Mill’s Justice and Political Liberalism

  • D. G. Brown
Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)


In recent work Martha Nussbaum takes on central issues about the limits of just coercion by law, and about the stability of a liberal state in the face of cultural pluralism. In her very valuable book Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law, she says that she comes to many of the same practical conclusions as Mill, in rough agreement with his Harm Principle, but argues that Mill’s position is defective in rationale; she hopes to provide a better account, along with a diagnosis of some of the dangers to liberal societies, in a way which provides better support for her version of political liberalism (2004, pp. 16–17). In ‘Millean Liberty and Sexual Orientation’ she explores further the merits of the Harm Principle, and its vicissitudes in American jurisprudence, and in ‘Radical Evil in the Lockean State: The Neglect of the Political Emotions’ she gives a deeper account of the underlying threat; in the course of considering remedies she revisits Mill’s response. Along the way she refers to relevant passages in other works of hers.1


Political Liberalism Liberal State Comprehensive Doctrine Liberal Society Moral Requirement 
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© D. G. Brown 2012

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  • D. G. Brown

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