Mill

Mill

[mil]
Mill, James, 1773-1836, British philosopher, economist, and historian, b. Scotland; father of John Stuart Mill. Educated as a clergyman at Edinburgh through the patronage of Sir John Stuart, Mill gave up the ministry and went to London in 1802 to pursue a career writing for and editing periodicals. He met Jeremy Bentham c.1808 and became an ardent advocate of utilitarianism. On the strength of his History of British India (3 vol., 1817), on which he had worked for over 10 years, Mill secured a permanent position with the British East India Company. His other works include Elements of Political Economy (1821), Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind (2 vol., 1829), and A Fragment on Mackintosh (1835), which contains the best exposition of his psychological and ethical theories. Mill furnished a psychological basis for utilitarian ethics by expanding the associationism of David Hume. According to Mill, association by contiguity, where ideas that occur frequently together form combinations, may be such a subtle process that the merging of ideas may occur without leaving any trace of the elements that went into their formulation. Derived conceptions may thus achieve autonomy of value quite apart from their obvious egoistic advantage. This is seen as the origin of altruistic motives, which are otherwise difficult to explain on utilitarian grounds, and also as the origin of conscience.

See W. H. Burston, James Mill on Philosophy and Education (1973); B. Mazlish, James and John Stuart Mill (1975, repr. 1988).

Mill, John, 1645-1707, English clergyman and biblical scholar. The masterpiece of scholarly critical work to which 30 years of his life were devoted is an edition (1707) of the Greek New Testament. Dr. John Fell, bishop of Oxford, encouraged Mill to undertake the task, giving over his own notes and assuming the expense of printing.
Mill, John Stuart, 1806-73, British philosopher and economist. A precocious child, he was educated privately by his father, James Mill. In 1823, abandoning the study of law, he became a clerk in the British East India Company, where he rose to become head of the examiner's office by the time of the company's dissolution (1858). During this period he contributed to various periodicals, becoming a popular journalist, and met with discussion groups, one of which included Thomas Macaulay, to explore the problems of political theory. His A System of Logic (1843) was followed in 1848 by the Principles of Political Economy, which influenced English radical thought. In 1851, two years after the death of her husband, he married Harriet Taylor, whom he had loved for 20 years. She died in 1858, and Mill, profoundly affected, dedicated to her the famous On Liberty (1859), on which they had worked together. His Utilitarianism was published in 1863, and Auguste Comte and Positivism appeared in 1865. From 1865 to 1868 Mill served as a member of Parliament, after which he retired, spending much of his time at Avignon, France, where his wife was buried and where he died. His celebrated Autobiography appeared during the year of his death.

John Stuart Mill's philosophy followed the doctrines of his father and his father's mentor, Jeremy Bentham, but he sought to temper them with humanitarianism. At times Mill came close to socialism, a theory repugnant to his predecessors. In logic, he formulated rules for the inductive process, and he stressed the method of empiricism as the source of all knowledge. In his ethics, he pointed out the possibility of a sentiment of unity and solidarity that may even develop a religious character, as in Comte's religion of humanity. In addition he introduced into the utilitarian calculus of pleasure a qualitative principle that goes far beyond the simpler conception of quantity (see utilitarianism). He constantly advocated political and social reforms, such as proportional representation, emancipation of women (he believed in total equality between the sexes), an end to slavery, and the development of labor organizations and farm cooperatives. He also strongly supported the Union cause in the American Civil War. Mill's influence has been strong in economics, politics, and philosophy.

See biography by R. Reeves (2008); B. Mazlish, James and John Stuart Mill (1975, repr. 1988); M. Cowling, Mill and Liberalism (1963); J. M. Robson, The Improvement of Mankind: The Social and Political Thought of John Stuart Mill (1968); H. J. McCloskey, John Stuart Mill: A Critical Study (1971); F. H. von Hayek, John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor: Their Correspondence and Subsequent Marriage (1951, repr. 1979); J. Riley, Liberal Utilitarianism: Social Choice Theory and J. S. Mill's Philosophy (1988).

mill: see milling.

Machine for tapping the energy of running or falling water (hence a prime mover) by means of a set of paddles or buckets mounted around a wheel. The force of the moving water against the paddles, or the weight of water poured into the buckets, rotates the wheel. The resulting power is transmitted to machinery via the shaft of the wheel. The waterwheel was perhaps the earliest source of mechanical energy to replace that of humans and animals, and it was first used for such tasks as raising water and grinding grain. Seealso waterpower.

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(born May 20, 1806, London, Eng.—died May 8, 1873, Avignon, France) British philosopher and economist, the leading expositor of utilitarianism. He was educated exclusively and exhaustively by his father, James Mill. By age 8 he had read in the original Greek Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis, and all of Herodotus, and he had begun a study of Euclid's geometry; at age 12 he began a thorough study of scholastic logic. In 1823 he cofounded the Utilitarian Society with Jeremy Bentham, though he would later significantly modify the utilitarianism he inherited from Bentham and his father to meet the criticisms it encountered. In 1826 he and Bentham cofounded London University (now University College). From 1828 to 1856 he was an assistant examiner in India House, where from 1836 he was in charge of the East India Company's relations with the Indian states. In the 1840s he published his great systematic works in logic and political economy, chiefly A System of Logic (2 vol., 1843) and Principles of Political Economy (2 vol., 1848). As head of the examiner's office in India House from 1856 to 1858 he wrote a defense of the company's government of India when the transfer of its powers was proposed. In 1859 he published On Liberty, a trenchant defense of individual freedom. His Utilitarianism (1863) is a closely reasoned attempt to answer objections to his ethical theory and to address misconceptions about it; he was especially insistent that “utility” include the pleasures of the imagination and the gratification of the higher emotions and that his system include a place for settled rules of conduct. In 1869 he published The Subjection of Women (written 1861), now the classical theoretical statement of the case for woman suffrage. Prominent as a publicist in the reforming age of the 19th century, he remains of lasting interest as a logician and ethical theorist. Seealso Mill's methods.

