Reassessing liberty – is John Stuart Mill still relevant today?
Presented by The NY Salon, in association with the Institute of Ideas Postgraduate Forum at The Battle of Ideas, Royal College of Art, London, U.K., Sunday 29 October 2006, 4pm to 5.30pm.
“Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest”
John Stuart Mill
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”
This year marks the bicentenary of the birth of the philosopher John Stuart Mill whose seminal essay ‘On Liberty’ remains a clarion call for freedom of thought and _expression. Do we have something to learn from Mill, whose defense of liberty was practical rather than abstract, extending beyond the mere formal protection of free speech and seeking to encourage a culture of freedom and individual experiments in living?
Wendy Kaminer, lawyer and social critic; author, Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today (2002)
Michael Mansfield QC, human rights and criminal barrister, Tooks Chambers; author, The Home Lawyer: A Family Guide to Lawyers and the Law (2003) and Presumed Guilty: British Legal System Exposed (1993)
Brendan O’Neill, deputy editor, spiked
Henry Porter, London editor, Vanity Fair; author, Brandenburg Gate (2006) and Empire State (2004)
Chair: Claire Fox, director, Institute of Ideas; co-convenor, Battle of Ideas