Welcome to Catallarchy’s Mill-fest: the Bicentennial Edition
Joe Miller is a professor of philosophy at University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He maintains a blog at Bellum et Mores.
Okay, so this is actually the only edition of Mill-fest. But never mind the details. Today, my friends, is a celebration. It’s a day when liberals of all sorts can come together to admire one of their common ancestors. You see, on 20 May 1806, a London couple welcomed into the world their first son, a prodigy who would begin learning Greek at age 3 and Latin at age 8. As a boy, he translated (and later published) Plato’s dialogues into English, and began formal study of the new science of political economy before puberty. That boy grew into a man who, while holding one of the most senior positions at the East India Company, still found time to write what became Oxbridge’s standard texts in political economy and in logic. By the end of his life, he had written extensively on subjects ranging from French history to botany to religion to psychology; served a term in Parliament; and spent twenty years waiting to marry the woman he loved (a woman who had the poor taste to be married to someone else during that period). Oh, and along the way (in 1859 to be precise), he published a little book that has become the bible for liberals of both the classical and contemporary sort. The man, of course, is John Stuart Mill, and Saturday will mark the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Today at Catallarchy, we will be celebrating, in our own small way, Mill’s enduring legacy. In honor of the day, Catallarchy has brought together liberals of a variety of stripes that we may explore together Mill’s contributions to our shared commitments.
Secure the Borders for the Birthday Boy by Richard Clancy
The Subjection of Women: J.S. Mill on Equality of Women by Jimi Wilson
Experiments in Living and Law by Matt McIntosh
On Liberty and Liberal Indeterminacy by Brian W. Doss