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During the last three decades, thanks to the efforts of J. Schumpeter, G. Stigler, M. Blaug, P. Schwartz, T.W. Hutchison and others, a revaluation of the contribution of…
During the last three decades, thanks to the efforts of J. Schumpeter, G. Stigler, M. Blaug, P. Schwartz, T.W. Hutchison and others, a revaluation of the contribution of John Stuart Mill to the history of economic doctrines in general and to that of economic analysis in particular has taken place on a quite significant scale. The basic portrayal of J.S. Mill as an unoriginal and incoherent writer which prevailed from about the time of his death till around the middle of the present century came to be seriously and, one may say, successfully challenged. While the “eclecticism” of Mill was traditionally emphasised with a pejorative tone, no less than M. Blaug concluded that in the final analysis, it “worked to Mill's advantage” and that “the multiplicity of analytical ideas, often running in opposite directions, opened the way to subsequent refinement and development” (Blaug, 1968, p. 220). The theoretical inventiveness of J.S. Mill was stressed in still louder terms by G. Stigler when he wrote that “he was one of the most original economists in the history of the science” (Stigler, 1955, p. 7).
This article examines relationships between capitalism and democracy as perceived by contending perspectives within the liberal capitalist‐liberal democratic tradition(s)…
This article examines relationships between capitalism and democracy as perceived by contending perspectives within the liberal capitalist‐liberal democratic tradition(s). Bentham and the Mills are taken as initiating both this tradition and the core elements of the debate within it. Pre‐Benthamite theories are first reviewed. Then, after discussion of Bentham and James Mill and of John Stuart Mill, Mill's late nineteenth and early twentieth century successors are examined. We then go on to consider hypotheses concerning the “exceptional” quality of relationships between capitalism and democracy in the United States. The penultimate section of the article adumbrates the main contours of mid‐twentieth century pluralist‐elitist theories. We conclude with a summary.
Elie Halévy essentially expressed the view recorded by James Mill in his anonymously written ‘On the Nature, Measures, and Causes of Value’7 that the first chapter of the…
Elie Halévy essentially expressed the view recorded by James Mill in his anonymously written ‘On the Nature, Measures, and Causes of Value’7 that the first chapter of the Critical Dissertation relating to the nature of value ‘contains not an assertion, who which, as far as ideas politico-economical are concerned, Mr. Ricardo would not have assented; it contains, not indeed, as far as such ideas are concerned, an assertion which is not implied in the propositions which Mr. Ricardo has put forth. It is a criticism on some of Mr. Ricardo's forms of expression…’ ([J. Mill], 1826a, p. 157). The justification for the Ricardian reaction is clear enough, as I shall now show.8
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the various forms of the classical wages fund, and especially the claim that J.S. Mill reversed his position on the nature of…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the various forms of the classical wages fund, and especially the claim that J.S. Mill reversed his position on the nature of the wages fund.
Textual research from original publications of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and J.S. Mill, as well as references to current interpretations of their work are used in this paper.
Although J.S. Mill was a supporter of the classical wages fund model, he did not consistently embrace its assumption of a fixed fund. His comment in his Principles that the “discretion of the capitalist” influences the size of the fund contradicts this assumption. Without consistent support for this component of the doctrine, the “recantation” loses its historical significance, in that it is simply a reaffirmation of the views which Mill held throughout.
It is hoped this paper can close the book on the debate on Mill's supposed recantation. There was no recantation because Mill held no firm position to recant.
It is understood that no one has made the connection between Mill's recantation and his other inconsistencies regarding aspects of the wages fund.
The view of Karl Marx as “revolutionary” endorsing violent overturn of the capitalist system is standard textbook fare filtering through to popular and professional…
The view of Karl Marx as “revolutionary” endorsing violent overturn of the capitalist system is standard textbook fare filtering through to popular and professional opinion. John Stuart Mill specialists frequently contrast their subject with Marx in this regard. The perspective on Marx as “revolutionary” is unconvincing, for Marx was no less “evolutionary” than Mill, his version of evolution reflecting concern that reformist measures to correct perceived injustices in the capitalist-exchange system might assure its permanence, and extending to the stage following a proletarian political takeover which might itself occur by way of democratic voting enabled by extensions of the franchise accorded by the capitalist state itself. Our demonstration prefaces a speculative evaluation of Mill’s stance regarding Marx – “speculative” since Mill apparently never read Capital. In particular, Mill would doubtless have welcomed Marx’s position, for to differentiate him from the continental “revolutionaries” makes excellent sense considering his principle that when it comes to prediction all depends on ruling circumstances coupled with his evolutionism including allowance after a proletarian takeover of a residual capitalist sector, income inequality, and compensation of expropriated property owners. By the same token he would have found unpalatable Marx’s vision for a more distant communism of a central-controlled system.
Sen has recently acknowledged his “immense” debts to the liberal tradition of J.S. Mill and, to much lesser extent, to T.H. Green. This essay explores how identifying…
Sen has recently acknowledged his “immense” debts to the liberal tradition of J.S. Mill and, to much lesser extent, to T.H. Green. This essay explores how identifying himself so enthusiastically with Mill sheds light on one’s understanding of Sen’s defense of the capabilities approach. But trying to understand him through the lens of Mill can be a double-edged sword. Sen not only risks causing his readers to append too much Mill to capabilities liberalism, but he also risks encouraging them to misinterpret Mill. These implications naturally bear significantly on how compelling readers find both Sen’s conception of distributive justice and the public policy recommendations based on it. Besides exploring some of the problematic implications of Sen’s readily identifying with Mill’s liberalism in particular, this essay also speculates on what it means to identify with any political philosophical tradition and how such identification colors and adds momentum to both one’s political theorizing and practical recommendations. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
As noted above, this paper examines how Sen’s esteem for J.S. Mill sheds light on the capabilities approach. It also suggests that using Mill to understand Sen better is fraught with difficulties.
The paper also speculates on what it means to identify with a particular political philosophical tradition much as Sen identifies with Mill’s liberalism.
This paper also explores how such identification with a particular political philosophical tradition colors and adds momentum to both one’s political theorizing and practical recommendations.
Using Mill to understand Sen better is certainly worthwhile. On the other hand, doing this sort of thing risks distorting Mill and even Sen.