James Mill’s (1773-1836) role in the development of utilitarian thought in the nineteenth century has been overshadowed both by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Of the three, the elder Mill is considered to be the least original and with the least important, if any, contributions to utilitarian theory. Yet, almost half a century after his death, some still thought that there was "no considerable movement in the early years of the century […] outside the unobtrusive yet substantial influence of the elder Mill". To the extent that there was truth in that remark, perhaps there was much more to James Mill that meets the eye. The focus of this book is primarily on his political ideas, the ways in which he communicated them and, to some extent, the ways in which he formed them.
Introduction: Father and Son in the Nineteenth Century Part One: Utilitarian Logic 1. The Method of Philosophy 2. The Method of Teaching 3. The Method of Persuasion Part Two: Utilitarian Politics 4. Government 5. Liberty 6. Happiness Conclusion: The Death of James Mill