John Mill’s On Liberty


-Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.-

Persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow. – J.S.Mill

Ultimately, while striving to get through the each subsequent day, I’ve managed to finish the ‘On Liberty’ by John. S. Mill. If my memory does not fluctuate too much from reality, I saw this spectacular piece of work in one of the economists’ blogs (I will share a list of economics blogs, soon).

John Stuart Mill was the most prominent philosopher of the 19th century. Being a liberal, a utilitarian, a naturalist,  John Mill, in his Principles of Political Economy, argued that economics was not the “dismal science” that its radical and literary critics had supposed. Its philosophical interest lay in Mill’s reflections on the difference between what economics measured and what human beings really valued: leading Mill to argue that we should sacrifice economic growth for the sake of the environment, and should limit population as much to give ourselves breathing space as in order to fend off the risk of starvation for the overburdened poor.

In his book, On Liberty, he attempted to broaden the meaning of utility and argued that the Utilitarianism provides a protection of rights. Mill asserted that individuality should be nurtured and preserved.

On Liberty consists Mill’s significant ideas about the rejection of public or legal coercion to the individuals’ opinions and behaviors. He argues that the coercion could be justified only when the individuals’ actions or behaviors harms other people.

Liberty is given as a positive factor of progress and guardian against social stagnation. The book is divided into few sections: Overall meaning of liberty, value of the liberty of action and opinion, the extend that the legal or social authority can be coerced to liberty, and few applicable cases.

After finishing the On Liberty, I today received and started to read The Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner. After finishing the book, I will give a brief opinion about it. Very excited to continue exploring new universes.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
― Henry Ford

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By hheydaroff