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John Stuart Mill: The Utility Man

Wednesday 17 May 2006 11:00-11:30 (Radio 4 FM)


John Stuart Mill who was born on 20th May 1806, was reading ancient Greek at the age of three, Latin at eight and (unsurprisingly) having a nervous breakdown at 20. He fell in love with Harriet, who was married, wrote highly important works On Liberty and Utilitarianism, became an MP and was a major political reformer.

Peter Cave, through his own life as a philosopher and follower of Mill's Utilitarianism - acting for the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people - considers how this great Victorian thinker has influenced the world 200 years after his birth. Is Mill right to say: "tis better to be a dissatisfied Socrates than a satisfied pig"?

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