UNDERSTANDING JOHN STUART MILL
The Smart Student's Guide to Utilitarianism and On Liberty (Smart Student's Guides to Philosophical Classics)
By: Laurence Houlgate
Publication Date: 2018-06-29
Number of pages: 139
Understanding John Stuart Mill, like the previous two books in the philosophical classics series, is a guide for beginning philosophy and political science students. Previous guides have been to Plato's Socratic Dialogues and the Republic, and to John Locke's Second Treatise of Government. These are guides for smart students who are reading the classic philosophical works for the first time. I use the words "smart students" not to designate high IQ, but to refer to students who want to not only understand Mill's central ideas, but also to learn how to think critically about issues in ethics and political philosophy. John Stuart Mill is generally regarded as a genius and this is displayed in his nineteenth century prose. But my 50+ years of experience teaching Mill and other great philosophers made me aware early in my career that beginning students need a guide to help them through these two classic books. In these guides I break down the book into short sections and explain, in clear twenty-first century English, the progress of Mill's argument. This approach has worked in my classrooms and I am certain it will work for you and all those who want to understand John Stuart Mill.
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