“Harm” and Mill’s Harm Principle

Ethics 124 (2):299-326 (2014)
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This article addresses the long-standing problem of how to understand Mill’s famous harm principle in light of his failure to specify what counts as “harm” in On Liberty. I argue that standard accounts restricting “harm” to only certain negative consequences fail to do justice to the text, and that this fact forces us to rethink Mill’s defense of individual liberty. I then offer a new account of that defense in which “harm” is understood in an expansive sense, despite apparent problems for such a view



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Piers Norris Turner
Ohio State University

References found in this work

Lectures on the history of political philosophy.John Rawls - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Edited by Samuel Richard Freeman.
Mill's deliberative utilitarianism.David O. Brink - 1992 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 21 (1):67-103.
Mill on Liberty, Speech, and the Free Society.Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (3):276-309.
Mill on liberty and morality.D. G. Brown - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (2):133-158.

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