John Stuart Mill

Raised since early childhood to promote Jeremy Bentham’s theory of utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill both expanded on those ideas and developed many of his own regarding individual freedom and liberty. Inspired by his good friend and wife, Mill was one of the first men to publish a book explicitly on women’s rights; he viewed the subjugation of women as one of the worst vestiges of ancient society. Mill is probably best known for his harm principle and the theory of tyranny of the majority.


Editorial: John Stuart Mill

by Leonard P. Liggio on Jun 1, 1979

“Mill keenly appreciated the indispensable and complex role of the intellectuals.”


No Man May Keep Me from My Opinions

by John Stuart Mill in 1859

In this excerpt from On Liberty, Mill argues that the right of an individual to her own opinion isn’t only good for her, but for the rest of society.

Free Thoughts

John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, Part 1

featuring John Samples, Matthew Feeney, Aaron Ross Powell, & Trevor Burrus on Jul 29, 2016

This week Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus, John Samples, and Matthew Feeney discuss 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill’s idea of “civil liberty.”


An Introduction to John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty

by Paul Meany on Mar 20, 2020

On Liberty is not merely a political text explaining the intricacies of how the state ought to act. It is a love letter to the individual virtues of intellectual curiosity, tolerance, and open-mindedness.


Mill: Liberal or Socialist?

by John Gray on Sep 1, 1978

“Mill’s allowance of some [interventionism] was always qualified by a concern to promote diversity, variety, and autonomy in all spheres of human life.”


Mill, John Stuart (1806-1873)

by Aeon Skoble on Aug 15, 2008

John Stuart Mill was a philosopher best known for his contributions to a free-market, more freedom-oriented view of utilitarianism.

Free Thoughts


featuring Andrew Jason Cohen, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Sep 11, 2015

Andrew Jason Cohen joins us for a discussion on toleration—what does it mean to be tolerant? What should be tolerated? Are we becoming less tolerant?

Exploring Liberty

The Problem of Political Ignorance

featuring Ilya Somin on Jun 20, 2012

What happens in a democracy when voters are too ignorant to vote well about the things they vote about? How can we best counter this political ignorance?

Free Thoughts

The Limits of Utilitarianism

featuring Adam Gurri, Aaron Ross Powell, and Trevor Burrus on Dec 1, 2014

Adam Gurri joins us for a discussion on utilitarianism and why it may not be a satisfactory moral theory in which to ground libertarianism.