J.S. Mill's Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment

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Nadia Urbinati, Alex Zakaras
Cambridge University Press, Jan 29, 2007 - Philosophy - 392 pages
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The year 2006 marked the two hundredth anniversary of John Stuart Mill's birth. Though his philosophical reputation has varied greatly, it is now clear that Mill ranks among the most influential modern political thinkers. Despite his enduring influence, the breadth and complexity of Mill's political thought is often underappreciated. While his writings remain a touchstone for debates over liberty and liberalism, many other important dimensions of his political philosophy have until recently been ignored. This book aims to correct such neglect, by illustrating the breadth and depth of Mill's political writings, by drawing together a collection of essays whose authors explore underappreciated elements of Mill's political philosophy. The book shows how Mill's thinking remains pertinent to our own political life in three broad areas - democratic institutions and culture, liberalism, and international politics - and offers a critical reassessment of Mill's political philosophy in light of recent political developments and transformations.
 

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Contents

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again be ascribed to their incompetence in the face of
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Mill had a conception of patriarchy although he did not
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protectedinasuigeneriswayincludingoverwhelminglybypublicopinion
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The idealoffreedom as nondominationhas anillustrious historical
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preMontesquieudespotismwas associatedwithpaternaldominationinthe
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they saw as his extremismhis unwillingness to compromise his single
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back all extreme theories until there has been experience of
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itself must be limited more closely tied to the measure
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towardthem13 ThisdifferenceallowsMilltobemoresanguineinRepresen
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in a despotic system a certain degree
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been unable to criticize despotic institutions It is no coincidence
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time Mill gives persuasive grounds to conclude that any desirable
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idea of property is not one thing but is historically
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related to claims of justice expedience and the existing states
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his essay on Coleridge was written to enlarge and improve
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dangerous We might think religious freedom was enhanced by allowing
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or pain Will is the child of desire and passes
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agents inclines his moraland politicaltheory toward radicalegalitarianism
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But this did not make of him an advocate of
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can be lead in pursuit of their own power to
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Page 25 - It would be a great misunderstanding of this doctrine, to suppose that it is one of selfish indifference, which pretends that human beings have no business with each other's conduct in life, and that they should not concern themselves about the welldoing or well-being of one another, unless their own interest is involved. Instead of any diminution, there is need of a great increase of disinterested exertion to promote the good of others.

About the author (2007)

Nadia Urbinati is Neil Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia University in the Department of Political Science. She is the author of Mill on Democracy: From the Athenian Polis to Representative Government, which received the David and Elaine Spitz Prize as the best book in liberal and democratic theory published in 2002, and Representative Democracy: Principles and Genealogy. Professor Urbinati has edited the works of Carlo Rosselli, Liberal Socialism (1994) and Piero Gobetti, On Liberal Revolution (2000).

Alex Zakaras is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont. He is currently completing his first book on individuality and democratic citizenship in the writings of J. S. Mill and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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