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Grayling’s question

By AC Grayling   January 2008

Is the smoking ban justified?

Among both our legislators and ourselves there continues to be a muddle about the degree to which a state can intervene in the lives of individuals before it crosses the boundary into nannying and, eventually, unjustifiable diminution of individual liberty. Smoking is one of many examples where the question arises; others range from raised car seats for children and seatbelts in general to drink, drugs and prostitution. Yet the underlying principles are clear, and there are fewer grey areas than people think.

Isaiah Berlin is as good a place as any to start. In distinguishing…

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