19th Century John Stuart Mill

11 views1 pages
Published on 12 Oct 2012
School
U of S
Department
Political Studies
Course
POLS 237
Professor
POLS 237
2011-02-28
19th Century
John Stuart Mill
- Son of English philosopher James Mill
o Close associate of Bentham, founder of modern totalitarianism
- Home-schooled
- Early education is something of a legend
o Very dramatic matter for Mill
- Mill suffers a breakdown
o Poetry leads him out of his “dark years.”
o The only way to achieve happiness is to do things for their own sake.
Happiness is a by-product.
- Arrested for distributing pamphlets on birth control to middle class
- Had hostility to Anglicanism and religious authority
- Edited prominent radical journal, becoming minor celebrity
- In middle age, writes major work and cements position as celebrity
- Goes on to serve as MP for the Liberal party in Britain
o Advocates freedom for Ireland
o First MP to advocate extending right to vote to women
- Seems to have only had one love interest name Harriet Taylor
o For the first 21 years, Harriet was married
o Married immediately after her husband died
Lasted six years until Harriet died
He eventually adopted Harriet’s daughter from first marriage
- Mill was godfather to Bertrand Russell
- Mill was a major liberal
o For Mill, liberalism is the only way to go.
o Eccentricity was the prime virtue for life.
o Later in life, he gravitates towards socialistic view in terms of property and
economic institutions.
o Never lost sight of actual socialism.
o Liberalism is a stronger statement of the good life
Advocated form of the good life?
The highest type of life is the autonomous life
We are choosers?
The state should take steps not to remain neutral
The state should take an active in promoting the autonomy of the
individual
For Mill, this was a type of perfection of humans
o Had sympathies for democracy
o Remains scared of working class
Sees working class as barrier
Always remained wary about rungs of society
o Our actions should be put towards achieving happiness
Contrasts with Locke’s natural rights
Natural rights are possessed by individuals, according to Locke
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Document Summary

Son of english philosopher james mill: close associate of bentham, founder of modern totalitarianism. Early education is something of a legend: very dramatic matter for mill. Mill suffers a breakdown: poetry leads him out of his dark years. , the only way to achieve happiness is to do things for their own sake. Arrested for distributing pamphlets on birth control to middle class. Had hostility to anglicanism and religious authority. Edited prominent radical journal, becoming minor celebrity. Goes on to serve as mp for the liberal party in britain. In middle age, writes major work and cements position as celebrity: advocates freedom for ireland, first mp to advocate extending right to vote to women. Seems to have only had one love interest name harriet taylor: for the first 21 years, harriet was married, married immediately after her husband died. He eventually adopted harriet"s daughter from first marriage. The highest type of life is the autonomous life.

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