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How were John Stuart Mill's views on women influential?
Mill expressed these views at a time when it was fashionable for educated men to sentimentalize the traditional role of women. Such sentimentalization, for example, can be seen in social thinker and critic John Ruskin's Sesame and Lillies, or English writer and critic Coventry Patmore's poem "The Angel in the House." Many religious authorities and political leaders were outraged and shocked by Mill's opinions on this matter. On the other hand, the suffragist movement had already begun in both England and the United States, and the support of a famous philosopher and public figure was perceived to be a great help in the cause.
Nonetheless, it wasn't until about 50 years after The Subjection of Women (1869) was published that women got the vote in both countries. Although the rights Mill advocated for women are now largely taken for granted, some feminists believe that Mill's failure to address the issue of the division of labor within the family rendered his arguments for the liberation of women incomplete, as did his basic assumption that, even once liberated, the vast majority of women would still choose to be wives and mothers. And although Mill stressed the personal development of women, he did so more within the context of their traditional roles than in terms of their autonomy as human beings.
What was John Stuart Mill's view of logic and scientific methodology?
Foremost, Mill argued that deductive logic does not depend on intuition for its proof, but rather on internal consistency. The foundational assumptions or axioms of all sciences are based on experience. Even the shared scientific axiom that nature is uniform or law-like is proved through simple enumeration of confirming examples, that is, through induction. More specific causal explanations do no more than summarize necessary and sufficient conditions: A necessary condition is always present when the effect occurs; the effect is always present when a sufficient condition is present. For example,
Who was Harriet Taylor?
Harriet Taylor (1807-1858) was John Stuart Mill's wife. He met her when he was 25, while still recovering from his nervous breakdown. She had been married since the age of 18 to John Taylor, with whom she had three sons. Mill and Harriet Taylor had what they described as a platonic relationship, until the death of her husband after 20 years of marriage. At one point, the Taylors separated, with Harriet taking her daughter to live with her, while John raised their sons.
Some feminist writers believe that Harriet was actually the author of Mill's The Subjection of Women, (1869) as well as other writings, such as On Liberty (1859), for which Mill gave her great credit. Taylor's contemporary detractors referred to her as "that stupid woman," and said she only appeared to have been Mill's collaborator because she was adept at repeating what he had already said or written. Taylor published very little in her own name. She was a founding member of the Kensington Society, which circulated the first petition for the rights of women, and she contributed articles to the Unitarian journal, Monthly Repository. Mill was without question extremely devoted to her, and after her death he wrote:
Were I but capable of interpreting to the world one half the great thoughts and noble feelings which are buried in her grave, I should be the medium of a greater benefit to it, than is ever likely to arise from anything that I can write, unprompted and unassisted by her all but unrivalled wisdom.
a bullet to the brain is sufficient to cause death in most cases, but it is not necessary because people die from other causes. Or, oxygen is necessary to cause fire, but it is not sufficient because fire requires friction and combustible material, as well as oxygen.
Mill also thought that the basic principles of arithmetic and geometry could be proved by induction. He agreed with Isidore Marie Auguste Frangois Xavier Comte (1798-1857) about a unified view of the social sciences, whereby the laws for more general sciences could be derived from what is known about more specific sciences. For example, observations of individual human behavior could result in a science of psychology, and observations of individual psychology could result in a science of society or sociology. It should be noted that much subsequent theoretical work in mathematics and social science did not find Mill's ideas useful.
Who was Auguste Comte?
Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte (1798-1857) was famous and influential in his day as a sociologist, and even coined the word "sociologie." He was the first Western sociologist. Comte has also endured as the founder of positivism.
Comte taught mathematics for a while at l'École Polytechnique in Paris, where he himself was educated. Although mental illness—to the extent of psychotic episodes that required hospitalization—interfered with his work, his condition stabilized enough for him to complete his major work during a marriage that ended in divorce. After the woman he loved in a subsequent platonic relationship died, he formulated his mission to create a new "religion of humanity." Comte published Cours de philosophie positive (Course in Positive Philosophy) in six volumes from 1830 to 1832.
What was Auguste Comte's positivism?
Comte advocated the use of mathematics for making decisions in ways that still influence statistics and business models today. He believed that our knowledge all comes from observation and asserted that it was impossible to know anything about physical objects that could not be observed. The goal of science was prediction, said Comte, and explanation has the same structure as prediction. He meant by this that a theory that generates predictions about what will happen can also explain what has happened. For example, suppose our theory is that friction, oxygen, and combustible material will cause fire. From this we can predict that striking a match will result in a flame, and we can also explain why striking the match causes the flame Comte also thought that imagination should always be kept in check by observation.
What were Auguste Comte's sociological ideas?
Comte believed that in all the sciences, there are three historical phases: theological, metaphysical, and scientific or positive.
Auguste Comte is credited with coining the term "sociology" (Art Archive).
The theological phase contains religious restrictions and belief in the supernatural. The metaphysical phase involves the justification of political rights above authority. In the scientific phase, solutions to social problems can be found. By combining these laws of phases, Comte developed an "Encyclopedic Law," according to which all of the sciences could be ordered into a hierarchy in which sociology was the greatest and included all of the others. Comte wrote: "If it is true that every theory must be based upon observed facts, it is equally true that facts can not be observed without the guidance of some theories." He thus posited an interconnection between facts and theories, which holds to this day.
Did Auguste Comte believe in altruism?
Yes. In fact, Comte coined the word "altruism," meaning an obligation to help and serve others, even at cost or harm to one's own self-interests.
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