On Liberty is an impassioned application of author John Stuart Mill’s philosophical theory of utilitarianism, which argues that the highest state of being is that which is most useful in maximizing happiness and diminishing suffering. In On Liberty, Mill famously stresses the importance of individuality and the need to limit the power of governments over their people.
The philosophies of John Stuart Mill were well-received in the author’s lifetime during the mid-nineteenth century, and On Liberty is still an essential treatise in the fields of philosophy and political science.
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