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Reforming Culture: Morality and Politics

Reforming Culture: Morality and Politics

(p.204) Chapter Four Reforming Culture: Morality and Politics
Reforming Philosophy
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the moral and political context in which the debate between Mill and Whewell over science developed. It discusses the evolution of Mill's political views as he moved from his early admiration of Benthamism to the realization of its shortcomings. Under the influence of Coleridge, Auguste Comte, and the Saint-Simonians, Mill began to understand that the Benthamite approach to politics was flawed. In order truly to reform society, Mill came to believe, there must be a “change of character…in the uncultivated herd.” Individuals, not merely political institutions, needed to be reformed. Mill believed that this transformation of the mind could be brought about by a certain kind of education and nurtured by a particular type of liberty.

Keywords:   morality, politics, Benthamism, education, liberty, transformation of the mind, culture reform

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