What Is Victorian Liberalism, What Does It Mean?June 27, 2021
As a philosopher, Mill considers himself charged with a synthesis of 19th century romanticism and valuable intellectual heritage.
His approach is less skeptical than Hume’s and less dogmatic than Bentham’s; but Mill was influenced by both philosophers. Mill’s moral and political philosophy was less extreme than his predecessors, aimed at reform rather than revolution, and formed the basis of British Victorian liberalism.
After completing his first philosophical work, the comprehensive six-volume System of Logic, Mill turned his attention to moral philosophy, and in particular Bentham’s theory of utilitarianism. The elegant simplicity of Bentham’s principle “The greatest happiness for the greatest number” struck him and he believed wholeheartedly in the usefulness of this principle. Mill explains how utilitarianism can be applied to the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth and his interpretation: Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself, and love your neighbors as much as yourself. Mill called this the “ideal perfection of the utilitarian morality.”
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook