or assignments.
NOTE: On a related matter this section I believe is projected to be part
of a FIGS. How is this going?