Study Questions on Mill,
this introduction the editor tries to fit Mill into the broader framework of
early 19th century European thought. How does the editor fit Mill into the context of the
Enlightenment, Romanticism, Utilitarianism, and Utopian socialism?
does Mill describe the era into which he was born?
What does he mean by this?
does Mill describe his father's place in English society?
Describe the stages of Mill's education between
was his father's basic method of instruction?
What was the goal?
sort of contact did Mill have with others of his age?
Why? What did Mill do
"for enjoyment" as a child?
back to our discussions of the Enlightenment and of ideas about education.
In what ways was Mill's education a product of the Enlightenment?
or who was the major moral influence on Mill as a youth?
what sort of spiritual beliefs was the young Mill raised?
Mill grow up without any clear moral standards?
did his father differentiate good from bad, etc.?
would describe the emotional atmosphere of Mill's youth?
How does Mill explain this?
effect did living in France in 1820 have upon the young Mill, and why?
did it shape his opinions of life in England as opposed to life on the
effect did study of the French Revolution have on Mill's life and ideas and why?
what about Benthamism was so attractive to Mill?
Why did it give "unity to [his] conception of things"?
were the major interests linking young Mill to his friends Grote and Austin,
Tooke and Roebuck, etc.?
did Mill do for a living? Explain
the relationship between his livelihood, his father's livelihood, and their
common philosophical beliefs.
about English public life in the early 1820s did Mill and his compatriots find
unjust and irrational?
was the Westminster Review, and what was its general editorial aim?
what sense did the Westminster Review represent a radical-Liberal
perspective? What sort of
positions, for instance, did it take on issues of representation?
Freedom of thought? Free
means of disseminating Benthamite and other left-Liberal ideas does Mill explain
in this chapter?
did Mill"s father's argument for democracy differ from the
"classical" liberalism we have discussed?
was the basis of the debates between Mill's cohort and the Owenites?
What were there positions in these
old was Mill when he had his "mental crisis"?
says that the experience of his breakdown had two major effects on his
viewpoints. What were these?
Explain. How did he think a
person could become happy? What did he now consider important that he had
about Mill's crisis--how would you link the issues that he suffered over to what
we read of and by the
Romantics? Point out passages in which Mill himself suddenly sounds
like a Romantic.
what ways did Mill now turn against British Enlightenment traditions in the
analysis of politics?
ideas about the relationship between society, power, and state institutions did
Mill now borrow from French
radical thinkers like Saint-Simon?
did Mill's understanding of history change after studying French radicalism?
criticisms of classical liberal political economy did Mill begin to consider
based on his reading of French radicals?
says that he hoped that the poor would adopt the philosophy of the (utopian)
whom does the title of this chapter refer and why?
effect did reading de Tocqueville have on Mill and why?
in the thought of the founder of Logical Positivism, Compte, did Mill find
troubling and why?
did Mill the philosopher have to say as an adult about the idealist concept of
"external" truths known through
intuition,, and why?
does Mill say that he had been a democrat but not a socialist?
soured Mill on the chance of continental Europe leading the democratic movement?
Mill believe that the job of drafting laws should be given to a democratic
representative legislature? Explain.
What was Mill's view of the rights of women?
did Mill seem to think of the English working class?
OK, now let's connect this to our earlier readings and discussions:
1) What elements in Mill's methodology and in his basic ideas are clearly rooted in the traditions and ideas of the Enlightenment?
2) What aspects of Mill's ideas appear to be rooted in (or at least resonate with) Romanticism?
3) In what ways were Mill's views a response to the internal political contradictions in European society highlighted by the French revolution?
4) In what sense were Mill's views a response to the internal social contradictions in European society highlighted by the industrial revolution?
How do Mill's arguments compare to the arguments that Shelly seems to be making