John Stuart Mill

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Definition of 'John Stuart Mill'

John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist, and civil servant. He was an influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century".

Mill's conception of liberty included both negative liberty (the freedom from interference) and positive liberty (the freedom to do things that are valuable). He argued that the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect people from harm, and that the best way to do this is to promote individual liberty.

Mill's economic theories were based on the principle of utilitarianism, which holds that the right action is the one that produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. He argued that the free market is the best way to achieve this goal, because it allows individuals to pursue their own interests and to trade with each other freely.

Mill's work has had a profound influence on modern thought. His ideas have been used to justify both liberal and conservative political policies, and his work continues to be studied by scholars and policymakers around the world.

In addition to his work in philosophy and economics, Mill was also a social reformer. He campaigned for women's suffrage, the abolition of slavery, and the improvement of working conditions. He was a strong advocate of education, and he believed that everyone should have the opportunity to develop their full potential.

Mill's work has had a lasting impact on the world. His ideas have helped to shape modern thought on a wide range of issues, from politics to economics to social reform. He is a towering figure in the history of ideas, and his work continues to be studied and debated by scholars and policymakers around the world.

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