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Chapter 12

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Sociology and Anthropology
SOAN 2112
Linda Hunter

Chapter 12-Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill December-17-12 8:18 PM  Arriet for her part found Mill a first rate teacher who would help her realize her great ambition of becoming a writer like Martineau. Mill advised her constantly and in May 1832, soon after the birth of her third child Harriets reviews poems and articles began to flow regularly into the Monthly Repository  Mill- the greeks he said considered wisdom a political instrument of daily life available to all hence the aim of their education was how to think not what to think  Mill sadly observed modern education was a matter of cramming ready made "truths" into the heads of the multitude  Harriet had exposed the dangers of social conformity thus anticipating the danger Tocqueville later called a "tyranny of the majority" - conformity is hostile to individual character  Mill gave Taylor full credit for her contribution to both great works, maintaining that both works should be regarded as products of their joint effort and collaboration. If there were two missions in the lives of Taylor and Mill, they were the emancipation of women and the enhancement of liberty for all  Harriet opposed paternalism in the relation between rich and poor  Mill wrote about corporal punishment, punishment of children, wife murder and more with the encouragement of Harriet - these were far removed from Mills usual concerns with political and economic theory  For many years now she had repressed her own early ambitions, devoting herself totally to his career  Together with Harriet he outlined a list of subjects for a book of essays which became with very little change the foundation for most of his later publications  Moreover, the first draft of the Autobiography, which they both regarded as a sacred project, and wihich was, in effect a summary of their whole intellectual life, was completed  Mill states that Harriet is equally responsible for bringing his ideas to fruition  In certain important respects, OnLibery, was an effective rebuttal to Comte's despotic 'positive polity' in which an intellectual and industrial elite rule and the people merely do what they are told; in which society is everything and the individual nothing; in which individuals become capable of bettering themselves only at a certain stage determined soley by the elite  It followed for the Mills that the only ground on which government may rightfully exercise power over a citizen, against his will, is to prevent harm to others The Mills therefore insisted that society, in its own best interest, must encourage minority  opinions. The good of the human race depends on the power of original thought, on the rediscovery of old truths and the discovery of new. Original minds have one thing in common; they are always in the minority. Only the encouragement and stimulation of diversity can break the hold of despotic institutions The Subject of Women  The object of this innovative essay was to explain why the age -old principle regulating the relations of the sexes was not only morally wrong, but also a chief obstacle to the b
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