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The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill By Alan Ryan

The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill by Alan Ryan

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Summary

This text argues that Mill both saw his views as part of a systematic defence of empiricist epistemology and utilitarian ethics, and was to a large extent successful in offering a coherent and connected defence of this system.

The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill Summary

The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill by Alan Ryan

Mill is usually thought of as an eclectic and unsystematic writer, whose views on freedom contradict his views on moral right and wrong, whose views on causation contradict his views on syllogistic inference and so on. Alan Ryan, however, demonstrates that Mill both saw his views as part of a systematic defence of empiricist epistemology and utilitarian ethics, and was to a large extent successful in offering a coherent and connected defence of this system. Mill aimed to show that we could possess a knowledge of individual and social human nature equal to our knowledge of the material world; the point of showing this was to erect on the science of human nature a utilitarian ethics in which freedom and self-realisation for as many people as possible could be achieved. Written at a time when John Stuart Mill was beginning to be taken seriously as a philosopher who provided more than a storehouse of errors for student philosophers to cut their teeth on, The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill was unusual in insisting on the systematic character of Mill's philosophy. From the philosophy of mathematics to the defence of individual liberty, Mill attacked the prevailing 'intuitive' theories and put a subtle empiricism in their place. Since the first edition of this acclaimed study in 1970, many writers have contributed to a more systematic understanding of Mill's programme for philosophy, ethics and social science, and Alan Ryan's preface to the second edition briefly assesses the way Mill appeared in this later climate of opinion.

The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill Reviews

'The time has come for a reassessment of Mill in the round, and this we have, admirably executed, in this book by Mr Ryan.' - J.O. Urmson, Philosophical Quarterly 'Ryan's emphasis upon Mill's consistency makes the total picture that emerges refreshingly suggestive and interesting...he has accomplished admirably what he set out to do.' - John D. Lewis, American Political Science Review 'Alan Ryan aims in this book to show that Mill was far more genuinely a systematic philosopher than has often been supposed...he seeks to demonstrate a consistency of purpose in Mill which has either been denied by his interpreters, or, very frequently, simply overlooked by those who have read different parts of his philosophy at different times, and never thought much about the connections between them. This is a very intelligent and absorbing book which is extremely well worth reading by anyone interested in Mill as a philosopher.' - Mary Warnock, New Society

About Alan Ryan

ALAN RYAN is Warden of New College, Oxford. From 1988 to 1996 he taught at Princeton University, and before that at Oxford. His most recent book is John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism; he has written extensively on John Stuart Mill, and on the history of political thought more generally.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition Acknowledgements Introduction The Deductive Conception of Explanation 'Real' Inference Induction and Its Canons Tendencies and Uniformities Mathematics as an Inductive Science Mind and Matter Freedom in a Determined World False Steps in Social Science Mechanics as a Model for Sociology Social Astronomy Towards Rationality in Ethics Utility and Justice On Liberty: Beyond Duty to Personal Aesthetics Bibliography Bibliography of Works Cited in the Preface to the Second Edition Additional Select Bibliography Index

Additional information

GOR003773756
9780333727195
0333727193
The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill by Alan Ryan
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Palgrave Macmillan
1998-04-30
302
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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