On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
A philosophy podcast from Loyal Books
Published in 1859, On Liberty is a libertarian philosophical work by English philosopher John Stuart Mill that endorses his view on the importance of individuality for the constant progression and improvement of society. The work also supports economic and moral freedom, and openly criticizes the influence of social authority that in one way or another imposes a predefined set of acceptable attitudes and opinions. Highlighting issues including the incongruity between authority and liberty, the oppressive requisites of society, self-regarding conduct, education, and religious influence, Mill effectively proposes the means to preserve the rights of the individual, while at the same time appealing for the restriction of government coercion.
Dividing his philosophy in five chapters, Mill delivers his view on liberty through a utilitarian approach and accordingly depicts an overview of the concept of liberty. Consequently, he evaluates the significance of liberty to both individual and state. The piece opens with a description of the conflict between authority and individual freedom, as Mill reports the oppression of the government which restricts the right of free expression. According to Mill, the power of the state should be dependent on the liberty of its citizens, because it is they who essentially put them in such an influential position. Subsequently, he distinguishes between two types of oppression, government tyranny and the tyranny of the majority. Though disapproving of both, he considers the latter to be more destructive, as it is easier to stand against political beliefs than it is to defy the prevailing mindset and opinions of the social majority. In addition, Mill points out the benefits of having contrasting perspectives and opinions, and the importance of exercising one’s basic right to liberty. Furthermore, he prescribes the adequate level of interference from authority, and eventually exemplifies the proficiency of his theory.
Nevertheless, an enduring piece of philosophy, whose concepts can be studied, analyzed and put into practice, as they are relevant even more so in present societies. Although the treatise has received its fair amount of criticism for its encouragement to rebel against conformity, On Liberty is still highly valuable for its evaluation of the nature of liberty and its position in a democratic society. Moreover, the work is an essential element for those interested in learning more about the principles of government, political philosophy, political science, and the importance of liberty itself.
Information for podcasters
Podfade warning: this podcast has not been updated in the past three months.
The audio of this podcast has an HTTP address, and not HTTPS. If it isn’t also available as HTTPS, it is no longer playable in any embedded player on an HTTPS site in Google Chrome.
This podcast’s RSS feed is not secure. Apple may require this in future.
This podcast’s audio is not on an IPv6-enabled domain. This isn’t an issue for now, but might be in future. (We tested the initial domain of www.archive.org, which may be an analytics prefix.)
This podcast appears to be missing from Spotify and Stitcher. We list all the podcast directories to be in.
- Get official Apple, Google and Spotify badges to link to this podcast, or get a magic link for social media.
- Link direct to an episode
- Validate this podcast’s RSS feed at CastFeedValidator
- Learn more about our podcast pages
Privacy: In common with all podcast players, pressing "play" on the inbuilt player above will download the audio directly from the podcast host. That will share some data (like your IP address or details of your device) with them.
Cache: We cache most information on these pages, and are currently caching pages for at least fourteen days. This page was produced on April 8 at 01:11:09 UTC. Flush the cache