Maarten Maartensz

  Philosophy - Mill - On Liberty - TOC



This is the Table Of Contents (TOC) of this html-edition of Mill's On Liberty.

This follows the edition in Harvard Classics of 1909, that has been put on line in 1993 with the following comment that I quote in full:

"About the online edition.

This was scanned from the 1909 edition and mechanically checked against a commercial copy of the text from CDROM. Differences were corrected against the paper edition. The text itself is thus a highly accurate rendition. The footnotes were entered manually.

This text is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN, released September 1993.

Prepared by <>. Further enhanced and converted into HTML by Jon Roland of the Constitution Society."

In the above I added the link to the Constitution Society.

Also, I converted the edition to the format of my site, and divided it into its five chapters as five separate files.

The text I used is otherwise unchanged, while the paper text I presuppose is H.B. Acton's 1972-edition of "On Liberty". This paper edition I used for my notes, but I did not compare it carefully with the html-version I use. The full reference is:

John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism, On Liberty and Considerations on Representative Government Edited by H.B. Acton (ISBN 0 460 11482 4).

This is in Everyman's Library, with selections from additional texts by Mill, and seems a good buy if you are interested in Mill at all.

The texts that follow have many links, and come all with a group of usually four arrows at the beginning and the end of each text, that look thus:
These have in general the following effect when clicked:

- previous file
- Table of Contents
- Notes or Text associated with the file
- next file

Every file of Mill's text links to a file with my notes, the links to which are between square brackets, as in "[1]". In order to allow the reader to read my notes independently, they all start with a quotation in blue of the passage they annotate, and that generally ends with the link to the note in Mill's text.

In contrast, Mill's own notes are indicated by a "M" and are made superscript, like so[M1].

Because the passages I annotate are repeated in my Notes, it is possible to read the Notes without reading the Text that is annotated. However, each file of Notes has at its beginning a link to the Text it annotates, and likewise that Text has at its beginning a link to my Notes to it, and as explained each Note also has a link to the Text and the place is is quoted from

Those who download my edition of Mill's "On Liberty" and my notes should realize that the links to and from the notes are retained only if they are placed in directory-structures of the following form:

     "/Liberty/"             - that includes Mill's textfiles and the TOC
     "/Liberty/Notes/"    - that includes my textfiles of notes

How this directory and its subdirectory are otherwise attached to a filesystem on the computer you use is irrelevant, but the above is required for having the many links work when reading off line.

Also, it may be remarked that the reading of my Notes may be preferable for  many to the reading of Mill's text, because my Notes very likely contain all or most of the best bits of Mill's text in quotation, while Mill's text, both in the html I found and the paper version I use, is very sparse with interlineation, and the original text contains many long sentences and arguments crammed in very long uninterlined paragraphs.

Finally, here are three interesting related links that may supply quite a lot of background to Mill's "On Liberty":

  • The Victorian Web: This is an interesting and extensive set of pages about the age of Victoria. It contains a lot of material (approximating 30.000 files) that seems to be mostly well done.

  • Mill pages in the Victorian Web: Quite a lot of information about Mill and many links to material and persons related to Mill.

  • Chin Liew Ten on Mill On Liberty: The full text of a 1980 book by a Singaporian professor on philosophy, who says in the opening paragraph of his book:

    "Whenever liberalism is attacked today, John Stuart Mill's name will almost certainly be mentioned. Often indeed the conservative and radical critics of liberalism have seen in Mill's essay On Liberty [On Liberty in Utilitarism, Liberty, Representative Government (Everyman edn). All subsequent references to On Liberty and Utilitarism are to this edition] the embodiment of all the liberal errors and vices they wish to expose. (...) Like Mill's critics, I too regard this essay as the most eloquent expression of the liberal theory of the open society. But unlike them I am generally sympathetic to his values and I have tried to expound his case for liberty as clearly and fully as I can. The foundations Mill provides for his liberal theory have some faults, but a careful study of the essay will reveal that these are often quite different from those which conservative and radical critics of his have been inclined to stress."

I may at a later date refer to some of the above material in my Notes.

Maarten Maartensz
April 28, 2006.

(Last edited: 17 Nov 2009.)