From Locke versus Rousseau to the Present
- New Thinking in Political Economy series
John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx were the two great synthetic thinkers of the nineteenth century. It should come as no surprise that Mill articulated the clearest and most cogent version of the Liberty Narrative in the nineteenth century just as Marx will do so for the Equality Narrative. Not unsurprisingly, Mill’s articulation of that narrative owes much to Tocqueville and Kant. Mill (1803–76) was the son of James Mill and the godson of Jeremy Bentham, both radical reformers and utilitarians. In his Autobiography (1873), J.S. Mill documented an intellectual journey marked by a movement away from narrow utilitarianism and toward a deeper understanding of liberty. He was the last major British philosopher to present an integrated view of the whole of philosophy and, like Kant and Hegel, to relate the theoretical and normative dimensions of his thought in a direct fashion. Mill understood his work in the technical areas of philosophy as a foundation for his social and political philosophy. His Principles of Political Economy (1848 and several subsequent editions; hereafter PPE) achieved the status of a canonical textbook. Nevertheless, Mill corrected Locke, Smith, Tocqueville and Kant. Mill endorsed and amended the Lockean narrative. First, he endorsed the technological project and economic growth. Mill’s view on technology is expressed in his historical account of the stages of economic growth, a view which owes much to Scottish Enlightenment thinkers such as Hume, Smith, and Ferguson.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.