The Place of “The Liberty of Thought and Discussion” in On Liberty

Utilitas 33 (2):133-149 (2021)
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I consider whether Mill intends for us to see the arguments that constitute his defense of the “Liberty of Thought and Discussion” in chapter 2 ofOn Libertyas a part of his larger case for the “harm” or “liberty” principle (LP). Several commentators depict this chapter as a digression that interrupts the flow between his introduction of this principle in the first chapter and his exposition and defense of it in the final three. I will argue instead for a reading ofOn Libertyon which chapter 2 is well integrated with the rest of the essay and is in fact where Mill starts constructing his case for LP.



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Dale E. Miller
Old Dominion University

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References found in this work

A letter concerning toleration.John Locke, Mario Montuori, R. Klibanski & Raymond Polin - 1967 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 157:398-399.
Political Argument.W. G. Runciman & Brian Barry - 1967 - Philosophical Quarterly 17 (66):87.

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