Educating Liberty
Title Details

276 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Educating Liberty

Democracy and Aristocracy in J.S. Mill's Political Thought

by Chris Barker

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
A comprehensive study of Mill's theory of liberty, uncovering Mill's solution to the problem of democracy, the tyranny of the majority

Alexis de Tocqueville famously identified the problem of democracy as the "tyranny of the majority," where the rule of the majority oppresses or marginalizes minorities and individuals. John Stuart Mill, perhaps more than any other liberal thinker, attempted to find a solution to this problem. In this study of Mill's political theory, Chris Barker shows how Mill's civic education transforms individuals into citizens who are free to form opinions, analyze arguments, and wield a power capable of moderating the irresponsible power of the ruling majority. Barker examines Mill's thought as it is applied to five prominent components of democratic life-marriage, economic participation, scientific expertise, representative politics, and religion-with particular emphasis on gender and economic reform. Barker concludes that Mill's interpretation of liberty is not well described as either negative or positive. Instead, liberty consists in the mental independence or thinking power of the educated individuals composing and challenging majorities.

CHRIS BARKER is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo.
Introduction: An Educated Life
Aristocracy of Sex
Industrial Aristocracy
Expertocracy
Mass and Elite Politics
Democratic Religion
Conclusion and Applications
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Index
"A valuable addition to the scholarship [that] goes beyond a mere explication of Mill's thought in
his own times to show how much of his philosophy continues to have implications for debates today." BAVS NEWSLETTER
"Educating Liberty: Democracy and Aristocracy in J. S. Mill's Political Thought is a welcome addition to the growing scholarship on John Stuart Mill's 'word and deed.' This book provokes and entices the reader, offering perspectives that will take Mill scholarship into new directions and neatly bringing together a number of topics, such as the reflective equilibrium between principles and practice, in one volume. Readers interested in Mill will definitely seek out this book. --Antis Loizides, University of Cyprus" .
"Chris Barker's Educating Liberty joins the work of notable interpreters of John Stuart Mill-chief among them John Skorupski and Eldon Eisenach-who recognize the premium Mill placed on creating the conditions that guide individuals toward a just, self-developed existence." THE REVIEW OF POLITICS
"All in all, Educating Liberty skillfully outlines the importance of civic education in Mill's considerable production, and offers a well-informed reading of Mill's iconic and lesser-known writings. [...] Barker makes the reading of the book enjoyable and interesting for the reader." CERCLES
"Chris Barker's Educating Liberty: Democracy and Aristocracy in J. S. Mill's Political Thought makes a significant contribution to the latter (predominant) school of Mill studies." VICTORIAN STUDIES

Hardcover

9781580469227

November 2018

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November 2018

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Title Details

276 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Imprint: University of Rochester Press