Philosophy 56 (217):289 - 302 (1981)

In this paper there is some old news, but not, I hope, stale news. I shall reiterate the view that the dominant aim of education is to contribute to the good life for individuals, an aim expressed by J. S. and Harriet Mill in their famous essay On Liberty . But the paper is not stale news because it is no longer commonplace to defend individualism. The Mills' essay now appears to be a subversive document. Secondly, characterizing the good life at least partly in terms of ‘self-cultivation’ and ‘self-perfection’ seems anachronistic. Conceptions of the good life have changed. Thirdly, On Liberty was subject to sustained criticism by James Fitzjames Stephen, and some of that criticism requires modification of some of the views expressed by the Mills
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819100050282
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