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Title: Was Mill a Liberal?
Authors: Ten, C.-L. 
Issue Date: 2002
Citation: Ten, C.-L. (2002). Was Mill a Liberal?. Politics, Philosophy & Economics 1 (3) : 355-370. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This article is a systematic repudiation of Joseph Hamburger's thesis in his book John Stuart Mill on Liberty and Control. Hamburger maintains that Mill wanted to promote the 'moral regeneration of mankind' by eroding Christian belief & replacing it with a religion of humanity. He argues that Mill's defense of liberty must be seen in this context, although Mill himself tried to conceal some of his views. Mill in fact permitted interference even in the area of self-regarding conduct. He was against interference by public opinion, but not against interference by superior persons. Mill valued freedom because it enabled superior persons to promote the desired progress toward the religion of humanity. But this article argues that Hamburger fails to distinguish between legitimate & illegitimate forms of interference, a distinction that is central to Mill's case for liberty. Superior persons are not allowed to coerce others from engaging in non-harmful but 'miserable' conduct. The progress that Mill envisaged was to be achieved within the framework of freedom for all. ©2002 Sage Publications, Ltd.
Source Title: Politics, Philosophy & Economics
ISSN: 1470594X
DOI: 10.1177/1470594X02001003005
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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