Victorian Prose Writers
Background on J.S. Mill
- The young JSM was
- On the other hand, the mature JSM
- Analogy to Blake: Eden & Beulah.
- Very similar to Mill's life:
- His wife was a kind of savior—
- Also parallel Blake:
- His autobiography sets two things in opposition:
- The key question appears on pages 885-86.
- Mill realizes that analysis
- Page 102/888: "All those to whom…"
- Last paragraph: "mechanically"
- By what means does Mill change? See 889.
- He reads
- Plus the death of the father is
- The boy in the Memoirs becomes
- What are the results of this change?
- You pursue happiness
- Mill begins to understand
- Mill's awakening corresponds to his growing interest
Digression on the Liberal Arts
Regarding poetry and music (things with no extrinsic value)
Mill endorses a broad liberal arts curriculum. It creates a well-balanced
quality of mind, as Newman argues in "The Idea of a University":
- Extrinsic utility:
- Intrinsic utility:
See Newman's penultimate sentence of par. one on page 913
(top of page) for the quality of mind a liberal education engenders.
Mill's "On Liberty"
- Questions: True or False?
- The free expression of opinion must always be
- Those who do anything because it is the custom make no
choice at all.
- Whatever is not a duty is a sin.
- Man needs no capacity but that of surrendering himself
to the will of God.
- Whatever crushes individuality is despotism
- Only the cultivation of individuality can produce
well-developed human beings.
- Collective mediocrity rules America.
- Calvinism patronizes (i.e., serves as a sponsor for)
pinched, hidebound people.
- Calvinist self-denial is better than pagan
- Eccentricity is admirable and essential.
- Women will never be the equals of men.
- There are definite moral and rational differences
between men and women.
- You are more like a Dutch canal than a Niagara Falls.
- Summary of Mill's points in "On Liberty":
- Things he values:
- Things he condemns:
- On governmental interference:
It's okay as long as it
When an individual person can do a thing better,
Even if individuals can't do something better than government,
Don't give the government
Government should encourage