Posted on July 24, by Scott Alexander I. Prospect Magazine writes about the problem with meritocracy. First Things thinks meritocracy is killing America. Feminist Philosophers comes out against meritocracy.
References and Further Reading 1. I do not expect to see anything like it again. Mill established this rule over English thought through his writings in logic, epistemology, economics, social and political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, religion, and current affairs.
One can say with relative security, looking at the breadth and complexity of his work, that Mill was the greatest nineteenth century British philosopher. This rule did not come about accidentally. James Mill was born in Scotland in to a family of modest means. Through the patronage of Sir John and Lady Jane Stuart, he was able to attend the University of Edinburgh, which at the time was one of the finest universities in Europe.
After a brief and generally unsuccessful stint as a minister, James Mill moved to London, where he began his career in letters. This was a difficult path for a man of very modest resources to take; he and his wife Harriet married lived without financial security for well over a decade.
It was only with the publication of his The History of British India in —a work that took twelve years to write—that Mill was able to land a stable, well paying job at the East India Company that enabled him to support his large family ultimately consisting of his wife and nine children.
Throughout the years of relative poverty, James Mill received assistance from friends including the great legal theorist and utilitarian reformer Jeremy Bentham, whom he met in This philosophically inspired radicalism of the early nineteenth century positioned itself against the Whigs and Tories.
Moreover, one aspect of their political temperament that distinguished them from Whigs and Tories was their rationalism—their willingness to recommend re-structuring social and political institutions under the explicit guidance of principles of reason e.
While Whig intellectuals and Radicals tended to align with each other on economic issues, both tending towards pro-urban, pro-industrial, laissez-faire policies, Tory intellectuals focused on defending traditional British social structures and ways of life associated with aristocratic agrarianism.
These alliances can be seen in disputes over the Tory-supported Corn Laws, legislation meant to protect domestic agriculture by taxing imported grains. James Mill saw the Whigs as too imbued with aristocratic interests to be a true organ of democratic reform. Only the Radicals could properly advocate for the middle and working classes.
Moreover, unlike the Radicals, who possessed a systematic politics guided by the principle of utility the principle that set the promotion of aggregate happiness as the standard for legislation and actionthe Whigs lacked a systematic politics. The Whigs depended instead on a loose empiricism, which the senior Mill took as an invitation to complacency.
The younger Mill was seen as the crown prince of the Philosophic Radical movement and his famous education reflected the hopes of his father and Bentham. Under the dominating gaze of his father, he was taught Greek beginning at age three and Latin at eight.
He read histories, many of the Greek and Roman classics, and Newton by eleven. He studied logic and math, moving to political economy and legal philosophy in his early teens, and then went on to metaphysics. His training facilitated active command of the material through the requirement that he teach his younger siblings and through evening walks with his father when the precocious pupil would have to tell his father what he had learned that day.
His year in France in led to a fluency in French and initiated his life-long interest in French thought and politics. As he matured, his father and Bentham both employed him as an editor.
In addition, he founded a number of intellectual societies and study groups and began to contribute to periodicals, including the Westminster Review.
Mill claims that he began to come out of his depression with the help of poetry specifically Wordsworth. This contributed to his sense that while his education had fostered his analytic abilities, it had left his capacity for feeling underdeveloped.
This realization made him re-think the attachment to the radical, rationalistic strands of Enlightenment thought that his education was meant to promote. In response to this crisis, Mill began exploring Romanticism and a variety of other European intellectual movements that rejected secular, naturalistic, worldly conceptions of human nature.
He also became interested in criticisms of urbanization and industrialization. These explorations were furthered by the writings of and frequent correspondence with thinkers from a wide sampling of intellectual traditions, including Thomas Carlyle, Auguste Comte, Alexis de Tocqueville, John Ruskin, M.
Molesworth quickly bought out the old Westminster Review into leave the new London and Westminster Review as the unopposed voice of the radicals. Collected Works [CW], I. Mill would spend his career attempting to carry that out. Harriet Taylor, friend, advisor, and eventual wife, helped him with this project.
Unfortunately for Mill, Taylor was married.
Her death in left him inconsolable. Beyond question is that Mill found in her a partner, friend, critic, and someone who encouraged him. Mill was probably most swayed by her in the realms of political, ethical, and social thought, but less so in the areas of logic and political economy with the possible exception of his views on socialism.
On his retirement and after the death of his wife, Mill was recruited to stand for a Parliamentary seat. Though he was not particularly effective during his one term as an MP, he participated in three dramatic events.
Second, he headed the Jamaica Committee, which pushed unsuccessfully for the prosecution of Governor Eyre of Jamaica, who had imposed brutal martial law after an uprising by black farmers protesting poverty and disenfranchisement.
Third, Mill used his influence with the leaders of the laboring classes to defuse a potentially dangerous confrontation between government troops and workers who were protesting the defeat of the Reform Bill.Alexander Bain Sue Young Histories Alexander Bain was a Scottish philosopher and educationalist..
had appeared in magazines, under the title of Practical Essays. Two New Heuristics in Response to Formulaic Writing: What Lies of writing . Proverbs are popularly defined as short expressions of popular wisdom. Efforts to improve on the popular definition have not led to a more precise definition.
The wisdom is in the form of a general observation about the world or a bit of advice, sometimes more nearly an attitude toward a situation. Emily and Jagger are back! Emily's coping with the fact that Jagger's a vampire, and especially with how Jagger is so longing to bite her, since he's finally found the girl he's willing to spend eternity with.
Book digitized by Google from the library of the New York Public Library and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb.
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Quibble: The term “meritocracy” was initially coined as a negative term in a dystopian science-fiction novel criticizing streaming in British schools. It subsequently was adopted as a positive term, which the author in question rather disliked.