The Life of John Stuart Mill

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In History
  • John Stuart Mill (J.S. Mill) is born

    John Stuart Mill (J.S. Mill) is born
    Born to Harriet Burrow and James Mill on May 20th 1806. His father desired to make his a genius before he was even born. All throughout growing up, John was required to learn about Greek and Roman history, political philosophy, and Science. The philosophy of Jeremy Bentham and Liberty was instilled in him from a young age. His over bearing father also had a role in his tendency to question authority.
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    John Stuart Mill

    The life of John Stuart Mill (J.S. Mill)
  • J.S. Mill Moves visits France for a year

    J.S. Mill Moves visits France for a year
    This year was vital in forming his own political stance views away from his father. He was inspired by French political philosophy. This began his skepticism of his father and Bentham.
  • J.S. Mill is employed at British East India Company

    J.S. Mill is employed at British East India Company
    His Father and Bentham employed John as an editor at their company. John continued to found multiple intellectual societies and study groups but most notably started the “Westminster Review” which broadcasted the philosophical radicals ideologies.
  • J.S. Mill’s “Mental Crisis”

    J.S. Mill’s “Mental Crisis”
    This is a period of depression and extreme skepticism for John. Some account it to his father’s Constant over demanding of him but others contribute it to the long suppression of his disagreements with his father’s and Bentham’s philosophy. This marks the first time John desired to branch off from his father’s teachings and indoctrination.
  • J.S. Mill meets Harriet Taylor

    J.S. Mill meets Harriet Taylor
    In 1830, John meet Harriet Taylor. They fell in love working with each other but Harriet was married. She was vital to Mill’s happiness and views on women’s rights. Harriets husband died in 1851 and the two soon married afterwards. She was always welcome in philosophical discussions and helped sculpt John’s philosophical views, even softening his opinion on socialism.
  • Jeremy Bentham’s Death

    Jeremy Bentham’s Death
    One of the most influential teachers in John Mill’s life, Jeremy Bentham, passes away June 6th 1832. He gave memorial rings to 26 people, including J.S. Mill. (His body is mummified at University College London UCL)
  • James Mill’s Death

    James Mill’s Death
    The most influential man in J.S. Mill’s life, his father James Mill, passes away due to tuberculosis June 23rd 1836. This sent John into a brief deep depression, but ultimately with the death of his two mentors, he was finally free to pursue his own philosophy without restraint. These unfortunate events will lead to some of J.S. Mill’s greatest works and contributions to philosophy.
  • A System of logic; Mill, John S. A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive: Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. London: Longmans, Green, 1886. Print.

    A System of logic; Mill, John S. A System of Logic Ratiocinative and Inductive: Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation. London: Longmans, Green, 1886. Print.
    In this book, Mill challenges Intuitionism (the idea one can learn truths about the world a priori, through logic and discussion, rather than observation and experiment). Intuitionism justified the existence of laws based off of religious morals, racism, sexism, bias, etc. He argued that when putting this logic through scrutiny, we find these laws served no real purpose For society other than to uphold the opinions and subjective morals of those who made them.
  • Harriet Taylor Mill’s Death

    Harriet Taylor Mill’s Death
    Harriet was not only John’s wife, but his best friend, confidant, and his greatest love. John’s thoughts on the loss of Harriet;
    “We’re I but capable of interpreting to the world one half the great thoughts and noble feelings which are buried in her grave, I should be the medium of a greater benefit to it, than is ever likely to arise from anything that I can write, unprompted and unassisted by her all but unrivaled wisdom.”
    John remained a widow for the rest of his life.
  • Utilitarianism; Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism. London, Parker, son, and Bourn, 1863. Web.. Retrieved from the Library of Congress

    Utilitarianism; Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism. London, Parker, son, and Bourn, 1863. Web.. Retrieved from the Library of Congress
    This is possibly his most influential work. First, J.S. Mill did not invent Utilitarianism, he only refined it, but In doing so greatly enhanced the concept and presented Utilitarianism in a modern form. He introduced the concepts of the “Tyranny of the Majority”, “Self-regarding and other-regarding actions”. Mill intended this book to serve as a logical guide of morality as opposed to religion. Many of these ideas have been adopted by and continue to be used by the modern day Libertarian Party.
  • The Subjection of Women, Essay; Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873. The Subjection of Women. London :Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1878.

    The Subjection of Women, Essay; Mill, John Stuart, 1806-1873. The Subjection of Women. London :Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1878.
    J.S. Mill Confronted many injustices of his time. Among them was the issue of women’s rights. Women were traditionally subordinate to men in almost all areas of life. This essay was used and still is used to this day in the argument of women’s equality. It was far ahead of it’s time, being published in 1869, and most laws and attitudes towards women’s rights not changIng for decades later.
  • John Stuart Mill’s Death

    John Stuart Mill’s Death
    J.S. Mill passed on May 8th 1873 from erysipelas in Avignon, France with Harriet’s daughter, Helen Taylor, at his side. His last years were spent with Helen continuing his outspoken work in politics. Upon his death, his reputation was attacked by political opponents and upheld by admirers. Even in death he seemed to cause controversy. He was buried next to his late wife.
    Here’s a link to a video describing his life in more detail:
    https://youtu.be/nEY2bTDvpYM