Philosophy Notes

Topics: Liberalism, John Stuart Mill, Classical liberalism Pages: 3 (601 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Negative liberty means there’s stuff somebody can’t do to you. That’s what’s negative about it, they can’t do to you. “Congress shall make no law…”

Positive liberty will be on exam, short question on it.
Our culture is based on a negative liberty tradition.

Liberalism means when used in a philosophy class usually is an ideology consists of two ideas, one is that liberty (neg. liberty) is a constraint on the state, set of notions that things the govt cant do to people. Plus idea of equality, so liberty constrains the other ideas of equality. Liberalism includes what is in America called conservatism.

A state that provides a generous amount of negative liberty, that constrains itself, that government produces the greatest amount of positive liberty, meaning things like wealth and knowledge.

John Stuarts Mills
1806 Mill born May 20 (London)
Mill’s father declares he will create a genius who will carry on his own work •Learned Greek at the age of 3, Latin and arithmetic at 8, logic at 12, economics at 13 •Co-founds Westminster Review with Jeremy Bentham

oIntense activism and intellectual productivity
Age 21: Nervous breakdown
1851 Marries Harriet Taylor
1859: publishes On Liberty
1873: Mill dies (France)

“Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.” (Ch. III, p. 56-7) ~from On Liberty

Tells us what the book is about
“The object of this essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalities, or the moral coercion of public opinion. The...
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