From that paper it will be seen that opinions identical in principle with those promulgated by Colonel Torrens (there would probably be considerable difference as to the extent of their practical application) have been held by the writer for more than fifteen years: although he cannot claim to himself the original conception, but only the elaboration, of the fundamental doctrine of the Essay... The online edition of the is published under licence from the copyright holder, The University of Toronto Press. This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Collected Works contains a number of Mill’s essays on economic topics, including the collection Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of The University of Toronto Press.
The particulars of Mill's life are too well known - as laid out in his famous Autobiography (1873) for instance - to be worth repeating here, so we will just rattle them out: son of the Ricardian economist James Mill, trained from an early age to be a genius, "lent" by his father to utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, became a utilitarian himself, followed his father into the British East India Company, broke with Bentham, had an existentialist crisis, turned to the doctrines of Saint-Simon and Comte, met Harriet Taylor and waited twenty years for her husband to die, became a public intellectual Whig politician, etc., etc.
Mill published his Essays on Some Unsettled Question , which he began writing over a decade earlier (around 1831), largely in response to the challenge of the Oxford-Dublin school. When Jevons's later grumbled at the "noxious influence of authority" preventing the development of economics, there is little doubt he was referring to J.
ESSAYS ON SOME UNSETTLED QUESTIONS OF POLITICAL ECONOMYby JOHN STUART MILL 1844 PREFACE.
Of these Essays, which were written in 18, the fifth alone has been previously printed.
The primary aim of the edition is to present fully collated texts of those works which exist in a number of versions, both printed and manuscript, and to provide accurate texts of works previously unpublished or which have become relatively inaccessible. They provide important insights into the evolution of the views of their author on economic and social problems; and, since they come from one of the world’s outstanding economists and social philosophers, they still possess great intrinsic interest.
John Stuart Mill’s is one of the great synthetic works of classical economics; anything which throws light on its propositions and their development is therefore of considerable historical importance.
As usual, outside his writings on population, Malthus had put his points so poorly that it was not difficult to make logical mincemeat of them; and this the youthful reviewer does with great relish.
The article contains no indication that he was yet aware of the vulnerable point in crude assertions of his father’s and Say’s arguments about the impossibility of general gluts.
The views of the author of on any aspect of social and economic policy have still great significance at this stage of human history.
For good scholarly reasons the papers here reproduced are printed in chronological order.