James Mill

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mill, James


Born Apr. 6, 1773, in Northwater Bridge, Scotland; died June 23, 1836, in Kensington. British philosopher, historian, and economist. Father of John Stuart Mill.

James Mill graduated from the faculty of theology of Edinburgh University in 1798. He became a journalist. After the publication of the History of India (vols. 1–3, 1817–18), he obtained a position in the East India Company in London, where he worked for the rest of his life. He was greatly influenced by the utilitarianism of J. Bentham. In his main philosophical work, An Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind (1829), Mill followed the doctrine of D. Hume, striving to reduce all meaning to feelings or experiences, among which he included sensations and “ideas.” He made extensive use of the principle of the association of ideas proposed by Hume and D. Hartley, considering association the basic operation of consciousness. In ethics he was a utilitarian, regarding the public good as the highest principle and the criterion of morality but as a good that could not be completely realized by human beings. He saw the source of personal happiness in devotion to the common good. Characteristic of his sociological views was his denial of the concept of natural law and his effort to explain the content and structure of all social institutions in terms of the principle of utility. An adherent of liberal bourgeois political views, Mill proposed partial improvements in the British constitutional system. He considered the “middle class”—that is, the industrial and commercial bourgeoisie—the true master of the state.


In the book Elements of Political Economy (1821), Mill emerges as a disciple of and a commentator on D. Ricardo’s teachings, which he considered a theoretical weapon in the struggle against the vestiges of feudalism in the economy. At the same time, he distorted and oversimplified Ricardo’s theory, ignoring its essence—the labor theory of value. Thus, he laid the foundation for the disintegration of the Ricardian school. Mill is famous as one of the authors of the apologistic wages-fund theory, according to which the total share of wages in the national income is determined by natural factors and does not depend on the results of the class struggle.


The Principles of Toleration. London, 1837.
A Fragment on Mackintosh, new ed. London, 1870.


Marx, K. “K kritike politicheskoi ekonomii.” In K. Marx and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 13.
Marx, K. “Teorii pribavochnoi stoimosti” (Das Kapital, vol. 4). Ibid., vol. 26.
Rozenberg, D. I. Istoriia politicheskoi ekonomii, part 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935. Pages 304–13.
Istoriia filosofii, vol. 3. [Moscow] 1943. Pages 456–59.
Bain, A. J. Mill. London, 1882.
Stephen, L. The English Utilitarians, vol. 2. New York, 1950.
Mill, John S. Autobiography. New York [1957].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
While sympathetic to the aspirations of the French people and enemies of aristocracy everywhere, neither Bentham nor James Mill was an enthusiast of the principles or practices of the revolutionary leaders.
'Neither the motive nor the content of John Mill's program of internal culture could', he says, 'elicit James Mill's understanding or support.
He takes no notice of the critical distancing that Javed Majeed sees at work in James Mill's History of British India, whereby features of British as well as Indian culture come under severe judgment and intercultural comparisons enable a two-way critique.
While it would be something of an exaggeration to say that a great controversy rages over James Mill's role in the movement for democratic reform in Britain during the first three decades of the nineteenth century, it is certainly true that sharp divisions have existed over exactly how that role is to be cast.(1) According to some, Mill was the spokesman for the political demands of the middle classes, the advocate of a reform of parliament designed to make it representative of the interests of private property.(2) According to others, Mill was more the democrat he often declared himself to be, the advocate of a reform of parliament designed to make it more broadly representative of "the people."(3) Doubtless these divisions persist because so much is at stake.
James Mill died before his son's first major work, System of Logic (1843), appeared.
James Mills, 23, had been swerving around cars in a souped-up vehicle at an average speed of 73mph in a 40mph zone before he smashed into a Ford Mondeo.
James Mills had been enjoying dinner and a trip to the cinema with his girlfriend Emily Cole at the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay but made the shocking discovery as he returned to his car on Friday night.
| James Mills of Wrexham AC won the fourth round of the Borders League in Pensarn, near Abergele on Sunday.
James Mills, Johnstone, Renfrewshire TO those deluded enough to believe the SNP will do anything to save Scottish steel, I offer three words - Hall's of Broxburn.
Leamington-born David James Mills, aged 52, was convicted of murder in 1979.
| READY TO PARTY: Above: Lily Wilson, Chloe Garraty, Emma Marie, Sophie Doyle, Holly Curran and Abigail Senior supply the glamour and left: Callum Mason, Felicia Morris, James Mills, Holly Curran, Matthew Travers, Lily Watson, Chloe Garraty, Glyn Thwaite, Abigail Senior, Jake Robshaw, Emma Marie, George Day-Wood, Sophie Doyle, Taylor Bottomley and Jack Donnell with their stretch limo (s).
Andrew James Mills, 23, of Deepdale Avenue, Middlesbrough, given a one year community order, with a programme requirement and 73 day curfew requirement, for theft.