Public Reason 10 (1) (2018)

There is a dominant perception of liberty among most contemporary liberals. It is one close to empiricism’s portrayal of freedom as a natural right of every person to advance her interests. According to this view, there are no demanding conditions under which people can be regarded as free agents but their unfettered behaviour from external inhibitions. It is widely thought that Mill’s liberalism does not deviate considerably from this tradition. The present text suggests a different reading of the gist of Mill’s political rationale. Highlighting the positive – in Berlin’s sense – aspects of his politically demanding concept of liberty which successfully combines facets of different traditions serves the purpose to stress the alternative features of his approach. Underlining the active political intervention Mill is instructing by implicating the state to preserve the essence of freedom and induce it in society, manifests how his position diverges from that of mainstream neutralist liberals.
Keywords liberty, autonomy, individuality, perfectionism, Mill John Stuart
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Nicomachean Ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 1968 - Harvard University Press.
Two Treatises of Government.John Locke - 1988 - Cambridge University Press.
Practical Philosophy.Immanuel Kant - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Nicomachean Ethics.Terence Irwin & Aristotle of Stagira - 1999 - Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.

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