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On Liberty and the Real Will

  • J. P. Day (a1)

1. Introduction. In the chapter which he devotes to the applications of his principle of individual liberty, Mill considers the question ‘how far liberty may legitimately be invaded for the prevention of crime, or of accident’. On the latter topic, he writes:—‘… it is a proper office of public authority to guard against accidents. If either a public officer or anyone else saw a person attempting to cross a bridge which had been ascertained to be unsafe, and there were no time to warn him of his danger, they might seize him and turn him back, without any real infringement of his liberty; for liberty consists in doing what one desires, and he does not desire to fall into the river.” (Q1)

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1 Mill J. S., On Liberty, ch. V.

2 Bosanquet B., The Philosophical Theory of the State, London, 1899, p. 110.

3 Barry B., Political Argument, London, 1965, pp. 176ff.

4 Rabelais F., La Vie tres Horrifique du Grand Gargantua, ch. LVII.

5 Ezorsky G., ‘Wishing Won't—but Wanting Will’, in Hook S. (ed.), Dimensions of Mind, New York, 1960.

6 Skinner B. F., ‘Concept-formation in Philosophy and Psychology’, in Hook, loc. cit.

7 Austin Jean, ‘Pleasure and Happiness’, repr. in Schneewind J. B. (ed.), Mill, New York, 1968, p. 235.

8 Austin J. L., Sense and Sensibilia, Oxford, 1962, ch. VII. Cp: ‘… for us anything, which comes short when compared with Reality, gets the name of appearance.’ (Bradley F. H., Appearance and Reality, London, 1899, p. 485.)

9 Cranston M., Freedom: a New Analysis, London, 1953, p. 15.Weinstein W. L., ‘The Concept of Liberty in 19th Century English Political Thought’, Political Studies, Vol. XIII, Oxford, 1965.

10 Plamenatz J. P., Consent, Freedom and Political Obligation, Oxford, 1938, pp. 109ff.

11 Hobbes T., Leviathan, Pt. II, ch. XXI, Carritt E. F., ‘Liberty and Equality’, Law Quarterly Review, Vol. LVI, 1940.

12 Mabbott J. D., The State and the Citizen, London, 1947, p. 70.

13 Berlin I., ‘Two Concepts of Liberty’, repr. in Quinto A.. (ed.), Political Philosophy, Oxford, 1967, p. 142.Plamenatz , loc. cit., pp. 110ff.

14 Berlin , loc. cit.Plamenatz , loc. cit.

15 Plamenatz , loc. cit., chs. II, III.Mayo B., ‘Is there a case for the General Will?’ in Laslett P. (ed.), Philosophy, Politics and Society, Oxford, 1956.

16 Berlin , loc. cit., p. 197, Note 1.

17 Austin Jean, loc. cit., p. 238.

18 Benn S. I. and Peters R. S., Social Principles and the Democratic State, London, 1959, p. 213, Note.

19 Rousseau J. J., Social Contract, Bk. I, ch. VII.

20 Kenny A., Action, Emotion and Will, London, 1963, p. 127.

21 Daniel, V, 27.

22 Peters R. S., The Concept of Motivation, London, 1958, pp. 17f.Benn and Peters , loc. cit., pp. 142ff.

23 Peters , loc. cit., p. 128.Acton H. B., The Illusion of the Epoch, London, 1955, pp. 112ff.

24 Letters from the Mountain, No. VIII.

25 Social Contract, Bk. I, ch. VIII.

26 Hegel G. W. F., Philosophy of Right, tr. Knox T. M., Oxford, 1942, p. 27.Plamenatz , loc. cit, pp. 109f.

27 Ryle G., The Concept of Mind, London, 1949, p. 109.

28 McGuinness B. F., ‘I know what I want’, Aristotelian Society Proceedings, Vol. LVII, London, 1957.

29 Austin J. L., How to Do Things with Words, Oxford, 1962, pp. 99ff.

30 Toulmin S. E., ‘Concept-Formation in Philosophy and Psychology’, in Hook , loc. cit.

31 Abelson R., ‘A Spade is a Spade, so Mind your Language’, in Hook , loc. cit.

32 Principles of Political Economy, 7th ed., Bk. V, ch. XI, sees. 712.

33 Clay H., Economics, London, 1916, chs. XXI, XXII.

34 Representative Government, ch. III.

35 Weinstein , loc. cit., pp. 148f.

36 Political Economy, Bk. V, ch. XI, sec 12.

37 Plamenatz , Man and Society, Vol. II, London, 1963, p. 30.

38 Bambrough R., ‘Plato's Political Analogies’, in Laslett , loc. cit. He refers in particular to the Gorgias and Politicus.

39 Social Contract, Bk. II, ch. VI.

40 Hegel , loc. cit., p. 295. Cp: ‘It was not an abstract greatness (Hegel) admired in Napoleon, but the quality of expressing the historical need of the time. (Marcuse H., Reason and Revolution, London, 1941, pp. 169f.)

41 Cp: ‘Since the proletarian dictatorship is the dispossession and the suppression of the capitalists, it is also the end of exploitation. We might almost say that exploitation is defined out of the social order through the dictatorship of the proletariat.’ (Acton , loc. cit., p. 244.) Weldon T. D., The Vocabulary of Politics, London, 1953, pp. 130f.

42 Hobhouse L. T., The Metaphysical Theory of the State, London, 1918, p. 6.

43 Popper K. R., The Poverty of Historicism, London, 1957.

44 Four Essays on Liberty, Oxford, 1969, pp. xxxviiff. Cp. pp. 135ff.

45 Epictetus , Discourses, tr. Matheson P. E., Oxford, 1916, Bk. IV, ch. I.

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