Best Books on John Stuart Mill’s Political Philosophy

recommended by Piers Turner

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) is one of the great figures in the liberal egalitarian political tradition. He was also widely recognized in his lifetime as a radical reformer. Firmly grounded in the utilitarian “greatest happiness principle,” Mill’s progressive political philosophy weaves together commitments to relational equality (in all social, political, and economic domains), liberal rights (allowing for the development of individuality and experiments in living), and competent decision-making in our public and private lives. What unites these five books is their close attention to Mill’s own philosophical thought, demonstrating its complexity and consistency, and the public issues that drove his life-long reform efforts.

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