John Stuart Mill (1806–1873): The Benefits of the Liberty of Men and Women for Society

John Stuart Mill was born in 1806, in London, as the oldest son of the Scottish historian and philosopher, James Mill. His father almost immediately put Mill on a pedagogic diet well beyond his years, teaching him Greek when he was only three years old, and Latin when he was eight, by which time Mill had also read several of Plato’s dialogues. Before he entered his teens, Mill began studying logic and mathematics, and soon after, also mastered the political economy of Smith and Ricardo. During all this time, Mill also read a lot of history.

All of Mill’s education was supervised by his father and his father’s philosopher friend, Jeremy Bentham. Mill neither ...

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