We know that it is law which enables men to live together, that creates order out of chaos. We know that law is the glue that holds civilization together. And we know that if one man’s rights are denied, the rights of all others are endangered
Dr. Edward Ruggles
White Mountains, New Hampshire
Inscribed Ruggles and Mr. T. J. Shepard… on the reverse
Oil on board
5 1/2 x 7 3/8 inches
“An eccentric physician and painter in Brooklyn,” Edward Ruggles abandoned his medical career to devote himself to painting. His small oil paintings were known as Ruggles Gems and were avidly sought by the end of his life. An honorary member of the National Academy of Design, he exhibited both there and at the American Art Union, and nine of his New Hampshire views were published by the Prang lithographic firm. After his death, a notice published in The New York Times on December 15, 1867, advertised a final, posthumous, sale of Ruggles Gems at the Leeds Art Galleries. The unidentified author waxed fulsome, commenting that “As a colorist, as an illustrator of nature, as an artistic scholar and critic, the merits of Dr. Ruggles are as highly appreciated by the best judges as they have latterly been by the general public; and the eagerness to obtain his pictures almost taxed to the last point his extraordinary
Doyle New York
Quick Rumination on John Stuart Mill’s Self-Harm Principle
Speech is inseparable from the principle of least harm – in that actions should only be limited by an authority to the extent that they harm other people. However, in the realm of opinion and of controversial speech, Mill goes far as to argue that the practice of silence violates the harm principle by depriving dialectical discourse from the public. In order for society to approach the better truths about Humanity, Mill asserts that the mind must be “open to the criticism of his opinions and conduct” (Mill, On Liberty, pg. 25) for the truth is organic, it must be lively and vivaciously held, knowledge received uncritically by rote is but “shell and husk […] of the meaning” (On Liberty, 45). This dialectical nature of the truth, Mill argues, is “recognized [to be a] necessity to the mental well-being of mankind. The active practice of free speech is thus tied to the utility of mankind, pointing to a potential weakness in the harm principle – a principle that seems to have the intent of limiting the authority of an authority over the plebiscite. Mill’s defense of free speech implies that in order to ensure free speech, the Government should interfere by engendering a culture of open mindedness and active discourse, but the fact is that sometimes people simply choose to dogmatically believe in a certain doctrine based on their own free will. Silence is tantamount to “robbing the human race” (On Liberty, 21). This is a very compelling way to position silence and hint at the role Government needs to play in creating the culture of discourse. Silence is like a thief – a crime, and it should be rectified or punished. Even though Mill seems to explain the many complications that arise from the squelching and non participation in free speech, he provides little means of actually operationalizing the assurance of safe free speech apart from the defeatist attitude that the age the opinion inhabits determines the willingness of the people to grapple with controversy, perhaps rendering the culture that Mill wishes to see a pipe dream – unless the government engages in aggressive promotion of free-speech culture.
Oh yes. Oh very yes. My life in 20 years.