Who is John Stuart Mill?
John Stewart Mill was a philosopher, an economist, a senior official of the East India Company and a son of James Mill. Mill is best known for his work of 1848, “Principles of Political Economy”, which combined the disciplines of philosophy and economics and argued that population limits and slower economic growth would benefit the environment and would increase public goods. He is also known for his earlier work, “System of Logic,” which described the methods of science and how they could be applied to social mechanics.
Understanding the John Stuart mill
John Stuart Mill was born in 1806 and lived until 1873. He grew up in a strict household under a firm father and had to learn history, Greek, Latin, mathematics and economic theory at a very young age. He was later regarded as one of the most influential British opinion leaders on political discourse, including epistemology, economics, ethics, metaphysics, social and political philosophy and others concentrations. By order of publication, his best known works are “A system of logic”, “Principles of political economy”, “On freedom”, “Utilitarianism”, “The submission of women”, “Three essays on religion” and his autobiography, which was written the year of his death.
Mill was a controversial figure in 19th century Britain who advocated the use of economic theory, philosophical thought and social conscience in political decision-making. He used his writings and other publications to compare the legal status of women of the time with the legal status of slaves, to promote radical empiricism based on mathematics, and to pioneer the principle of prejudice – an idea according to which political power should only be exercised over a member of an organization when that power is used to avoid harming that member.
Major influences of John Stuart Mill
Much of John Stuart Mill’s beliefs, thoughts and influential works can be attributed to his education and the ideology taught to him by his father, James Mill. His father met the main political theorist Jeremy Bentham in 1808, and together they launched a political movement that embraced philosophical radicalism. It was around this time that John Stuart Mill was brainwashed with the economic theory, political thought and social beliefs that would shape his later work. This general ideology became known as utilitarianism and was practiced by Mill in his early years.
It is in fact this exact education which gave it its foundation and which also allowed its greatest breakthrough. Mill attributed mental depression to the dominating nature of his father and the radical system in which he was raised. The mental abandonment forced him to re-examine the theories which he had previously accepted as true. Through this self-reflection, he began to modify Bentham’s utilitarian ideology to make it more positive, adopting the revised theory as his own belief system.