18 May, 2006 320 Political science

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the great nineteenth century political philosopher John Stuart Mill. He believed that, ‘The true philosophy is the marriage of poetry and logic’. He was one of the first thinkers to argue that a social theory must engage with ideas of culture and the internal life. He used Wordsworth to inform his social theory, he was a proto feminist and his treatise On Liberty is one of the sacred texts of liberalism. J S Mill believed that action was the natural articulation of thought. He battled throughout his life for social reform and individual freedom and was hugely influential in the extension of the vote. Few modern discussions on race, birth control, the state and human rights have not been influenced by Mill’s theories. How did Mill’s utilitarian background shape his political ideas? Why did he think Romantic literature was significant to the rational structure of society? On what grounds did he argue for women’s equality? And how did his notions of the individual become central to modern social theory?

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  • A C Grayling 4 episodes
    Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London
  • Janet Radcliffe Richards 5 episodes
    Reader in Bioethics at University College London
  • Alan Ryan No other episodes
    Professor of Politics at Oxford University

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, the 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill believed that quote the true philosophy is the marriage of poetry and logic unquote.