A celebration of individuality, diversity, and nonconformity, On Liberty still makes a persuasive argument for what John Stuart Mill believed to be humankind’s essential liberties: the freedoms of speech, assembly, and the pursuit of pleasure, so long as one’s actions do not impede the liberty of another. These freedoms, he maintained, result in a far more successful society than one ruled by the tyranny of the majority.
An exploration of the limits of government over the individual, this treatise on personal liberty has inspired debate since its publication in 1859, and has provided the foundation for modern liberal political thought.
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Revised edition: Previously published as On Liberty, this edition of On Liberty (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.
Born in London, John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) was a philosopher, author, and social economist. Considered one of the greatest influencers of liberal political theory, Mill was dubbed “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century.” He devoted his life to the creation of a just society, was an early advocate of labor unions and farm cooperatives, and was the first member of Parliament to advocate for women’s suffrage. In addition to his essay On Liberty, Mill’s notable works include Principles of Political Economy and The Subjection of Women.