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On Liberty

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  14,311 ratings  ·  327 reviews
Discussed and debated from time immemorial, the concept of personal liberty went without codification until the 1859 publication of On Liberty. John Stuart Mill's complete and resolute dedication to the cause of freedom inspired this treatise, an enduring work through which the concept remains well known and studied.
The British economist, philosopher, and ethical theorist'...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 19th 2002 by Dover Publications (first published 1859)
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Stephen
WARNING: Some of my political views are discussed in this VERY LONG review. I don't think there is anything offensive but with politics, you never know. Therefore, in case anything I say upsets anyone, I have included several very CUTE kitten photos by way of apology.

6.0 stars. On Liberty has secured a spot on my list of “All Time Favorite” books. I have gone through a pretty significant political re-examination over the last several years (maybe a lot of us have). A few years ago, if you were...more
sckenda
Mar 25, 2013 sckenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Interested in Freedom
Recommended to sckenda by: Great Books of Western World
John Stuart Mill was ahead of his time. In 1859, he published “On Liberty,” which is a declaration for freedom, tolerance, and individuality. It is a short and very accessible work that contains the intellectual underpinning of modern liberal democracies. Although a philosopher, Mill is highly readable, especially when one starts at the beginning. Mills articulated ideas that I have long cherished, and he writes with conviction and polish.

I have selected some of my favorite quotations that illu...more
Ahmed El  Wakeel

يا ريت الناس كانت قرأت الكتاب من زمان, عمرنا ما كنا وصلنا للي احنا فيه دلوقتي , للأسف ... أمه أغلب مشاكلها تحلها بعض الكتب . يا للبساطة و السخرية المبكية.
تحديث بتاريخ 16 / 8 / 2013


عارف لما تكون بتقرأ وكل صفحتين ثلاثه تسيب الكتاب وتسرح مع نفسك وتتخيل الفكره المطروحه و إسقاطها المقابل في الحياة. عارف لما والدتك تشوفك بتصقف كل ربع ساعة بالكثير بسبب جملة عجبتك. عارف لما دكتور جامعي مشهود له بأنه متغطرس نسبيا ومتعالي يتساهل و يتواضع مع زميلتي اللي صادفت انها بتكلمه وهيا ماسكه الكتاب, فتتحول شخصيته مع
...more
Lona
الحرية كلمة قليلة الأحرف ولكني كلما نظرت وتأملت وتعمقت في معناها وجدت أنها بحر عميق من الصعب الوصول لقاعه. هل فعلاً يمكن للإنسان أن يكون حُرَّا بالمطلق؟ شخصياً أرى أن الحرية "شيء" مرن تلتقي عالمياً في نقاط جوهرية وتختلف على مستوى المجتمعات في أنماط مختلفة يصوغها كل مجتمع حسب خصوصيته، وهذا ما وجدته في هذا الكتاب الفريد. هو كتاب قليل الصفحات ولكنه ثقيل المحتوى، أثناء القراءة وجدت أنه يتكلم عن أشياء بديهية ولكن هذه البديهيات ازدادت عمقاً مع كل صفحة، هو فعلاً كتاب من النوع "المُولِّد" للأفكار والتسا...more
Nasser Moh'd
مثل هذا الكتاب يجب ان يدرس في المدارس وان تقام لأجله المحاضرات
بحث فلسفي في حرية الفرد واكثر ما عجبني حول سلطة المجتمع على حرية الفرد
لن تقوم لنا قائمه او عزه الا بمثل هذه الحريات

( اذا اجبرت الفرد على موقفك فانت حرمته من معرفة موقفه الخطأ وتغييره وايضاً حرمة نفسك من معرفة ما اذا كان رايه هو الصواب)

مشكلة الكتاب اعتقد في الترجمه لاني عانيت من بعض المصطلحات والفقرات ..الغير متناسقه
Capsguy
It's amazing how it appears as if the older the work, the more relevant it is to today. Sure, this is anything but 'old' in comparison to Socrates and other writers, but this over 150 year old document still serves well today, definitely worth the few hours reading and I recommend it to everyone.

It is logically structured and written with ease of reading and understanding without the sacrifice of the quality of his argument.

