John Stuart Mill and Freedom of Expression: The Genesis of a Theory

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"This work explores the many influences and characters that came to bear on Mill's mature ideas. The author argues that On Liberty's case for freedom of expression is based primarily on the key role that it has to play in the development and maintenance of individuality in society, rather than political unity or the importance of the discovery of truth, as it is traditionally interpreted. While thus challenging many other contemporary interpretations, the author attempts to introduce a clearer understanding of the principle of liberty defended by Mill." "Scholars and students working in the fields of philosophy, political thought and the history of ideas, as well as those exploring the relevance of Mill to contemporary legal and media issues, will find this work original and enlightening."--BOOK JACKET.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 A worthy successor 9
James Mill and the liberty of the press 9
John Stuart Mill's early writings 15
The Westminster Review 18
2 The aftermath of the 'mental crisis' 23
The gradual change 24
'The Spirit of the Age' 26
Growing individualism 33
3 Coleridgian agendas 42
Coleridge on liberty 43
Mill as Coleridgian 46
'Bentham' and 'Coleridge' 49
4 Joint productions? 59
Harriet on toleration 59
Joint progress 62
Education and liberty 65
Towards On Liberty 70
5 On Liberty: the 1859 response 75
Speech and self-regarding acts 76
The right to hear: understanding infallibility 78
The necessity of intellectual challenge 84
Truths and half-truths 89
6 Liberty, Equality, Fraternity 94
Self-regarding acts and infallibility 95
Liberty versus control 98
App.: three 'new' letters from Mill to Stephen 101
7 On Liberty: recent interpretations 106
One principle or two? 106
Gray's defence of Mill 110
Interests and progress 113
Which interests should be considered as rights? 118
8 Exceptions to freedom of thought and discussion 126
The corn-dealer example 126
Forms of incitement 130
Indecency and censorship 136
9 After on Liberty: from theory to reality 145
Liberty in practice 145
The Inaugural Address 149
Mill in parliament 150
After Westminster 155
10 Conclusion: Mill reassessed 159
Notes 164
Bibliography 209
Index 222
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