John Stuart Mill was a very intelligent man, who not only was a great economist of his time, but he was also a philosopher, scholar, author and a political scientist. He was the “most influential English-speaking philosopher of the 19th century.” (John Mill, 1) John made a huge impact on the world. He contributed many ideas and beliefs to society. John Mill was a man of many talents, and he had the courage to hold beliefs that most people did not agree with.
John Stuart Mill was born on May 20th, 1806. He was born in London, United Kingdom. His father was the historian and economist, James Mill. His mother was Harriet Barrow. He started learning Greek when he was only 3 years old, and Latin at 8 years old. Mill’s father met Jeremy Bentham in 1808. They lead the “philosophic radicals” movement. They wanted universal voting rights (for men), and they wanted to consider human happiness instead of “natural laws.” Their movement later morphed into a belief called utilitarianism. Utilitarianism’s definition is “the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on utility, and that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons.” (Utilitarianism, 1)
James Mill earned a job at the East India Company, after writing History of British India in 1818. He climbed his way up to the chief examiner position. James made sure that John got a good education. John studied many different subjects, including math, history, and economics. He was 14 years old when he grasped the fundamentals of economic theory. John was heavily influenced by Jeremy Bentham, his father, and the philosophical radicals. John devoted time to many periodicals, including the West Minster Review. Mill’s father helped him to obtain a job in the East India Company. He rose to the chief examiner position, just like his father.
In 1826, John started to suffer from depression. He had learned a lot of information, and his father’s constant guidance started to get to him. He started to rethink everything that he had been taught by his father, and he started to rethink what he had learned throughout his life. He started to view Bentham’s and his father’s philosophies as limited. In a few months, Mill’s depression went away, and his old beliefs had stayed for the most part. He thought that his father had “emotionally stunted” him. He came up with a new philosophy; one that would “overcome the limits imposed by culture and history, on any possible reform movement and would advance the roles of feeling and imagination.” (John Mill, 1)
John Stuart Mill began to look at the positive parts of his father’s philosophies, and Bentham’s philosophies. He wanted to take the positives of the philosophies, and make a new society. He began to read the writings of John Ruskin, Auguste Comte and Alexis de Tocqueville. He also read the poems of William Wordsworth. James Mill, John Mill, and Charles Molesworth created the London...