Photogravure, 19th Century Introduction John Stuart Mill - was an English philosopher, political economist and Member of Parliament of the early Modern period. But he is best known for his further development of the Utilitarian theory of his teacher, Jeremy Benthamwhich he popularized as a movement and of which he became the best known exponent and apologist. He was instrumental in the development of progressive political doctrines such as SocialismLibertarianism and Feminismand he was active in calling for political and social reforms such as the abolition of the slave trade, universal suffrage, labor unions and farm cooperatives.
He was educated exclusively by his father, who was a strict disciplinarian. He had also read a great deal of history in English. At the age of eight he started Latin, the geometry of Euclidand algebra and began to teach the younger children of the family.
His main reading was still history, but he went through all the Latin and Greek authors commonly read in the schools and universities and, by the age of 10 could read Plato and the Athenian statesman Demosthenes with ease.
In the following year he was introduced to political economy and studied the work of the Scottish political economist and philosopher Adam Smith and that of the English economist David Ricardo.
While the training the younger Mill received has aroused amazement and criticismits most important aspect was the close association it fostered with the strenuous character and vigorous intellect of his father.
But he did not receive the impress passively and mechanically. The duty of collecting and weighing evidence for himself was at every turn impressed upon the boy.
His childhood was not unhappy, but it was a strain on his constitution and he suffered from the lack of natural, unforced development. Copious extracts from a diary kept at this time show how methodically he read and wrote, studied chemistry and botany, tackled advanced mathematical problems, and made notes on the scenery and the people and customs of the country.
He also gained a thorough acquaintance with the French language. On his return in he added to his work the study of psychology and The philosophy on government by john stuart mills Roman lawwhich he read with John Austinhis father having half decided on the bar as the best profession open to him.
After a short probation he was promoted in to assistant examiner. In Mill had read P.
Soon after, in —23, Mill established among a few friends the Utilitarian Society, taking the word, as he tells us, from Annals of the Parisha novel of Scottish country life by John Galt. One of his first efforts was a solid argument for freedom of discussion in a series of letters to the Chronicle on the prosecution of Richard Carlilea 19th-century English radical and freethinker.
Mill seized every chance for exposing departures from sound principle in Parliament and courts of justice. Another outlet was opened up for him April with the founding of the Westminster Reviewwhich was the organ of the philosophical radicals.
The younger Mill now felt himself forced to abandon these doctrines. Too much in awe of his father to make him a confidant, he wrestled with his doubts in gloomy solitude.
He emerged from the struggle with a more catholic view of human happinessa delight in poetry for its own sake, a more placable attitude in controversy, a hatred of sectarianism, and an ambition no less noble and disinterested but moderated to practical possibilities.
Gradually, the debates in the Debating Society attracted men with whom contact was invigorating and inspiring. Mill ceased to attend the society inbut he carried away from it the conviction that a true system of political philosophy was something much more complex and many-sided than he had previously had any idea of, and that its office was to supply, not a set of model institutions but principles from which the institutions suitable to any given circumstances might be deduced.
It was amalgamated with The Westminster as The London and Westminster Review inand Mill continued as editor latterly as proprietor, also until In and after he published several important articles in The Edinburgh Review.
During these years Mill also wrote his great systematic works on logic and on political economy. His reawakened enthusiasm for humanity had taken shape as an aspiration to supply an unimpeachable method of proof for conclusions in moral and social science; the French positivist philosopher Auguste Comte had some influence here, but the main inspiration undoubtedly came from the English scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newtonwhose physics had already been accepted as a model of scientific exposition by such earlier British philosophers as John LockeDavid HumeJeremy Bentham, and James Mill.
But he was determined that the new logic should not simply oppose the old logic. A System of Logicin two volumes, was published in 3rd—8th editions, introducing many changes, — Book VI is his valiant attempt to formulate a logic of the human sciences—including history, psychology, and sociology—based on causal explanation conceived in Humean terms, a formulation that has lately come in for radical criticism.
Mill distinguished three stages in his development as a political economist. In he published the Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy, which he had written several years earlier, and four out of five of these essays are solutions of perplexing technical problems—the distribution of the gains of international commerce, the influence of consumption on production, the definition of productive and unproductive labour, and the precise relations between profits and wages.
Here for the most part Mill appears as the disciple of David Ricardostriving after more precise statements and reaching forward to further consequences.
In his second stage, originality and independence become more conspicuous as he struggles toward the standpoint from which he wrote his Principles of Political Economy. This was published in 2 vol.John Stuart Mill was my companion for more than three years, while I was writing my dissertation on what I called his New Political Economy (, ).
PHILOSOPHY OF JOHN STUART MILL NICHOLAS CAPALDI* JOHN STUART MILL totalitarianism. If, for example, freedom is the absence of external freedom is increased by every function assumed by the government to remove obstacles.
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John Stuart Mill: John Stuart Mill, English philosopher, economist, and exponent of Utilitarianism. He was prominent as a publicist in the reforming age of the 19th century, and he remains of lasting interest as a logician and an ethical theorist.
Learn more about Mill’s life, philosophy. John Stuart Mill on the need for limited government and political rights to prevent the “king of the vultures” and his “minor harpies” in the government from preying on the people () This year is the th anniversary of the publication of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (), one of the key texts in 19th century classical liberal.
John Stuart Mill (–73) was the most influential English language philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook.