The English Utilitarians - Vol. 3

The English Utilitarians - Vol. 3

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The English Utilitarians - Vol. 3

The English Utilitarians - Vol. 3

Read FREE!

Excerpt

When James Mill died, the spirit of his followers was entering upon a new phase. a certain chill was creeping over the confidence of previous years. the Reform Bill had been hailed as inaugurating a new era ; the Utilitarians thought that they had made a solid lodgment in the fortress, and looked forwards to complete occupation. the world was going their way ; their doctrines were triumphing ; and if those who accepted their conclusions claimed the credit of originating the movement, the true faith was advancing. Triumph by other hands should be a sufficient reward for preachers who preferred solid success to personal glory. Opinions long regarded with horror might now be openly avowed, and might be expected to spread when the incubus of the old repressive system was removed. the position, to compare small

Mill’s Autobiography (1873) is the main authority. Professor Bain’s John Stuart Mill: a Criticism, with Personal Recollections (1882), is a necessary supplement, and gives an excellent summary. the most interesting later publications are the correspondence with Gustave d’Eichthal (1898) and the correspondence with Comte. Comte’s letters were published by the Positivist Society in 1877, and the whole edited by M. Lévy-Bruhl in 1899. the Memories of Old Friends, by Caroline Fox (1882), gives some interesting accounts of Mill’s conversation in 1840, etc.

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