Learn more about Mill, John Stuart with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born April 6, 1773, Northwater Bridge, Forfarshire, Scot.—died June 23, 1836, London, Eng.) Scottish philosopher, historian, and economist. After studying at the University of Edinburgh and teaching, he went to London in 1802, where he met Jeremy Bentham and became a major promulgator of Bentham's utilitarianism. He wrote for several journals, including the Edinburgh Review (1808–13), and contributed articles on government and education to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He helped found London University in 1825. After completing his History of British India (3 vol., 1817), he was appointed an official in India House (1819) and later became head of the examiner's office (1830). His criticism of British rule led to changes in the government of India. His Elements of Political Economy (1821) summarized the views of David Ricardo, and his Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind (1829) associated psychology with utilitarianism, a doctrine continued by his son, John Stuart Mill. Mill is considered the founder of philosophical radicalism.

Learn more about Mill, James with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born May 20, 1806, London, Eng.—died May 8, 1873, Avignon, France) British philosopher and economist, the leading expositor of utilitarianism. He was educated exclusively and exhaustively by his father, James Mill. By age 8 he had read in the original Greek Aesop's Fables, Xenophon's Anabasis, and all of Herodotus, and he had begun a study of Euclid's geometry; at age 12 he began a thorough study of scholastic logic. In 1823 he cofounded the Utilitarian Society with Jeremy Bentham, though he would later significantly modify the utilitarianism he inherited from Bentham and his father to meet the criticisms it encountered. In 1826 he and Bentham cofounded London University (now University College). From 1828 to 1856 he was an assistant examiner in India House, where from 1836 he was in charge of the East India Company's relations with the Indian states. In the 1840s he published his great systematic works in logic and political economy, chiefly A System of Logic (2 vol., 1843) and Principles of Political Economy (2 vol., 1848). As head of the examiner's office in India House from 1856 to 1858 he wrote a defense of the company's government of India when the transfer of its powers was proposed. In 1859 he published On Liberty, a trenchant defense of individual freedom. His Utilitarianism (1863) is a closely reasoned attempt to answer objections to his ethical theory and to address misconceptions about it; he was especially insistent that “utility” include the pleasures of the imagination and the gratification of the higher emotions and that his system include a place for settled rules of conduct. In 1869 he published The Subjection of Women (written 1861), now the classical theoretical statement of the case for woman suffrage. Prominent as a publicist in the reforming age of the 19th century, he remains of lasting interest as a logician and ethical theorist. Seealso Mill's methods.

Learn more about Mill, John Stuart with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born April 6, 1773, Northwater Bridge, Forfarshire, Scot.—died June 23, 1836, London, Eng.) Scottish philosopher, historian, and economist. After studying at the University of Edinburgh and teaching, he went to London in 1802, where he met Jeremy Bentham and became a major promulgator of Bentham's utilitarianism. He wrote for several journals, including the Edinburgh Review (1808–13), and contributed articles on government and education to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He helped found London University in 1825. After completing his History of British India (3 vol., 1817), he was appointed an official in India House (1819) and later became head of the examiner's office (1830). His criticism of British rule led to changes in the government of India. His Elements of Political Economy (1821) summarized the views of David Ricardo, and his Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind (1829) associated psychology with utilitarianism, a doctrine continued by his son, John Stuart Mill. Mill is considered the founder of philosophical radicalism.

Learn more about Mill, James with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Mill may refer to the following:

  • Mill (grinding), equipment for the grinding or pulverizing of raw materials using millstones
  • Mill (factory), a place of business for making articles of manufacture. The term mill was once in common use for a factory because many factories in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution were powered by a watermill, but nowadays it is only used in a few specific contexts; e.g.
    • a cotton mill is a factory for processing cotton
    • a paper mill produces paper
    • a sawmill cuts timber
    • a gristmill grinds grain into flour
    • a steel mill manufactures steel
    • a sugar mill (also called a sugar refinery) processes sugar beets or sugar cane into various finished products
    • a huller (also called a rice mill, or rice husker) is used to hull rice
  • Milling machine, metalworking machine that operates by rotating a cutting bit while the workpiece is moved against the cutter on an XY table.
  • Stamp mill, a specialized machine for reducing ore to powder for further processing or for fracturing other materials
  • Mill (currency), a denomination used by some currencies, equivalent of a tenth of a cent/penny, or a thousandth of currency unit. In some currencies, like the Cypriot pound (introduced in 1955 and lasting until 1983), the use of mills has long ago been abolished and have been replaced entirely by cents.
  • The standard author abbreviation Mill. may be used to indicate botanist Philip Miller's work when citing a botanical name
  • Diploma mill or degree mill an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies
  • Nine Men's Morris, a traditional board game; the term "mill" may also mean "three (playing pieces) in a row" within the game
  • Arithmetical unit, used in the context of Charles Babbage's Analytical engine, a 19th century concept of a computer
  • Windmill (breakdance move) or mill, a power move in breakdancing
  • The Mill (post-production), a visual effects company
  • Millage, a property tax

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