Classical Liberalism and the Public-Private Division

  • Chris Berg
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism book series (PASTCL)


This chapter provides a survey of classical liberal thought as it applies to privacy. Classical liberalism is a political philosophy that focuses on the rights of individuals protected by limited, democratic government under the rule of law and the market economy. The chapter surveys the key ideas underlying classical liberalism as they relate to questions about privacy: individualism, individual rights, property rights, and limited government. The chapter then looks at how three classical liberal authors—John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, and Benjamin Constant—conceived the role of privacy in their political and philosophical frameworks. Finally, the chapter explores the general dichotomy between the public and private domains, and how classical liberalism understands the significance of the private domain.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Berg
    • 1
  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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