John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873) was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham, although his conception of it was very different from Bentham's. Hoping to remedy the problems found in an inductive approach to science, such as confirmation bias, he clearly set forth the premises of falsification as the key component in the scientific method. Mill was also a Member of Parliament and an important figure in liberal political philosophy.
Mill was also one of the earliest writers on the topic of minorities’ rights. In 1850, Mill sent an anonymous letter (which came to be known under the title "The Negro Question"), in rebuttal to Thomas Carlyle's anonymous letter to Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country. Carlyle had defended slavery on grounds of genetic inferiority and claimed that the West Indies development was due to British ingenuity alone and dismissed any notion that there was a debtedness to imported slaves for building the economy there. Mill's rebuttal and references to the ongoing debate in the U.S. at the time regarding slavery were emphatic and eloquent.
Mill can also be considered among the earliest feminists. In his article, “The Subjection of Women” (1861, published 1869), Mill attempts to prove that the legal subjugation of women is wrong and that it should give way to perfect equality. He talks about the role of women in marriage and how he felt it needed to be changed. There, Mill comments on three major facets of women’s lives that he felt are hindering them: society and gender construction, education, and marriage. The Subjection of Women is one of the earliest written on this subject by a male author. Mill's ideas were opposed by Ernest Belfort Bax in his treatise, 'The Legal Subjugation of Men'.
This edition of Mill’s famous book is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and illustrations.