1st Edition

The Routledge Guidebook to Mill's On Liberty

By Jonathan Riley Copyright 2015
    376 Pages
    by Routledge

    376 Pages
    by Routledge

    John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty is widely regarded as one of the most influential and stirring pieces of political philosophy ever written. Ever relevant in our increasingly surveillance dominated culture, the essay argues strongly in favour of the moral rights of individuality, including rights of privacy and of freedom of expression. The Routledge Guidebook to Mill’s On Liberty introduces the major themes in Mill’s great book and aids the reader in understanding this key work, covering:

    • the context of Mill’s work and the background to his writing
    • each separate part of the text in relation to its goals, meanings and impact
    • the reception the book received when first seen by the world
    • the relevance of Mill’s work to modern philosophy.

    With further reading included for each chapter, this text is essential reading for all students of philosophy and political theory, and all those wishing to get to grips with this classic work of political philosophy.

    Series editor Preface  Author Prefaces  Part 1: General Introduction  1. Mill and the Liberty  Part 2: The Argument of On Liberty  2. Introductory (Chapter I, paras 1–16)  3. Of the liberty of thought and discussion (Chapter II, paras 1–44)  4. Of individuality, as one of the elements ofwell-being (Chapter III, paras 1–19)  5. Of the limits to the authority of society over the individual (Chapter IV, paras 1–21)  6. Applications (Chapter V, paras 1–23)  Part 3: Mill's Doctrine in Outline  7. The structure of Mill’s doctrine of liberty  Part 4: Genral Issues  8. Liberal utilitarianism  9. Liberty, individuality and custom  10. The doctrine of Liberty in practice.  Index


    Jonathan Riley is Professor of Philosophy at the Murphy Institute, Tulane University, USA.

    "A masterful introduction by one of the world's leading Mill scholars. The way that Riley reads, reconstructs, and defends On Liberty shows its importance for today's most contentious political debates." - Leif Wenar, King's College London, UK

    "Riley's book is one of the best critical overviews of On Liberty in print. It pays scrupulous attention to the details of Mill’s text, places these details in helpful historical context, and highlights their continued importance. Moreover, it manages to do all of this in clear and engaging language." - Leonard Kahn, Loyola University New Orleans , USA

    "This is the most authoritative guide to Mill's On Liberty. Students and lecturers alike will profit enormously from reading Jonathan Riley’s combination of impressive scholarship and accessible writing, in a book which is informed by all areas of Mill’s thinking." - Thomas Schramme, Hamburg University, Germany