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Summary

On Liberty is an 1859 philosophical treatise by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873) which applies an ethical system of utilitarianism to society and the state. Mill starts with a brief overview of the meaning of liberty and proffers his basic argument in favor of liberty for the individual, to the degree that it harms no one else. The value of liberty of opinion and liberty of action are set forth in two chapters. Emphasizing the importance of individuality versus the "tyranny of the majority", he highlights the positive effects of liberty on all people and on society, as freedom enables progress and prevents social stagnation. Expounding on society, Mills discusses the appropriate level of authority that society ought to have over the individual and the obligation of that society to protect people who are incapable of exercising their own liberty. Finally, he offers particular examples and applications of his theory, in order to clarify the meaning of his claims.

Public Domain (P)2019 Woodkeep Audio

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Thought provoking but a very interesting text

You hear a lot about libertarianism being linked with Mill, but I don't think he was one. There is plenty in the book to be taken, in isolation, to back him up as a rigid individualist but the importance of a society is also key in his themes.

A very important work of political philosophy, some economics and has a decent enough narrator.

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  • 18-09-20

Comments from a reader

This book is for those that espier to be considered amongst the educated and to those that are already considered educated. This book will help you to also shape your political views to those that are based on reasons and facts.