Mill was raised in the tradition of Philosophical Radicalism, made famous by Jeremy Bentham —John Austin —and his father James Mill —which applied utilitarian principles in a self-conscious and systematic way to issues of institutional design and social reform.
References and Further Reading 1. I do not expect to see anything like it again. Mill established this rule over English thought through his writings in logic, epistemology, economics, social and political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, religion, and current affairs.
One can say with relative security, looking at the breadth and complexity of his work, that Mill was the greatest nineteenth century British philosopher.
This rule did not come about accidentally. James Mill was born in Scotland in to a family of modest means. Through the patronage of Sir John and Lady Jane Stuart, he was able to attend the University of Edinburgh, which at the time was one of the finest universities in Europe.
After a brief and generally unsuccessful stint as a minister, James Mill moved to London, where he began his career in letters. This was a difficult path for a man of very modest resources to take; he and his wife Harriet married lived without financial security for well over a decade.
It was only with the publication of his The History of British India in —a work that took twelve years to write—that Mill was able to land a stable, well paying job at the East India Company that enabled him to support his large family ultimately consisting of his wife and nine children.
Throughout the years of relative poverty, James Mill received assistance from friends including the great legal theorist and utilitarian reformer Jeremy Bentham, whom he met in This philosophically inspired radicalism of the early nineteenth century positioned itself against the Whigs and Tories.
Moreover, one aspect of their political temperament that distinguished them from Whigs and Tories was their rationalism—their willingness to recommend re-structuring social and political institutions under the explicit guidance of principles of reason e.
While Whig intellectuals and Radicals tended to align with each other on economic issues, both tending towards pro-urban, pro-industrial, laissez-faire policies, Tory intellectuals focused on defending traditional British social structures and ways of life associated with aristocratic agrarianism.
These alliances can be seen in disputes over the Tory-supported Corn Laws, legislation meant to protect domestic agriculture by taxing imported grains.
James Mill saw the Whigs as too imbued with aristocratic interests to be a true organ of democratic reform. Only the Radicals could properly advocate for the middle and working classes.
Moreover, unlike the Radicals, who possessed a systematic politics guided by the principle of utility the principle that set the promotion of aggregate happiness as the standard for legislation and actionthe Whigs lacked a systematic politics.
The Whigs depended instead on a loose empiricism, which the senior Mill took as an invitation to complacency. The younger Mill was seen as the crown prince of the Philosophic Radical movement and his famous education reflected the hopes of his father and Bentham.
Under the dominating gaze of his father, he was taught Greek beginning at age three and Latin at eight. He read histories, many of the Greek and Roman classics, and Newton by eleven.
He studied logic and math, moving to political economy and legal philosophy in his early teens, and then went on to metaphysics. His training facilitated active command of the material through the requirement that he teach his younger siblings and through evening walks with his father when the precocious pupil would have to tell his father what he had learned that day.
His year in France in led to a fluency in French and initiated his life-long interest in French thought and politics.
As he matured, his father and Bentham both employed him as an editor. In addition, he founded a number of intellectual societies and study groups and began to contribute to periodicals, including the Westminster Review.
Mill claims that he began to come out of his depression with the help of poetry specifically Wordsworth.John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism - John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism Utilitarianism defined, is the contention that a man should judge everything based on the ability to promote the greatest individual happiness.
British philosopher John Stuart Mill approached ethical theory with a scientist's eye in his contributions to utilitarianism.
Building upon the premise set forth by Jeremy Bentham, Mill subjected his own work to the scientific method and deep, incisive inquiry. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the essence of a thing. This includes questions of being, becoming, existence, and reality.
The word "metaphysics" comes from the Greek words that literally mean "beyond nature".
"Nature" in this sense refers to the nature of a thing, such as its cause and purpose. John Stuart Mill was a great philosopher of the nineteenth century and the author of 'On Liberty.' In this writing (written in ), Mills voiced his ideas on individual freedom, both social and political.
John Stuart Mill (–) was the most famous and influential British philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was one of the last systematic philosophers, making significant contributions in logic, metaphysics, epistemology, .
Also see SEP, EB, and M. Y. Chew.. metanarrative. Stories employed to legitimate the mechanisms of social control. Thus, for example, when parents tell their children, "We only want to help you avoid our mistakes," they are constructing a metanarrative that justifies the imposition of rules of conduct they are unwilling to follow themselves.