As mentioned by Mill, he's not necessarily bringing anything new to the...more
أحمد نفادي
أخيرا انتهيت من الكتاب على الرغم من صغر حجمه الا انه مليء بالأفكار التي قد تبدو للوهلة الأولى " بديهية" ولكن بعد أن تقرأ تسأل نفسك إذا كانت بديهية بهذه الدرجة فلم لا تطبق بل وتحارب ؟!!!!
من الصعب عمل مراجعة كاملة عن الكتاب خاصة مع تشعب أفكاره لكنه كمجمل كتاب رائع من النوعية التي لابد من تدريسها في المدارس بدلا من الهراء الفكري الذي يدرس حاليا

هناك تشابهات عديدة بين مجتمع ميل في القرن ال 19 و مجتمعنا العربي الحالي ف القرن ال 21 خصوصا فيما يتعلق بسلطات الحكومة والرأي في الاداب والفنون وهو ما استعجبت...more
Ishraq

كنت قد شاهدت منذ فترة فيلم وثائقي عن ويكيليكس يدعى "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" والذي تناول فيه نشأة ويكيليكس وجوليان أسانج ثم كيف تعرف على برادلي مانينج وبداية تسريب الوثائق. لست بصدد كتابة مراجعة عن الفيلم ولا التعليق عن الوقائع والرسالة التي حاول معدو الفيلم ايصالها عن هذين الاثنين ولن أتحدث أيضاً عن الجانب الأخلاقي (والذي قمت بكتابة مدونة عن هذا الموضوع!!) الذي شغل عقلي فترة من الزمن لكن لنحاول أن ننظر الى موضوع حرية التعبير أو الحرية المدنية/الاجتماعية والتي تناولها جون ستيوار
...more
DJ
This book is a classic. Giving due credit, I must acknowledge Prof. Keith Eubanks for inadvertently turning me on to Mill. I think Eubanks once quoted Mill, perhaps in his course syllabus, and I found the quote (something about expecting more from students, and how they will perform to these higher standards given the expecatation and opportunity) intriguing.

Anyway, if you're interested in learning where I get a lot of my thoughts on being an individual, read this book (or read essays/books by...more
Samy Kaoua
أشك أن هذا الرجل العظيم كان يعيش في القرن التاسع عشر! كما أشك أننا نعيش في القرن الواحد والعشرين. فعندما هذا تقرأ الكتاب تتأكد من التخلف الفكري والحضاري الذي مازالت تعيشه الشعوب العربية المسلمة خصوصا في فترة ما سموه الربيع العربي. كتب جون ستيوارت ميل هذا الكتاب في 1859 وعبر فيه عن أفكاره العميقة بشأن الحرية الفردية، الاجتماعية والسياسية ووضح مفهوم الديمقراطية الحديثة بشكل لا لبس فيه.

مما يرشحه كما قال أحد الباحثين أن يكون تمهيدا لدساتير الدول الحديثة التي تدعي الديمقراطية والعدل والحرية. فلو كان...more
Rosianna
Not that I agree entirely with Mill's ideas about the structures and general functions of the individual and society, but this was a fascinating insight into the society I live in now, and how I regard my own place in society, if I have one. Most interesting were his points about freedom of expression, and his ability to move from our justifications for freedom of expression to freedom of tastes and pursuits without even flinching. Definitely worth a read, whatever your political persuasion.
Sean Gabb
During the libertarian rebirth of the past generation, it has become fashionable to sneer at the essay On Liberty. It is, I admit, a flawed work, and I will shortly try to explain why this is so. Before then, however, I will put a case for the defence - to show why, despite its flaws, the essay remains a valuable weapon in the libertarian arsenal, and will remain one when Rand and Nozick will chiefly be names found in histories of twentieth century thought.

