Up@dawn 2.0

Saturday, November 15, 2014

John Stuart Mill 1 of 4 - By: Shania DelCampo


     John was James Mill's eldest son. He was born on May 20th 1806 in London, England.  Then later died from a skin infection called erysipelas on May 8th 1873 in Avignon, France. In his life time he was a campaigner against injustice, a feminist, a politician, a journalist, and a philosopher. He wrote many books however his most famous is On Liberty.
                                        John Stuart Mill


     As a child John was taught by his father James.  James taught John high level curriculum in many subjects.  For instance at the age of eight he was learning Latin, geometry and algebra.  However James did not just teach him to memorize these advanced topics, instead he taught John to question and formula his own opinions.  This is similar to the Socratic Method. Sadly however John was not able as a child to play with other children because of his father would not allow it. James believe it was a waste of time and preferred his son to be studying.  Also it is said the John was James' Utilitarian experiment, meaning that James believed that children were born with a blank slate and thought he could create a Utilitarian.

Effects of John's Upbringing

     Since John was not able to play with other children he was on the rather shy side and a bit awkward around others as well.  Although he did have very adult conversations with many of his father's friends, such as Jeremy Bentham.  This however did not give him all the basic communication skills that most children develop while playing with other children.  James' excessive teaching however did result in making John a genesis.  One of the many ideas that John focuses on in education for children, also a result of his father's excessive teachings. Also being that James was a Utilitarian and taught John many of his beliefs, John does have some Utilitarian ideas mixed with his own ideas. (I will elaborate on those ideas in later posts.)



  1. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/382623/John-Stuart-Mill
    This is the website I got a lot of information from.

  2. That's an awesome picture of the child reading!! Is actually Mill, or is that just a picture? Either way, Mill fascinates me. He was incredibly intelligent at such a young age, but only with a a great sacrifice. However, I think this raises the question about the morality of his childhood. Mill was an intelligence experiment conducted by his father. Although, obviously, this brought Mill a significant amount of success and intellect, is this a moral action? I just wonder what others think about this. Is it justified to retain social activity from children in order to produce high intelligence?
    Just curious, but a great job so far with the report!

  3. I have a similar picture somewhere of m daughter at about the same age reading Heidegger's "Being and Time" while an old guy next to her reads Maurice Sendak. But she was no experiment, they were just goofing around one day at Unitarian Sunday School to make a point about how we're never too old to read playfully or too young to think philosophically. Anyway, aren't you glad YOU weren't home-schooled by James Mill!