Works Mill was a prolific author on a variety of subjects, including logic and political economy (a subject on which, despite his liberalism, he showed some sympathy with socialist aspirations).
However, in the present context his major works are a series of extended essays: (1869).
In contrast, Mill thought that educated people should have disproportionate influence over electoral outcomes.
, though, remains Mill's best-known and most influential work (for analysis, see pages 99-103, Chapter 4).
Philosophy, for Mill, was a Manichean struggle between two opposed schools of thought, that of a priorists who believe it to be possible ‘by direct intuition, to perceive things, and recognise truths, not cognizable by our senses,’ and that of the empiricist followers of Locke, who maintain that, ‘Of nature, or anything whatever external to ourselves, we know ...
nothing, except the facts which present themselves to our senses, and such other facts as may, by analogy, be inferred from these’ (, p. His own allegiance to the ‘school of experience’ was unwavering, and he believed that whatever shortcomings were to be found in the writings of Locke, Hartley, Bentham and other of its influential protagonists could be removed without any fundamental deviation from the spirit of their doctrines.
However, there was room for interminable debate over the concept of 'harm'. Mill tended to think that individuals should be robust enough to shrug off slanderous stories; but this view was clearly based on an 'ideal' model of human nature, which not everyone could emulate.
On more topical issues, even if it were proven that second-hand cigarette smoke could harm people, it was a matter of judgement whether this knowledge should produce an outright ban on smoking in public, or separate accommodation for those who wished to smoke.
Mill thought that it was 'better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied', which implied that utilitarian governments should aim at producing well-rounded citizens rather than people who were mindlessly happy.
In , Mill made another big breach in rudimentary utilitarian thought, which had argued for a democratic system in which the vote of every individual should have equal weight.