Mill is at his very best in Chapter II,...more
Bruce
Whether or not one is sympathetic toward or convinced by his philosophical positions, Mill’s arguments are always worth listening to. They are inevitably clearly articulated, logically arranged, and elegantly expressed, and their reading is a pleasure as well as an opportunity for mature and considered reflection. This particular work is based on two maxims. First, “the individual is not accountable to society for his actions, in so far as these concern the interests of no person but himself.” A...more
Keith Kendall
This book just did not resonate with me. The logic seemed sound, but it also seemed like he was rehashing the same thing over and over. Some of the better points:
- Societies tend to demand conformity, assuming that their way is the "true" way.
- Societies mistakenly assume that they are better than all previous societies.
- Diversity is good as long as it is not harmful to society.
- When there is no opposition, people fail to grasp the arguments for their way of life, and the society becomes weak,...more
Ali Alyami
هل تبحث عن كتاب يؤطر و يؤصل لليبرالية كفلسفة و كمنهج حياة ؟ إذا هذا هو الكتاب الذي تبحث عنه تماما. الكتاب يتحدث بلغة جدية للغاية و جافة أحيانا و يكرر الكاتب أحيانا النقاط ذاتها حتى يضمن استيعابها. كتاب رائع و سأكتب عنه بشكل أكبر في مدونتي. هنا : http://homosapien88.blogspot.com/2011...
Sarah Harb
ترجمة الكتاب رديئة جداً ،الأفكار غير متصلة لا شيء يجذب في ترجمة الكاتب ، كلما قرأت فصلاً ،اشحذ همة نفسي لعل الترجمة ستتحسن في الفصل الذي يليه..اعتقد أني سأضطر أما لقرأته بلغته الأم أو ابحث عن ترجمة أفضل
Amr Fahmy
مشكلة الكتب التأسيسية للأفكار هي ضرورة أن تواجه بحصانة كبيرة ضد الانبهار غير المشروط.. فهي دائما تعرض الأفكار بشكل مميز وجذاب للغاية يصعب انتقاده أو تجاوزه إلى نقاط الضعف.
على العموم في هذا الكتاب مبهر بالطبع في تماسك بنائه الفكري ومحاولة كاتبه الإحاطة بكل الجوانب التي قد تمثل إشكاليات أو نقاطا جدلية متعلقة بفكرة الحرية في الممارسة، وانطلق من النظرية المطلقة إلى التطبيق الصارم حين تطرق في الفصل الأخير إلى أنماط الإدارة الحكومية وبعض الجوانب الاقتصادية وإشكالية دور الدولة التي لا تنتهي.
ما يمكنني ا...more
Haytham Lashin
يقول صلاح جاهين :
إقلع غماك يا تور وارفض تلف
إكسر تروس الساقية و اشتم وتف
قال : بس خطوة كمان .. وخطوة كمان
يا اوصل نهاية السكة يا البير تجف
عجبي !!!

أرقني دائما السؤال او الحد الذي يفصل بين حرية الفرد وقدرة المجتمع ع فرض قيود عليه ، وهذا كان موضوع الكتاب .. يحاول فيه الكاتب وضع تعريف لهذه الحريه المجتمعية .. وما فهمته من رأيه لا يختلف كثيراً عن المثل او القول الذي يقول "انت حر مالم تضر". وجون ستيوارت ميل يقول يوضح انه يجب ان نضع حد فاصل بين حرية الفكر وحرية الفعل ، فالفرد حر له مطلق الحرية في أفكاره...more
Tam Nguyen
Jan 25, 2014 Tam Nguyen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Tam by: it's me
Shelves: favorite, non-fiction
Một cuốn sách ý nghĩa cho những con người tìm đến sự tự do cho chính bản thân mình

Tự do, với John Stuart Mill, không phải là muốn làm gì thì làm, như mọi người thường nghĩ, mà là con người phải được phát triển theo đúng hướng tự nhiên của mình, không được bắt ép họ trở thành một ai đó, mà được là chính anh ta, với điều kiện là không xâm phạm đến tự do của ngừoi khác.

Con người, đối với JSM, cũng là quan trọng nhất, con người tự do thật sự phải là một người độc lập, tự sống cuộc sống của riêng mìn...more
Skylar Burris
One moment I had my highlighter scrolling like crazy, and the next I felt bored out of my wits. Worth reading for the importance of Mill's classical liberal / libertarian arguments. I was especially interested in what he had to say about education: the idea that the state, while it should require an education for every child, should not be the supplier of education, though it can be the funder for those who cannot afford an education for their children. This would spare us the political battles...more
Aban
Liberty, the most appreciated and also the most encroached notion of all the languages all over the world, is not a so complex word to define at the first sight, but after reading this brilliant landmark book you'll see how much it could be iridescent with regard to other human issues including, for example, family, society, religion and state. At the end you will conclude that liberty is liberty, and all is that.

