John Stuart Mill and Leisure

  • Robert Snape


John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) was a major philosopher of Victorian Britain. This chapter discusses his importance to leisure studies through a critical analysis of three of his works, On Liberty, Utilitarianism and The Subjection of Women. The first of these deals with the idea of leisure as freedom and addresses the question of when, or if, the state or any individual has the right to prohibit a person whose actions in leisure harm no one but himself. In Utilitarianism, Mill presents a strong critique of Jeremy Bentham’s Greatest Happiness Principle and argues that some forms of leisure are preferable to others, though in doing so appears to support the function of a leisure class. In The Subjection of Women, Mill argues that gender is a social construction that has denied women of equal status to men, anticipating modern feminist analyses of leisure.


Mill Bentham Utilitarianism Women Regulation Censorship Aristotle 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Snape
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Worktown StudiesUniversity of BoltonBoltonUK

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