vasilis grollios on j. s. mill


Vasilis Grollios, ‘Philosophy of history and philosophical anthropology in J.S. Mill’s views on colonialism’, Journal of Political Ideologies (Published online: 20 May 2014).

The article aims to bring to light the philosophical background of J.S. Mill’s views of colonialism. His philosophy of history and his philosophical anthropology are strongly connected to his theory of democracy in this area of Mill’s social theory. Although he was undoubtedly radical according to the standards of his day, Mill adopts the anti-democratic logic of the capitalist mode of production and uses it as a gauge of cultural development. For the first time, this article aims to show that behind Mill’s adoption of a Eurocentric logic lies a fear of democracy that is ultimately based on the fact that, for Mill, private property, enterprise, industry, accumulation of wealth and the work ethic are the main pillars of capitalism and are used by Mill as the essential determinants of cultural progress. Even the key tenet of his philosophy, utility, bears a meaning that is determined by these values. The article attempts to prove that Mill’s ethical philosophy was formed on the basis of the social logic of capitalism and set the framework for Mill’s analysis of the hierarchy of civilizations, since his utilitarianism was not applicable to those who did not abide by the values of the industrial ethic.

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