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John Stuart Mill


1806 - 1873

English utilitarian philosopher. Born in London, the eldest son of James Mill (1773 - 1836) a noted Scottish philosopher, historian and economist. He was educated by his father in complete isolation from other children, who began by teaching him Greek at the age of just three. His father's system was one of strict intellectual discipline, which made him a "first-rate thinking machine" but ignored his practical, cultural and emotional development. Mill joined is father in the employ of the British East India Company in London and his philosophical works were penned in his spare time. He joined a circle of 'philosophical radicals' which included Prof. Alexander Bain (1818 - 1903) and his father. Between 1865-68, Mill served as a Radical Member of Parliament and in 1867 he was appointed Rector of St. Andrew's University.

Mill was a supporter of the positivist school of philosophy, which has been criticised for considering people as a set of predictable entities open investigation by purely scientific methods. His works include a System of Logic (1843), Principles of Political Economy (1848), On Liberty (1859), Utilitarianism (1863), an Examinations of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy (1865), On the Subjection of Women (1869) and an autobiography, published posthumously in 1873.

Mill died at Avignon (France).


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