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Reforming LiberalismJ.S. Mill's Use of Ancient, Religious, Liberal, and Romantic Moralities$
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Robert Devigne

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300112429

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300112429.001.0001

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On Liberty: Overcoming the West's One-Sided Moral Development

On Liberty: Overcoming the West's One-Sided Moral Development

(p.105) Chapter 4 On Liberty: Overcoming the West's One-Sided Moral Development
Reforming Liberalism

Robert Devigne

Yale University Press

This chapter further explores and analyzes the implications that can be derived from John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. At its center, the work places the objectives of both the good and the right—or the goal of cultivating higher forms of individuality, and the aim of ensuring justice and moral development among the general public. Mill then discusses what society and political thinkers need to do to overcome the constant shifts in Western morality between opposing outlooks. Each of these one-sided moral developments has a different set of characteristics, expressed on either side of the conversation. The fundamental point then of Mill's discussion of freedom of thought in On Liberty is English liberalism's failure to break with the Christian tradition of obedience and its fear of the creative will. Thus, this chapter looks at the process of how such a one-sided moral development was overcome.

Keywords:   John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Western morality, moral developments, freedom of thought, English liberalism, Christian tradition

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