Hot Essays: Essay on Liberty and Democracy
FOUR ESSAYS ON LIBERTY - University of Colorado Boulder
To this 'one very simple principle' the whole of Mill's essay On Liberty is dedicated. While many of his immediate predecessors and contemporaries, from Adam Smith to Godwin and Thoreau, had celebrated liberty, it was Mill who organized the idea into a philosophy, and put it into the form in which it is generally known today.
The editor of this essay, Gertrude Himmelfarb records responses to Mill's books and comments on his fear of 'the tyranny of the majority'. Dr Himmelfarb concludes that the same inconsistencies which underlie On Liberty continue to complicate the moral and political stance of liberals today.
Category of Term Papers and Essays on On Liberty.
Liberty is a revised and expanded edition of the book that Isaiah Berlin regarded as his most important--Four Essays on Liberty, a standard text of liberalism, constantly in demand and constantly discussed since it was first published in 1969. Writing in Harper's, Irving Howe described it as "an exhilarating performance--this, one tells oneself, is what the life of the mind can be."
Berlin's editor Henry Hardy has revised the text, incorporating a fifth essay that Berlin himself had wanted to include. He has also added further pieces that bear on the same topic, so that Berlin's principal statements on liberty are at last available together in one volume. Finally, in an extended preface and in appendices drawn from Berlin's unpublished writings, he exhibits some of the biographical sources of Berlin's lifelong preoccupation with liberalism. These additions help us to grasp the nature of Berlin's "inner citadel," as he called it--the core of personal conviction from which some of his most influential writing sprung.