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John Stuart Mill's civic liberalism

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Although it is frequently overlooked, J.S. Mill's political philosophy has a significant civic component; he is a committed believer in the value of active and disinterested participation in public affairs by the citizens of liberal democracies, and he advocates a programme of civic education intended to cultivate public spirit. In the first half of this essay I present a brief but systematic exploration of his thought's civic dimension. In the second half I defend Mill's civic liberalism against various critics who have explicitly or implicitly charged that the civic and liberal components of his political philosophy are inconsistent.
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Keywords: Arneson; Richard; Himmelfarb; Gertrude; Justman; Stewart; Mill; John Stuart; civic liberalism; civic republicanism; liberalism; participation; republicanism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept of Philosophy, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529-0083, USA. Email:[email protected]

Publication date: 01 January 2000

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