Synopses & Reviews
Two cornerstones of liberalism from the great social radical of English philosophy
John Stuart Mill was a prodigious thinker who sharply challenged the beliefs of his age. In On Libertyone of the sacred texts of liberalismhe argues that any democracy risks becoming a "tyranny of opinion" in which minority views are suppressed if they do not conform to those of the majority. The Subjection of Women, written shortly after the death of Mill's wife, Harriet, stresses the importance of sexual equality. Together they provide eloquent testimony to the hopes and anxieties of Victorian England, and offer a trenchant consideration of what it really means to be free.
On Liberty remains a classic. . . . The present world would be better than it is if [Mill's] principles were more respected. (Bertrand Russell)
In this classic text, John Stuart Mill argues that liberty must play a central role in social policy, necessitating a redrawing of the line between the authority wielded by the state and the independence of the individual.
About the Author
John Stuart Mill (1806 &1873) was the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century.
Alan Ryan, the warden of New College, Oxford, is the editor of the Penguin Classics edition of Utilitarianism and Other Essays.