Stuart Mill and John Locke Conception of Freedom

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Introduction John Locke (1632-1704) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) are two important thinkers of liberty in modern political thought. They have revolutionized the idea of human freedom at their time and have influenced many political thinkers afterwards. Although their important book on human freedom, John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government (1689) and John Mill’s On Liberty (1859), are separated 170 years, some scholars thinks that they are belonging to the same conceptual tradition, English Liberalism. In this essay, I will elaborate John Locke and John Stuart Mill view on human freedom and try to find the difference between their concept of human freedom despite their similar liberal tradition background. Historical Context Locke and Mill understanding or freedom are very related to the social and cultural condition in their ages. Locke and Mill lie separated by almost two centuries of English history, and every society that come from different historical background despite the similar region have their own unique problems that needed different treatement and solution. In this sense, Locke and Mill understanding of liberty cannot be divorced from the society they live in, because their works were an attempt to find solutions for the society problem at their time. Locke was born in Somerset, England into a well-to-do family. At that time, there was a small class of people, the Aristocracy, who owned and controlled the vast majority of land, resources, military power and wealth. Eventhough, he come from a wealthy family, Locke saw there are injustice in this situation. The not have family had to work as peasants, and were no longer in control of their own lives, but rather lived, toiled and died at the whims of others. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ple from their happiness. References 1. Works Cited Bishop, Philip Schuyler. Three Theories of Individualism. Diss. University of South Florida, 2007. 2. Bullock, Alan, and Maurice Shock, eds. The Liberal Tradition: From Fox to Keynes. Clarendon Press, 1967. 3. Gooch, George Peabody. Political Thought in England: Bacon to Halifax. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977. 4. Locke, John. “1980.” Second Treatise of Government. C.B. Macpherson, ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, (1690). 5. Mill, John Stuart. "2001." On Liberty. Ontario: Batoche Books (1859). 6. Mill, John Stuart. "2009." Utilitarianism. Floating Press (1859). 7. Mokyr, Joel. The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress. Oxford University Press, 1990. 8. Wright, John Samuel Fletcher. Liberty in Key Works of John Locke and John Stuart Mill. Thesis Deakin University, 1995.

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