The British people find it hard to cherish their philosophers. In France, the recent centenary of Jean-Paul Sartre was virtually a state event, with newspaper pull-outs bearing his toad-face and endless adulations. In the United States – a country we like to jeer at as ignorant – most people at least learn some lines of Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s at school. But here, the bicentenary of the birth of perhaps our greatest philosopher – John Stuart Mill – is passing in the night.
This is tragic, because Mill is our contemporary and our guide in a way that is true of very few philosophers. If you read his Collected Works after reading the day’s newspapers, it is as if he is an unimaginably brilliant columnist, commenting on yesterday, today and tomorrow.
more from The Philosopher’s Magazine here.