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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

After a stormy scene with birth control propaganda Mill soon using his father took place modest official of the East India Company, where his father was at that time occupied a prominent position. Then he became a member of the political circle of young, radical intellectuals, publish your own magazine "Westminster Review".

This circle was not satisfied with the current at that time in England bipartisan struggle Tories and Whigs, primarily because he had not seen her in the prospects for the implementation of broader political reforms. Radical circle, which entered Mill, sought to expand more to genuine popular representation in Parliament. Essentially, it was the core of the future activities of the movement for universal suffrage. By mug adjoined Ricardo and James Mill. Its ideological inspiration was the philosopher Jeremy Bentham and preacher. This man was the founder of utilitarianism - the moral and philosophical doctrine, which has absorbed many of the ideas of the English and the French Enlightenment rationalists.

Bentham developed the principle of "the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people," which he laid the foundation of the moral distinction between good and evil. In his mind, the society should be constructed so that a sense of duty - understood as a social duty of the individual to society - and the desire for their own benefit not conflict with respect to one another.

John Mill never completely broke with the philosophy of utilitarianism, as considerations of universal human "good" from a young age to the end of life were central to his worldview. But the narrow interpretation of the question in the writings of Bentham was his totally unacceptable. The collapse of the authority of teachers, which includes his father, caused in the soul of a young man of twenty painful feeling of emptiness. To this was added a number of circumstances more personal nature. He felt that is increasingly turning into a kind of "the reasoning machine." He also felt that the surrounding increasingly perceive it as erudite, but dry logic and polemicist ready even poetry, music, literature, decomposed into its constituent elements. The tragedy of his upbringing, which deprived him of living life experiences, gravitated over him like a curse.

All this has led to a state of twenty Mill severe emotional crisis, placed the young man on the verge of a complete mental disaster.

JSMill path to mental recovery was prolonged and difficult. Subsequently, he believed that the main role in this way played awakened in him a sense of compassion for others. Together with the awakening of this feeling came and unselfish interest in poetry and music. Simultaneously, there is a decisive turn in the direction of philosophical interests.

Mill refers to German philosophy. Here he was deeply interested in the system of Immanuel Kant. These same data relates meeting and a lively correspondence with Mill prominent follower of the teachings of Saint-Simon d'Eyshtalem. It was the first serious discussion of the projects of the socialist transformation of society. His main motto Mill borrowed from Goethe - versatility. He attributed this motto not only to the breadth and diversity of knowledge, but also to the development of the personality.

Between the ages of twenty and thirty years of his life there were events that have completed the process that began mental crisis and revision of utilitarian moral ideal. Among these events took place important visit France during the revolution of 1830. Impression of this visit was reflected in a series of articles under the descriptive title "Zeitgeist" (1831). The revolutionary events in France in 1830 ended the overthrow of King Charles X, were first signs signify the coming series of revolutionary upheaval after a long period of reaction generated by the consequences of the French Revolution.

Under the influence of these events Mill develops a philosophy of history, in which the features necessary interconnection of individual historical events are central. Mill believed that every historical stage of development of society includes not only a lesson for the future, but also carries some positive content in the progressive ascent of humanity. Slavery, medieval absolutism - the necessary links such ascent. In this way humanity is constantly undergoing change and transition phases of organic development. It was once the transition phase turned European society, according to Mill, in the 30-ies of the XIX century.

Crash utilitarian ideal fascination with poetry and music, interest in the origin of the aesthetic and the ethical ideal - it was associated with one event in the life of Mill defined the rest of his biography, and in many respects the development of his worldview. In 1830 he met the woman who later, twenty years, was to become his wife. It was Harriet Taylor, the wife of a wealthy bourgeois, a mother of two children. She was interested in radical political ideas, and her house became a meeting place for the Mill and his friends.

Spiritual communion of the two men reported, according to Mill, a new impetus and a new quality of all his subsequent work. Moreover, Mill argued that from G. Taylor directly proceeded the most profound ideas of his works in the field of logic, philosophy, political economy, etc. By this statement, as expressed by Mill in his declining years in his "Autobiography", must be taken with some caution. Taylor had a brilliant mind, unusually lively character, deeply emotional nature. Under her influence, Mill literally became famous apostle suffrage movement, rolling in the second half of the XIX century in Europe, Russia and America.

Thoughts of JS Mill on the need for a harmonious combination of artistic and logical, or intuitive and rational, started in all areas of activity are observed in many of the works, starting with the 1840s.

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