Bentham.--Coleridge.--M. de Tocqueville on democracy in America.--On liberty.--Utilitarianism.--From Considerations on representative government.--From An examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy, volume 1.--From Three essays on religion.--JohnStuartMill, a select bibliography (p. -530).
JohnStuartMill is one of the hallowed figures of the liberal tradition, revered for his defense of liberal principles and expansive personal liberty. By examining Mill's arguments in On Liberty in light of his other writings, however, Joseph Hamburger reveals a Mill very different from the "saint of rationalism" so central to liberal thought. He shows that Mill, far from being an advocate of a maximum degree of liberty, was an advocate of liberty (...) and control--indeed a degree of control ultimately incompatible with liberal ideals.Hamburger offers this powerful challenge to conventional scholarship by presenting Mill's views on liberty in the context of his ideas about, in particular, religion and historical development. The book draws on the whole range of Mill's philosophical writings and on his correspondence with, among others, Harriet Taylor Mill, Auguste Comte, and Alexander Bain to show that Mill's underlying goal was to replace the traditional religious basis of society with a form of secular religion that would rest on moral authority, individual restraint, and social control. Hamburger argues that Mill was not self-contradictory in thus championing both control and liberty. Rather, liberty and control worked together in Mill's thought as part of a balanced, coherent program of social and moral reform that was neither liberal nor authoritarian.Based on a lifetime's study of nineteenth-century political thought, this clearly written and forcefully argued book is a major reinterpretation of Mill's ideas and intellectual legacy. (shrink)
The accepted narrative treats JohnStuartMill’s Kinds as the historical prototype for our natural kinds, but Mill actually employs two separate notions: Kinds and natural groups. Considering these, along with the accounts of Mill’s nineteenth-century interlocutors, forces us to recognize two distinct questions. First, what marks a natural kind as worthy of inclusion in taxonomy? Second, what exists in the world that makes a category meet that criterion? Mill’s two notions offer separate answers (...) to the two questions: natural groups for taxonomy and Kinds for ontology. This distinction is ignored in many contemporary debates about natural kinds and is obscured by the standard narrative that treats our natural kinds just as a development of Mill’s Kinds. (shrink)
JohnStuartMill regards economics as an inexact and separate science which employs a deductive method. This paper analyzes and restates Mill's views and considers whether they help one to understand philosophical peculiarities of contemporary microeconomic theory. The author concludes that it is philosophically enlightening to interpret microeconomics as an inexact and separate science, but that Mill's notion of a deductive method has only a little to contribute.
The translation and the commentary of Mr. Muresan are 2 times welcomed. The translation will make known to Romanian reader this important philosopher. The commentary,parts of which I have read in the English translation, is one extremely original and critic,in the scholar sense of the term, a result of a detailed knowledge of ethical works and other works of Mill; he uses the rich critical literature elaborated mostly in the last years and especially by English language philosophers. Mr. Muresan (...) transmits the spirit of this critical tradition; but he surpasses it at the same time with his own daring interpretations. His book is a subtle contribution to research on Mill and on ethics in general, being useful not just in Romania, but anywhere it may be accessible in the philosophical world. (shrink)
This volume brings together for the first time all the writings of JohnStuartMill and Harriet Taylor Mill on equality between the sexes, including JohnStuartMill's The Subjection of Women, a classic in the history of the women's rights ...
Recent scholarship on JohnStuartMill has illuminated his arguments about the normative legitimacy of imperial rule. However, it has tended to ignore or downplay his extensive writings on settler colonialism: the attempt to create permanent "civilized" communities, mainly in North America and the South Pacific. Mill defended colonization throughout his life, although his arguments about its character and justification shifted over time. While initially he regarded it as a solution to the "social problem" in Britain, (...) he increasingly came to argue that its legitimacy resided in the universal benefits—civilization, peace, and prosperity—it generated for humanity. In the final years of his life Mill seemed to lose faith in the project. Finally recognizing the prevalence of colonial violence and the difficulty of realizing his grand ambitions, yet refusing to give up on colonization altogether, his colonial romance gave way to a form of melancholia. (shrink)
This book offers a clear and highly readable introduction to the ethical and social-political philosophy of JohnStuartMill. Dale E. Miller argues for a "utopian" reading of Mill's utilitarianism. He analyses Mill's views on happiness and goes on to show the practical, social and political implications that can be drawn from his utilitarianism, especially in relation to the construction of morality, individual freedom, democratic reform, and economic organization. By highlighting the utopian thinking which lies (...) at the heart of Mill's theories, Miller shows that rather than allowing for well-being for the few, Mill believed that a society must do everything in its power to see to it that each individual can enjoy a genuinely happy life if the happiness of its members is to be maximized. Miller provides a cogent and careful account of the main arguments offered by Mill, considers the critical responses to his work, and assesses its legacy for contemporary philosophy. Lucidly and persuasively written, this book will be a valuable resource for students and scholars seeking to understand the continued importance of Mill's thinking. (shrink)
Reissued here in its corrected second edition of 1864, this essay by JohnStuartMill argues for a utilitarian theory of morality. Originally printed as a series of three articles in Fraser's Magazine in 1861, the work sought to refine the 'greatest happiness' principle that had been championed by Jeremy Bentham, defending it from common criticisms, and offering a justification of its validity. Following Bentham, Mill holds that actions can be judged as right or wrong depending (...) on whether they promote happiness or 'the reverse of happiness'. Although attracted by Bentham's consequentialist framework based on empirical evidence rather than intuition, Mill separates happiness into 'higher' and 'lower' pleasures, arguing for a weighted system of measurement when making and judging decisions. Dissected and debated since its first appearance, the essay is Mill's key discussion on the topic and remains a fundamental text in the study of ethics. (shrink)
The Philosophy of JohnStuartMill demonstrates that Mill both saw his views as part of a systematic defense of empiricist epistemology and utilitarian ethics, and was to a large extent successful in offering a coherent and connected defense of this system. At the time Alan Ryan's highly acclaimed study was first published, it was unusual in insisting on the systematic character of Mill's philosophy. Since 1970, however, many writers have contributed to a more systematic (...) understanding of Mill's program for philosophy, ethics and social science, and Alan Ryan's new preface to the second edition assesses the way Mill appears in this new climate of opinion. (shrink)