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Is social justice for or against liberty?: the philosophical foundations of Mill and Hayek’s theory of liberty

By Huei Chun Su


By comparing the philosophical foundations of Mill and Hayek’s theory of liberty, this paper shows that some similarities in the economic theories of Mill and Hayek are actually based on different rationales. It follows that any attempt to find a common thread in Mill and Hayek to provide reasonable guidance for social policy can be promising only if we can find the common ground from their social philosophy. While analyzing the rationales behind their opinions regarding the role of government and taxation policies, this paper will focus on exploring the role of two philosophical ideas, liberty, and justice. This will clarify the relationship between social justice and liberty as well as their status in relation to the ultimate principle of rules in the philosophy of Mill and Hayek. This paper will offer an explanation why, in Mill’s utilitarian philosophy, the pursuit of social justice aligns with the real freedom of everyone, but in Hayek’s philosophy, it is a hindrance

Topics: B Philosophy (General), HB Economic Theory
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s11138-008-0057-1
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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