The True Philosophy is the Marriage of Poetry and Logic

The latest ‘In Our Time’ podcast is about John Stuart Mill;

”He was one of the first thinkers to argue that a social theory must engage with ideas of culture and the internal life. He used Wordsworth to inform his social theory, he was a proto feminist and his treatise On Liberty is one of the sacred texts of liberalism.

J S Mill believed that action was the natural articulation of thought. He battled throughout his life for social reform and individual freedom and was hugely influential in the extension of the vote. Few modern discussions on race, birth control, the state and human rights have not been influenced by Mill's theories.

When he was about 16 or 17, he got caught distributing leaflets on birth control in the working class area he walked through on his way to work. Birth control was a completely unspeakable subject (this was about 1822). The leaflets were considered obscene publications. The only reason in the end that Mill was not prosecuted and sent to jail was not because he was a minor, but because it was deemed that as the families he was distributing to were working class they would not be able to read!”..

How did Mill's utilitarian background shape his political ideas? Why did he think Romantic literature was significant to the rational structure of society? On what grounds did he argue for women's equality? And how did his notions of the individual become central to modern social theory?

Contributors include A C Grayling, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, Janet Radcliffe Richards, Reader in Bioethics at University College London and Alan Ryan, Professor of Politics at Oxford University

Related Links;

Mill on Happiness; “Those only are happy, who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.”


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on May 20, 2006 2:40 PM.

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