Who is 'John Stuart Mill'

John Stewart Mill was a philosopher, an economist, a senior official in the East India Company and a son of James Mill. Mill is most well-known for his 1848 work, "Principles of Political Economy," which combined the disciplines of philosophy and economics and advocated that population limits and slowed economic growth would be beneficial to the environment and increase public goods. He is also known for his earlier work, "System of Logic," which outlined the methods of science and how they can be applied to social mechanics.

BREAKING DOWN 'John Stuart Mill'

John Stuart Mill was born in 1806 and lived until 1873. He grew up in a strict household under a firm father and was required to learn history, Greek, Latin, mathematics and economic theory at a very young age. He is subsequently considered one of the most influential British thought leaders on political discourse, including epistemology, economics, ethics, metaphysics, social and political philosophy and other concentrations. In order of publication, his best known works are "A System of Logic," "Principles of Political Economy," "On Liberty," "Utilitarianism," "The Subjection of Women," "Three Essays on Religion" and his autobiography, which was written the year he died.

Mill was a controversial figure in 19th century Britain who advocated for the use of economic theory, philosophical thought and social awareness in political decision making. He used his writings and other publications to compare the legal status of women at the time to the legal status of slaves, to promote radical empiricism as a function of mathematics, and to pioneer the harm principle, an idea that political power should only be wielded over a member of an organization when that power is used to prevent harm to that member.

John Stuart Mill's Upbringing, Ideology and Other Major Influences 

Much of John Stuart Mill's beliefs, thoughts and influential works can be attributed to his upbringing and the ideology taught to him by his father, James Mill. His father became acquainted with the leading political theorist Jeremy Bentham in 1808, and together they started a political movement that embraced philosophical radicalism. It was during this time that John Stuart Mill was indoctrinated with the economic theory, political thinking and social beliefs that would shape his later work. This general ideology became known as Utilitarianism and was practiced by Mill in his earlier years.

It was actually this exact upbringing that gave him his foundation and also brought about his greatest breakthrough. Mill attributed a mental breakdown to the overbearing nature of his father and the radical system in which he was raised. The mental lapse forced him to re-examine theories he had previously accepted as true. Through this self-reflection, he began to make changes to Bentham's Utilitarian ideology to make it more positive, adopting the revised theory as his own system of belief.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Mill Rate

    The mill rate is the amount of tax payable per dollar of a property's ...
  2. David Ricardo

    David Ricardo was a classical economist best known for his theory ...
  3. Thomas Malthus

    An 18th-century British philosopher and economist famous for ...
  4. Stuart A. Miller

    Stuart A. Miller was appointed as the CEO of Lennar Corporation ...
  5. Labor Theory Of Value

    An economic theory that stipulates that the value of a good or ...
  6. Social Economics

    Social economics is a branch of economics that focuses on the ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    General Mills Stock Trades Ex-Dividend Thursday

    General Mills will send its dividend payment on May 1 to shareholders of record as of April 10.
  2. Investing

    Analysts Bite General Mills, Downgrade to Hold

    Stifel Nicolaus downgrades the food giant's shares to hold along with $60 price target.
  3. Investing

    General Mills Reports Mixed Q4 Results

    The food giant's cost savings helped boost EPS above estimates, despite weakness in the U.S.
  4. Investing

    General Mills Lowers Sales Outlook, Shares Fall

    The company expects sales to decline 4% this year due to a weak outlook for yogurt and soup.
  5. Investing

    General Mills Closes Plant & Cuts Headcount (GIS)

    Company is trimming costs as part of a restructuring of its global supply chain.
  6. Investing

    General Mills Reacts to Inflation in Food Industry

    The Street has doubts about the company's ability to transfer higher costs to consumers.
  7. Insights

    General Mills Announces Girl Scout Cookie Cereal (GIS)

    General Mills' cereal line just got a whole lot sweeter.
  8. Investing

    General Mills Tops Competition

    General Mills has a solid record of leveraging mid-single-digit sales growth into higher profit increases.
  9. Investing

    3 Reasons Beaten-Down General Mills May Rally

    As the consumer giant sees its shares crash 23% YTD, one bull sees upside in its recovery plan.
  10. Investing

    General Mills to Buy Blue Buffalo Pet Products

    Shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ: BUFF) jumped 17% on Friday after the pet food company agreed to be acquired by General Mills (NYSE: GIS) for $40 per share. The buyout values Blue ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Leverage

    Leverage results from using borrowed capital as a source of funding when investing to expand the firm's asset base and generate ...
  2. Financial Risk

    Financial risk is the possibility that shareholders will lose money when investing in a company if its cash flow fails to ...
  3. Enterprise Value (EV)

    Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company's total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market ...
  4. Relative Strength Index - RSI

    Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains to recent ...
  5. Dividend

    A dividend is a distribution of a portion of a company's earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of its shareholders.
  6. Inventory Turnover

    Inventory turnover is a ratio showing how many times a company has sold and replaces inventory over a period.
Trading Center