David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):222-231 (2008)
In this paper, we show that the question of the relative importance of innate characteristics and institutional arrangements in explaining human difference was vehemently contested in Britain during the first half of the nineteenth century. Thus Sir Francis Galton’s work of the 1860s should be seen as an intervention in a pre-existing controversy. The central figure in these earlier debates—as well as many later ones—was the philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill. In Mill’s view, human nature was fundamentally shaped by history and culture, factors that accounted for most mental and behavioral differences between men and women and among people of different classes, nationalities, and races. Indeed, Mill’s whole program of social reform depended on the assumption that human differences were not fixed by nature. To identify the leading figures in these disputes about difference and the concrete context in which they occurred, we explore three debates in which Mill played a key role: over the capacities and rights of women, the viability of peasant proprietorship in India and Ireland, and the status of black labor in Jamaica. The last two draw our attention to the important colonial context of the nature–nurture debate. We also show that ideas that for us seem of a piece were not always linked for these earlier thinkers, nor did views on innateness necessarily have the political correlates that we now take for granted
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
John Stuart Mill (2000). The Subjection of Women. Broadview Press.
John Stuart Mill & Stephen Nathanson (2004). Principles of Political Economy with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Friedrich Engels (2010 ). The Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Natalia Gerodetti (2008). Rational Subjects, Marriage Counselling and the Conundrums of Eugenics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (2):255-262.
Chris Renwick (2011). From Political Economy to Sociology: Francis Galton and the Social-Scientific Origins of Eugenics. British Journal for the History of Science 44 (3):343-369.
Similar books and articles
John Stuart Mill, J. M. Robson Editor of the Text & Introfduction by R. F. Mcrae (2006). A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive. Books IV-Vi and Appendices. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Liberty Fund
Philip Schofield (1995). John Stuart Mill, Indexes to the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Ed. Jean O'Grady with John M. Robson , Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1991, Pp. Xxx + 690. [REVIEW] Utilitas 7 (1):165.
John Stuart Mill, J. M. Robson Editor of Text, Introduction by F. E. L. Priestley & D. P. Dryer Essay on Mill'S. Utilitatrianism (2006). Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Liberty Fund
John Stuart Mill, Edited by John M. Robson & Jack Stillinger (2006). Autobiography and Literary Essays. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Liberty Fund
Colin Heydt, Mill, John Stuart — A. Overview. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
John Stuart Mill, Introduction by V. W. Bladen & J. M. Robson Textual Editor (2006). Principles of Political Economy. Books I-Ii. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Liberty Fund
John Stuart Mill, Introduction by Lord Robbins & J. M. Robson Textual Editor (2006). Essays on Economics and Society. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Liberty Fund
John Stuart Mill, Introduction by V. W. Bladen & J. M. Robson Textual Editor (2006). Principles of Political Economy. Books IIII-V. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Liberty Fund
John Stuart Mill, J. M. Robson Editor of the Text & Introfduction by R. F. Mcrae (2006). A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive. Books I-III. In The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Liberty Fund
John Stuart Mill (1961). The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill: Ethical, Political, and Religious. New York, Modern Library.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #202,612 of 1,911,418 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #177,396 of 1,911,418 )
How can I increase my downloads?