Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Rare Mill Trifecta

Adam Gopnik on John Stuart Mill:

For Mill, intelligence is defined by sufficient detachment from one’s own case to consider it as one of many; a child becomes humanly intelligent the moment it realizes that there are other minds just like its own, working in the same way on the material available to them. The tribal nationalist is stupid because he fails to recognize that, given a slight change of location and accident of birth, he would have embraced the position of his adversary. Put him in another’s shoes and he would turn them into Army boots as well.
I think that's right about Mill, right in general, and nicely put.

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