On Social Freedom

On Social Freedom

On Social Freedom

On Social Freedom

Excerpt

John Stuart Mill's views on liberty are commonly regarded as his most important contribution to political thought, and his essay On Liberty is the most widely known of his political writings. It is remarkable, therefore, that an essay by him entitled On Social Freedom has been almost completely neglected. As far as can be discovered this briefer essay is not mentioned in any history of political theory or in any study of John Stuart Mill, and it appears in no bibliography of Mill's works. This situation is the more remarkable because these few pages represent a marked advance in Mill's thinking on the problem involved. They contain modifications of the central argument in his earlier essay and throw new light on the shift in his position from individualism toward socialism and idealism during the latter years of his life.

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