”On Liberty” 150 år

The Philosophers’ Magazine uppmärksammar med en artikelserie att John Stuart Mills On Liberty fyller 150 år.


150 years of On Liberty av Jonathan M Riley

”In On Liberty, Mill concentrates on making the case that every civil society should recognise and protect an empirically observable “purely self-regarding” domain of conduct as a minimum domain of absolute liberty for every mature individual. His radical step is to argue for a basic right to complete self-regarding liberty as an essential component of civil and political liberty.”

The Second Scribe av Jo Ellen Jacobs

”Harriet has been branded everything short of Wicked Witch of the West by John’s biographers and historians of philosophy. Accompanying such personal invective, many historians insist that however Harriet “helped” John in his intellectual work, her effort did not, did not, did not, amount to co-authorship.”

Free your mind av John Skorupski

”But why give a special protection to freedom of speech, as against freedom of action in general? If liberty of thought and discussion demands a special degree, or distinctive kind, of protection – as I think it does – why does it?

The answer lies in the fundamental commitment of a certain western tradition of liberalism: namely, commitment to free thought.

Free thought is thought ruled by its own principles and by nothing else; that is, by principles of thinking that it discovers, or makes explicit, simply by reflecting on its own activity. It acknowledges no external constraints placed on it by doctrines of faith, revelation or received authority: it scrutinises such teachings in the light of its own principles. The contrast is with apologetic thought, in the traditional sense of that word: thought which seeks to make intelligible, so far as possible, the ways of God to man, without claiming to know those ways by its own principles alone. Apologetics is fideistic. It holds that free thought alone cannot tell us what to believe: natural reason must be a servant of faith, or at most a co-sovereign with it.”

The genius of autonomy av Richard Reeves

”The second challenge to liberalism is that it has corroded the institutions and social norms that make good communal life possible – and it is this claim I attempt to refute in what follows. According to social conservatives (of both left and right), liberal “relativism”, in the ascendancy since the 1960s, has undermined marriage, manners and morality. By elevating individual autonomy, liberals have given up any notion of “the good”.

It is certainly true that liberals are slow to pass judgement on others. They do not believe they have some magical insight into what constitutes a successful life for each and every person. But liberalism is not amoral; it does not encourage atomisation and incivility; and it certainly does not rely on a selfish view of human nature. On the contrary, liberalism is the most morally demanding philosophy because it insists that each of us generates our own moral resources rather than relying on externally-provided supplies.”


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