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Mill

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MILL, James, British economist, historian and utilitarian philosopher; b. Northwater Bridge, Forfarshire, Scotland, 6 April 1773; d. Kensingston, 23 June 1836. His father was a cobbler, his mother a farmer's daughter and his early abilities were so marked that great care was taken with his education, so that in 1790 he entered Edinburgh University. There he was carried away with Dugald Stewart's philosophy until he came to know Bentham's system, which he then adopted. But in the university he was better known as a remark able Greek scholar than as a philosopher. In 1802 he went to London, where he was from 1803 to 1806 editor of the Literary Journal and then began the 'History of India,) which oc cupied him 10 years. During this time he wrote much for periodicals and came to know Ben tham personally; at the same time he was busied with the fainstaking education of his children, notably ohn Stuart Mill (q.v.). The 'History of India,) a wonderfully scholarly and unpartisan work, marred only by his lack of personal knowledge of country and people and a consequent theorizing at times, was pub lished in 1818 and immediately won for him a place in the India Office and relief from his long battle with penury. This position was the more flattering a tribute since he was now well known as a radical and a skeptic. He rose rapidly, becoming head of the office in 1830.

The Westminster Review founded in 1824 as the organ of Bentham's followers contained many contributions by Mill; and several ap peared in the London Review. Both in ethics, where his position was strongly utilitarian, and in political economy, where he may still be reckoned as typical of the orthodox school so bitterly attacked by Ruskin, Mill is little more than a follower of Bentham, with greater force, perhaps, because of his comparatively larger knowledge of the world. In psychology, how ever, although largely a follower of Hartley, his work is more important, for he developed and gave to Hartley's principle of association a wider application, and thus was the founder of the school to which Spencer and Bain belong. Mill took part in politics and contributed largely to the success of the Reform Bill by introduc ing to England philosophical radicalism. His personal character was strangely unhuman and unlovable, though perfectly correct. His im portant works besides the 'History of India) are 'Elements of Political Economy,> the first great philosophic treatise on the subject (1821), and of the Phenomena of the Human Mind) (1829). Consult Bain's biography (1(1882)867) and J. S. Mill's .