A Summery of the Life and Writings of John Stuart Mill

A Summery of the Life and Writings of John Stuart Mill

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A Summery of the Life and Writings of John Stuart Mill

After reading 100% of the book, New Ideas From Dead Economists, I chose to write a little summery of John Stuart Mill. I did a little outside research on the subject, because his theories and philosophies were intriguing to me. I was impressed by his change in his views as he entered his mid twenties.

John Stuart Mill was born in London on May 20, 1806, and was the oldest son of James Mill. His education, as a boy, was carried out by his father, James Mill. John’s discipline was extremely rigid, as a result, he believed it gave him the intellectual advantage of a quarter century on his contemporaries. Later in life Mill recognized that his father’s extreme system of intellectual discipline gave him little time to develop social and emotional relationships with others. He regretted this aspect of his childhood.

Mill was considered a leader in thought at the young age of twenty-one. This is when he encountered a mental crisis. The cause of the crisis, extreme mental and physical strain, gave him as he called it, “a dull state of nerves”. He realized that the goals in his life, that his father had given him, stolen the feelings out of him. After many months of despair, he found that the emotions within him were not dead. One important factor in this emotional realization was a woman by the name of Mrs. Taylor. She was known to help Mill in authoring works of his, and a good friend. While she was married, Mill held a close relationship with her. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Taylor and John Mill were married in 1851. After this he had great success publishing in multiple literary journals. These articles had ranged from those relating to philosophy and social to political and economic. One of his earliest was with The Westminster Review, but were mostly for The London Review. Through these articles, we can trace his gradual development and change in his radical politics.

His first real intellectual work appeared in 1843, System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive. This was followed by his, Essays on some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy, in 1844, and, Principles of Political Economy in 1848.

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In 1859 he wrote On Liberty, and Thoughts on Parliamentary Reform. His Considerations on Representative Government was written in 1860; and in 1863 (after first being published in a magazine) Utilitarianism, one of his most influential writings came to the public. He sat as a member of Parliament from 1865-1868. He advocated three major issues while there; women’s suffrage, the interests of the laboring classes and land reform in Ireland. In 1865, came his Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy. In it, he examines the practical and social aspects of Empiricism and Intuitionism Mill died at Avignon on May 8, 1873. A bronze statue of him stands on the Thames embankment in London, and G.F. Watts’ copy of his original portrait of Mill hangs in the National Gallery there. He was a man of extreme simplicity as far as his way of life was concerned. His influence upon contemporary English thought can’t be overlooked. There has been considerable difference on the longevity of his philosophies.
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