John Stuart Mill investigates the central elements of the 19th century philosopher’s most profound and influential works, from On Liberty to Utilitarianism and The Subjection of Women. Through close analysis of his primary works, it reveals the very heart of the thinker’s ideas, and examines them in the context of utilitarianism, liberalism and the British empiricism prevalent in Mill’s day. • Presents an analysis of the full range of Mill’s primary writings, getting to the core of the philosopher’s ideas. • Examines the central elements of Mill’s writings in easily accessible prose • Places Mill’s work and thought within the larger cultural and social context of 19th century Britain • Illustrates the continued relevance of Mill’s philosophy to today’s reader
Acknowledgments. Notes on Contributors. Foreword: Cheryl Mwaria. 1. Introduction: The Writer in the Anthropologist: Maria D. Vesperi and Alisse Waterston. Part I: Conceptions. 2. Speaking Truth to Power with Books: Howard Zinn. 3. Remember When Writing Was Fun? Why Academics Should Go On a Low Syllable, Active Voice Diet: Karen Brodkin. 4. The Bard: Carolyn Nordstrom. 5. Saggin’ and Braggin’: Lee D. Baker. 6. Stories for Readers: A Few Observations from Outside the Academy: Andrew Barnes. Part II: Creations. 7. Writing Poverty, Drawing Readers: Stories in Love, Sorrow and Rage: Alisse Waterston. 8. Write?ous Indignation: Black Girls, Dilemmas of Cultural Domination and the Struggle to Speak the Skin We Are In: Signithia Fordham. 9. Writing Truth to Power: Racism as Statecraft: Arthur K. Spears. 10. Remembering Octavia: Sharon Ball. 11. Believing in Anthropology as Literature: Ruth Behar. Part III: Receptions. 12. Walking in Zora’s Shoes or “Seek[ing] Out de Inside Meanin’ of Words”: The Intersections of Anthropology, Ethnography, Identity, and Writing: Irma McClaurin. 13. Off the Shelf and Into Oblivion?: Catherine Kingfisher. 14. “Don’t Use Your Data as a Pillow”: S. Eben Kirksey. 15. The Trope of the Pith Helmet: America’s Anthropology, Anthropology’s America: Micaela di Leonardo. 16. The Book that Wrote Me: Roger Sanjek. 17. Fighting Words: Paul Farmer. 18. Taking Chances: Maria D. Vesperi. Index.
Wendy Donner is Professor of Philosophy at Carleton University in Canada. She is a leading Mill scholar and the author of The Liberal Self: John Stuart Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy. Richard Fumerton is the F. Wendell Miller Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa. A leading epistemologist, he is the author of numerous books, including Metaepistemology and Skepticism, Realism and the Correspondence Theory of Truth, Reason and Morality, and Epistemology.
The issues that engaged John Stuart Mill might have been taken from today’s headlines: liberty, education, democracy, the environment, economic growth, sexual equality. In this timely volume, two leading scholars, Wendy Donner and Richard Fumerton, examine Mill’s primary philosophical writings to get to the very heart of his ideas and his legacy. The volume begins with an overview of Mill’s life, work, and reputation, examining the historical context of the 19th century that shaped his thinking and the relevance of his philosophy to contemporary readers. In Part I, Donner explores the main components of Mill’s writings in ethics and political philosophy – from On Liberty to Utilitarianism and the Subjection of Women. Central to his ethical views is the development of utilitarianism and the opening chapters look at the structure of Mill’s moral philosophy, featuring the Art of Life. Subsequent chapters focus on the nature and ramifications of Mill’s Liberty Principle, his views on education, liberalism and democracy, sexuality and the subjection of women and finally his incipient environmentalism. In Part II, Richard Fumerton discusses Mill’s work in logic, metaphysics and epistemology, focusing on an accessible account of those views Mill himself was most concerned to defend. This latest volume in Blackwell’s Great Minds series is a lucid and accessible guide for students, researchers, teachers, and general readers, aiming throughout to reveal the fundamental elements underpinning the intricate weave of Mill’s thought.
"An outstanding introduction to Mill, at once accessible and engaging as well as scholarly and full of philosophical interest." –Roger Crisp, University of Oxford "This is the most important book on Mill in the past ten years. I was overwhelmed by the depth of analysis and comprehensiveness of treatment." –Henry West, Macalester College