John Stuart Mill And The Influence Of Utilitarianism On Hard Times

1876 words - 8 pages

This is indeed what Mill strived for as a British philosopher, economist, moral and political theorist, as well as expert in logic. As time went on, Mill entered into the East India Company as a clerk, interestingly enough, the same place his own father had worked before. Mill sored through the hierarchical structure of the East India Company, in which he became chief examiner of correspondence. Moreover, problems arose and Mill was forced to retire. It was not until this very opportunity had occurred, in which he truly fought for what he believed in. He had continued to work for many radical causes throughout his life, such as the status and equality of women. Critics say, that because ...view middle of the document...

This admiration allowed Mill himself a deranged sense of amusement by producing these feelings for the man who instituted them into his education in the very beginning. In his Autobiography, little does he critique his father’s logical methods. This is because he truly thought his father had good ideas and methods for learning new and difficult information, although it may not have been executed in the most effective manner (Welch 166). John Stuart Mill insisted that utility be used to reason with the imagination and the indulgence of higher emotions that help to contribute toward a balanced intelligence. This is a peculiar point for Mill because James Mill, his father, did not raise him with this idea. Mill himself approached all peoples in regards to their logical ideas, evident in the majority of his own writings. It can be expected that through his exhaustive education and lack of imagination incorporated into his studies led Mill to become an advocate for fantasy and creative thought (Heydt).
Bentham, for example, was one of the main philosophical geniuses that influenced Mill in the creation of his own theories. Since John was forced to read Bentham around the age of fifteen or sixteen by his father, he became acquainted with his theories and philosophies at a very young age. As his career continued, Mill began to revise the works of both his father and Jeremy Bentham himself. Both works seemed to bring out more of the negative elements of philosophic radicals to Mill, so he allowed himself to see the favorable aspects of their works, and come to the conclusion that these theorists were trying to focus on the good of humanity, and not the negative aspects of society. In a nutshell, Bentham gave Mill that fundamental “push” to explore his own mind in yet a very similarly way. Although the majority of Bentham’s works were sought to be more negative, according to Mill, he did not abandon Bentham’s ways completely. Mill decided to work more on the positive elements regarding what the best ways to construct a new society inhibit (“John Stuart Mill Biography” 1-3). As The Cambridge History of English and American Literature states, “John Stuart Mill looked upon Bentham as a great constructive genius who had first brought light and system into regions formerly chaotic” (Ward et all). The deeper demeanors in life did not make nearly as much of an impact on Mill as did the subtle workings of society regarding the environment, and much more. Mill also believed that in order to fully understand a concept, it is not wise to look at the deep thinkers of that genre, but rather it is more sensible to look outside the genre to get more of a universal view on the subject. Bentham seemed to have made politics and science much more specific and minute, differently than Mill. However, in general, Mill agrees with Bentham in regards to his fundamental principle and approves his method of madness, shall we say (Ward et all).
The rise of Utilitarianism shaped...

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