Philosophy Lecture Series with Henry West, Lecture 1: John Stuart Mill

7:30 AM  - 9:00 AM
Tuesday Apr 1, 2014
Room 250, Olin-Rice Science Center

Join the early-rising Macalester community for three lectures by everybody's favorite philosophy professor, Henry West, Tuesday mornings at 7:30 a.m., April 1, 8 and 15. Coffee and pastries will be provided. Best parking is in the Leonard Center lot, off Snelling. Find it online here.

Lecture 1: John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873) The greatest British philosopher of the 19th century and the subject of Dr. West's scholarship. Mill never held an academic position but contributed to all fields of philosophy and was the foremost economist of his day.

The next two sessions are:
Lecture 2: April 8 - Karl Marx (1818-1883) The inspiration for the Communist regimes, but if he had been alive to see them he would have said, "If this is Marxism, I'm not a Marxist".

Lecture 3: April 15 - Theories of Justice Dr. West will discuss theories developed by John Rawls, (A Theory of Justice), Robert Nozick (Anarchy, State and Revolution) and others.

Register online here. Choose to attend one, two or all three lectures.

Questions? Contact the Alumni Office for non-philosophical questions at

John Stuart Mill was the greatest British philosopher of the 19th century. He had an unusual education, tutored by his father, learning Greek at age 3. His Autobiography is a classic work of that genre. He never held an academic position, working for the British East Company. But he contributed to all fields of philosophy and was the foremost economist of his day. His philosophy was “Utilitarianism”—that all practical decisions should be based on utility, which he interpreted as the greatest happiness and least unhappiness. On that basis one should evaluate laws, economic systems, moral rules, and individual actions. One of his most famous theses, stated in the book On Liberty, is that mature individuals should be left alone to lead their lives as they choose so long as they are not interfering with the rights of others. He was highly critical of capitalism, but unlike Karl Marx, he did not advocate violent revolution. He believed in reforms, such as compulsory universal education, birth control, nationalization of natural resources, limitation on inheritance, and so on. These he thought would greatly improve the condition of the working class and bring about greater equality of opportunity for individual advancement.

Contact: Alumni Office,

This event is for: Alumni, Staff, Faculty and Public

Sponsored By: Alumni Office

Categories: Alumni Events