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After several months, I ve finally slogged through these four essays by John Stuart Mill On Liberty, Utilitarianism, Considerations on Representative Government and The Subjection of Women It was not the easiest read Mills writing is complex and dry with extremely long sentences of nested thoughts He rarely pulls up to summarize This book put me to sleep many times and I rarely could read than 20 pages in a go Many naps later, it is finished This all being said, there were a lot of thought provoking arguments across all four essays and I enjoyed them all for various reasons I understand why excerpts are still passed out in political science and philosophy classes today, but the longer versions are a lot to take in I did active reading in the first essay than the other three I think Mill s final essay arguing for equality for women is t This is a nice edition bringing together 4 of Mill s essays into one volume.
If you are not familiar with Mill s writing the underlying ideas are powerful even if there are flaws in some of the arguments His liberalism was ahead of its time, and its easy to forget how radical some of his views were The writing style is typical of its era long winded, long sentences and long paragraphs Focus on what he is saying rather than how he is saying it, and you will get most out of it If Mill was writing in a modern style then the essays would be much shorter But you get into the writing once you have read a few chapters Having said that, there are wonderful pieces of English in this book, and some parts are a pleasure to read in a way that a modern writer would not achieve.
I did not find Gray s introduction that fantastic, which is a shame as the introduction can add huge value to an editi Classic, advanced theory of liberalism Still remarkably pragmatic Is basic text to understand the 19th century.
Unlike many philosophers I ve read lately, for example Kant, Mill was surprisingly light reading His writing is enjoyable, and even though one might not agree with everything he says, his argumentation is well structured and thorough A real pleasure to read, because you understand right away what he means, and don t have to spend so much time analyzing difficult metaphors and language.
The only canonical author who has actually shaped my political philosophy Great essays Also, the man knows is eminently quotable War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself Mill was a twat.
Liberty John Stuart MillI m trying something new in this space As part of my ongoing study of Meekonomics I read a lot of books on economics, politics, philosophy and religion I ve been tweeting out a quote of the day from some of my reading for about 2 years now but I ve decided that those tweets were getting rather disjointed and many of my followers were just getting sound bites that didn t make much sense unless you ve been following my thought process all along So now instead of spreading them out I ve decide to bunch all of the quotes together on the same day and write a blog post simultaneously That way you get to see not only what tweaked my interest but how and why it did so The tweets below are in italics with my further comment and observation following in regular type My next series of tweets will be excepts from John Stuart Mill s essay On Liberty published in 1959 jsmonl
e freedom to buy an unhealthy lifestyle on the exhilaratingly free market In theory, these are the freedoms Mill is particularly concerned with defending in his famous essay On Liberty Along the way, he throws in a theory of individuality, taken wholesale from the altogether superior philosopher, Wilhelm Von Humboldt, which sits uneasily next to his empiricist positivist views on morality and social conditioning he both sa Collected Here In A Single Volume For The First Time, On Liberty, Utilitarianism, Considerations On Representative Government, And The Subjection Of Women Show John Stuart Mill Applying His Liberal Utilitarian Philosophy To A Range Of Issues That Remain Vital Today The Nature Of Ethics, The Scope And Limits Of Individual Liberty, The Merits Of And Costs Of Democratic Government, And The Place Of Women In Society In His Introduction John Gray Describes These Essays As Applications Of Mill S Doctrine Of The Art Of Life, As Set Out In A System Of Logic Using The Resources Of Recent Scholarship, He Shows Mill S Work To Be Far Richer And Subtler Than Traditional Interpretations Allow