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Bentham and Mill on Liberty and Justice

  • Frederick Rosen

Abstract

When he was engaged in the task of editing Bentham’s Rationale of Judicial Evidence, the young John Stuart Mill must have read the following passage:

What means liberty? What can be concluded from a proposition, one of the terms of which is so vague? What my own meaning is, I know; and I hope the reader knows it too. Security is the political blessing I have in view: security as against malefactors, on one hand — security against the instruments of government on the other.1

Keywords

Civil Liberty Moral Rule Political Thought Individual Liberty Political Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 9.
    William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (4 vols, Oxford, 1765–9) Bki, pp. 125–6.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    J. S. Mill, ‘On Liberty’, in Essays on Politics and Society, ed. J. M. Robson [Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, vol. xviii] (Toronto and London, 1977 ) p. 348.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    See David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge, (Oxford, 1960) Bk in, Part II, sect. 2 pp. 484–501.Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    J. L. De Lolme, The Constitution of England (London, 1775) ch. viii, p. 112.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    Charles Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws trans. T. Nugent (New York, 1949) Bk xi:6, p. 151 (translation revised).Google Scholar
  6. 16.
    Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation edited by J. H. Burns and H. L. A. Hart (London, 1970) in:1 (CW), p. 34. Abbreviated references to CW are to the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham (London, 1968-).Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    Bentham, Traités de Législation, civile et pénale ed. E. Dumont, (3 vols, Paris, 1802) n:8 (Bowring, vol. i, p. 302). The translation used here is that ofGoogle Scholar
  8. R. Hildreth in Theory of Legislation (London, 1871) p. 97.Google Scholar
  9. 19.
    Bentham, Deontology, together with A Table of the Springs of Action and Article on Utilitarianism ed. A. Goldworth (Oxford, 1983) (CW),p. 315.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Mill, Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society ed. J. M. Robson, [Collected Works of John Stuart Mill vol. x] (Toronto and London, 1969) p. 255.Google Scholar
  11. 25.
    See H. L. A. Hart, Essays on Bentham, Studies in Jurisprudence and Political Theory (Oxford, 1982 ) pp. 79–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 34.
    J. C. Rees, ‘A Re-reading of Mill on Liberty’, Political Studies, viii (1960) pp. 113–29.Google Scholar
  13. 35.
    Mill, ‘On Liberty’, p. 266. For a brief account of this debate, see John Gray, Mill on Liberty: A Defence (London, 1983) pp. 131–2 (n. 17).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 36.
    See Rees, ‘A Re-reading of Mill on Liberty’, reprinted with a postscript in P. Radcliff, Limits of Liberty: Studies of Mill’s On Liberty (Belmont, California, 1966) pp. 87–107, esp. pp. 106–7.Google Scholar
  15. 37.
    See, for example, Gray, Mill on Liberty and C. L. Ten, Mill on Liberty, (Oxford, 1980 ).Google Scholar
  16. 38.
    See, for example, G. L. Williams, ‘Mill’s Principle of Liberty’, Political Studies, xxiv (1976) pp. 132–40;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. D. G. Brown, ‘Mill on Harm to Others’ Interests’, Political Studies, xxvi (1978) pp. 395–9;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. G. L. Williams, ‘A Brief reply to D. G. Brown on Mill’, Political Studies, xxviii (1980) pp. 295–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 49.
    Maurice Cranston, Freedom, A New Analysis (London, 1953) pp. 65–82, esp. p. 69.Google Scholar
  20. 50.
    See Isaiah Berlin, ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’ in Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford, 1969) pp. 122–31.Google Scholar
  21. 52.
    See Ten, Mill on Liberty pp. 60–1; L. J. Hume, Bentham and Bureaucracy (Cambridge, 1981) pp. 93ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© George Feaver and Frederick Rosen 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Rosen

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