Hayek on Mill: A new volume edited by Sandra Peart

Hayek was interested in John Stuart Mill, not for his thought so much as his love life. For the New York Review of Books, Cass Sunstein reviews Sandra Peart’s new edition of Hayek’s writings on Mill.

John Stuart Mill may well be the most important liberal thinker of the nineteenth century. In countless respects, his once-revolutionary arguments have become familiar, even part of the conventional wisdom. Certainly this is so for his great 1869 essay The Subjection of Women, which offered a systematic argument for sex equality at a time when the inferior status of women was widely taken for granted. It is also true for On Liberty, published in 1859, which famously argued that unless there is harm to others, people should have the freedom to do as they like. A strong advocate for freedom of speech, Mill offered enduring arguments against censorship. He also had a great deal to say about, and on behalf of, representative government.

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