Liberty Fund is pleased to present in paperback eight of the original thirty-three hardcover volumes of the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill that were first published by the University of Toronto Press and that remain most relevant to liberty and responsibility in the twenty-first century.
Volume 1 features Mill’s Autobiography as well as related essays which together paint a balanced picture of his early life, including his rigorous “home schooling” at the hands of his father, James Mill, and the emotional crisis of his early adulthood. Such insights are a wonderful primer for later substantive volumes of Mill’s work and shed light on the character of nineteenth-century Britain’s foremost liberal intellectual. This volume was assembled under the direction of Professor John M. Robson of the University of Toronto and includes such rare material as Mill’s childhood writings, examples of his early articles published in such journals as The Westminster Review and the London Review, and a youthful critique of his father’s philosophical contributions.
Aphorisms: Thoughts in the Cloister and the Crowd
THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF WISDOM: in the one, every age in which science flourishes, surpasses, or ought to surpass, its predecessors; of the other, there is nearly an equal amount in all ages. The first is the wisdom which depends upon long chains of reasoning, a comprehensive survey of the whole of a great subject at once, or complicated and subtle processes of metaphysical analysis: this is properly philosophy other is that acquired by experience of life, and a good use of the opportunities possessed by all who have mingled much with the world, or who have a large share of human nature in their own breasts. This unsystematic wisdom, drawn by acute minds in all periods of history from their personal experience, is properly termed the wisdom of ages; and every lettered age has left a portion of it upon record. It is nowhere more genuine than in the old fabulists, Esop and others. The speeches in Thucydides are among the most remarkable specimens of it. Aristotle and Quintilian have worked up rich stores of it into their systematic writings; nor ought Horace’s Satires, and especially his Epistles, to be forgotten. But the form in which this kind of wisdom most naturally embodies itself is that of aphorisms; and such, from the Proverbs of Solomon to our own day, is the shape it has oftenest assumed.
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), British philosopher, economist, moral and political theorist, and administrator, was the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century. His views are of continuing significance, and are generally recognized to be among the deepest and certainly the most effective defenses of empiricism and of a liberal political view of society and culture. The overall aim of his philosophy is to develop a positive view of the universe and the place of humans in it, one which contributes to the progress of human knowledge, individual freedom and human well-being. His views are not entirely original, having their roots in the British empiricism of John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume, and in the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham. But he gave them a new depth, and his formulations were sufficiently articulate to gain for them a continuing influence among a broad public.