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Convocation – John Stuart Mill: Humanist-Barbarian

February 7 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

J. S. Mill’s use of the term “barbarian” in On Liberty (1859) may strike twenty-first-century readers as infelicitous at best and worryingly racist at worst.  Yet Mill’s incredible self-consciousness as a prose writer, on the one hand, and his resolute opposition to slavery and consistent advocacy for individual freedom, on the other, suggest that neither appraisal may be sufficient to account for what he is trying to do.  Without claiming to know Mill’s intentions, Dr. Albert Pionke shall nevertheless hazard a few guesses about how Mill’s barbarous rhetoric and his (and our) humanist vocation might fit together.  Dr. Pionke shall also offer a glimpse of Mill’s less guarded consumption of other humanists’ infelicitous and otherwise objectionable prose through a look at the marginalia he inscribed in his personal library.


February 7
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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