The Moral and Political Philosophy of John Stuart Mill
This seminar will attempt to give an overview of Mill's thought, focusing on his views in moral and political philosophy but also including other relevant aspects of his thought. (Students especially interested in Mill's empiricism, psychology, political economy, and other views will be encouraged to pursue them independently.) We will read his most famous work (On Liberty, Utilitarianism, System of Logic, Subjection of Women, the essays on Bentham) and also some that is less well known (such as his essays on religion, Coleridge, Whewell, Compte, and on Civilization, the Corn Laws, the US Civil War, and the French Revolution). Our goals will be both historical and problem-oriented, in that we will try to reconstruct a coherent viewpoint to attribute to Mill, but we will also consider how well his views stand up to philosophical and empirical scrutiny. Students may write either primarily exegetical or theoretical term papers, or papers that combine these approaches.