On Liberty is a philosophical essay written by the English philosopher John Stuart Mill. Published in 1859, it applies Mill’s ethical system of utilitarianism to society and state. The author suggests standards for the relationship between authority and liberty. He emphasizes the importance of individuality, which he considers prerequisite to the higher pleasures—the summum bonum of utilitarianism. Furthermore, author asserts that democratic ideals may result in the tyranny of the majority. Among the standards proposed are Mill’s three basic liberties of individuals, his three legitimate objections to government intervention, and his two maxims regarding the relationship of the individual to society.
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