Episode 2

John McGowan on Mill's On Liberty


August 27th, 2020

1 hr 6 mins 5 secs

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About this Episode

What is the social tyranny of the majority and is there any way to escape it? Does Mill's Harm Principle give us useful guidance on how to resolve the tension between individual freedom and the needs of the community? John McGowan of the University of North Carolina joins Tom Merrill and Sarah Marsh for this episode of "Politics and the Humanities" to discuss these questions.

McGowan is the John W. and Anna H. Hanes Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of American Liberalism: An Interpretation for our Time, among many other books.

The text discussed on the episode is John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.