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Mill's "On Liberty": A Reader's Guide

Mill's "On Liberty": A Reader's Guide

Hardback Continuum Reader's Guides (Hardcover)

By (author) Geoffrey Scarre

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  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • Format: Hardback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 216mm x 20mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 23 June 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0826486487
  • ISBN 13: 9780826486486
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

Continuum's Reader's Guides are clear, concise and accessible introductions to classic works of philosophy. Each book explores the major themes, historical and philosophical context and key passages of a major philosophical text, guiding the reader toward a thorough understanding of often demanding material. Ideal for undergraduate students, the guides provide an essential resource for anyone who needs to get to grips with a philosophical text. First published in 1859, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty has exerted an enormous influence on philosophical and political thought ever since. Mill, also famous for his writings on utilitarianism, argues that individual liberty is of paramount importance and that any infringements of it must be kept to an absolute minimum. Mill himself described his brief but brilliant book as asserting 'one very simple principle ...that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering in the liberty of any of their number, is self-protection.' Of course, drawing out the implications of this principle has proved to be anything but simple, and the various interpretations of Mill's doctrine have spawned countless debates and mountains of secondary literature. Numerous moral and political theorists have drawn on Mill's work, including Berlin, Rawls and Raz, and his ideas remain as relevant as ever today.

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Author information

Geoffrey Scarre is Reader in Philosophy and current Head of Department at the University of Durham, UK. He has written widely on Mill's philosophy, including Utilitarianism (Routledge), the Mill entry in The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophers and numerous articles.

Table of contents

1. Context; 2. Overview of Themes; 3. Reading the Text; 4. Reception and Influence; 5. Bibliography and Notes for Further Reading; Index.