Saturday, May 20, 2006

Happy 200th Birthday, John Stuart Mill

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of philospher John Stuart Mill. The Wall Street Journal has a decent article about his contributions to modern thought.

Long before I became a libertarian, I had picked up and read his work, On Liberty, where he promoted the view that, barring any direct harm to others, society has no right to interfere in the lives of individuals. In many ways, this reflects the core libertarian viewpoint, and as I often felt that way about things, I was eager to read a solid, rational and intellectual defense for allowing individuals to control their own lives. Overall, it was an interesting read that presented only a few inconsistencies and problems, but for the most part wasn't a bad bit of philosophizing. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in such things.


Blogger Vigilante said...

I forget. Was it John Stewart Mill who said,
"I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it."
If I'm mistaken, I'm sure I will be so informed.

10:02 AM  

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