This is kind of a book when finished, you find yourself a living paradox whose life...more
Marts  (Thinker)
John Stuart Mill's discourse on social liberties regarding the nature of power exercised over an individual within a society, an issues between civil liberty and authority...

I rather appreciate the closing statement of the work:

"A government cannot have too much of the kind of activity which does not impede, but aids and stimulates, individual exertion and development. The mischief begins when, instead of calling forth the activity and powers of individuals and bodies, it substitutes its own ac...more
ياسمين خليفة
أعطيت لهذا الكتاب نجمتين ليس بسبب محتواه ولكن بسبب الترجمة السيئة التي جعلتني أقرأ السطور أكثر من مرة لكي أفهم معناها . الموضوع الذي يناقشه الكتاب عن أسس الحرية وكيفية تطبيقها وأنواعها يعد مهما ولكن المشكلة انه مكتوب بلغة جافة تجعل القارىء يشعر بالملل وهو يقرأ الكتاب
Venessa
Another required read for my Intellectual Freedom class: it is blowing my mind how a book published in the 19th century feels like it was written about what is happening in the US today. History repeats itself, anyone?
Linh
Cuốn sách giá như tất cả các sinh viên hay học sinh cấp 3 đều đọc. Chắc sẽ tốt hơn rất nhiều cho đất nước này và tránh được rất nhiều những sự lãng phí và sai lầm kinh khủng.
Shannon Thompson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rlotz
First of all, this is an excellent and astoundingly relevant little book. Mill clearly lays out the argument for individual liberty, and delineates the proper reach of the government. Mill’s central thesis is this: any activity that is not directly harmful to other individuals should be permitted. This sounds simple enough. But in an age where conservatives are putting forward legislation that would legitimize discrimination against homosexuals, and liberals are busy getting Alex Baldwin fired f...more
David
This book was published in 1859 in England. This timeframe puts the authorship just prior to the War Between the States in the U.S. and establishes a certain political background. Contemporaries of Mill included Alexis de Tocqueville and Auguste Comte of France and Wilhelm von Humboldt in Germany, all of whom are quoted by the author. Yet he never mentions an important contemporary from his own country that would seem to share at least some of this philosophy: Herbert Spencer.

Mill makes a stron...more
Andrew Georgiadis
Pamphlets regarding 19th century English liberty have many lessons for the reader of today. We take much of our freedom for granted, and even the most pro-government liberals among us will cringe upon reexamining the insidious ebb of personal freedom at the oncoming wave of legislative intrusion into our personal lives.

JS Mill articulated that all-too-critical idea: that your freedom ends where another's nose begins. He readily admits that many questions of moral ambiguity are not easily answere...more
Khlood
ماهو نطاق حرية الفرد داخل مجتمعه؟
ما مدى أحقية المجتمع في فرض عاداته على الفرد؟
متى يمكن أن يكون التناصح أمر مشروع بين أفراد المجتمع؟
متى يحق للمجتمع التدخل لتقليص حرية أفراده؟

يجيب الكاتب عن تساؤلات طالما أشغلت البشرية حول الحرية، حدودها وتبعاتها مع الإستشهاد بأمثلة كثيرة مرّت عبر التاريخ تثبت سلبية الحرية أحيانًا وإيجابيتها في مواضع أخرى.

قاعدتا جون ستوارت ميل العامة حول الحرية هما: أن الفرد ليس مسؤول أمام المجتمع عن أفعاله، طالما أنها لاتخص أي شخص سواه فالنصيحة والتوجيه والإقناع والاجتناب من قبل ا...more
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  • Second Treatise of Government
  • The Basic Political Writings
  • A Theory of Justice
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • The Constitution of Liberty
  • The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume 1 : The Spell of Plato
  • Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • The Spirit of the Laws (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • Leviathan
  • Rights of Man
  • Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
  • Politics
  • Anarchy, State, and Utopia
  • Ethics
57651
John Stuart Mill, British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. He was an exponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham, although his conception of it was very different from Bentham's.
More about John Stuart Mill...
Utilitarianism On Liberty and Other Essays The Subjection of Women On Liberty and Utilitarianism Autobiography

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“A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.” 145 likes
“In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.” 91 likes
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