Though Mill never renounced the liberal and utilitarian traditionand mission that he inherited from his father, his mental crisis andrecovery greatly influenced his interpretation of this tradition. Hebecame critical of the moral psychology of Bentham and his father andof some of the social theory underlying their plans for reform. It isarguable that Mill tends to downplay the significance of hisinnovations and to underestimate the intellectual discontinuitiesbetween himself and his father. One measure of the extent of Mill'sdeparture from the views of Bentham and James Mill is that Mill'sfather came to view him as a defector from the utilitarian cause(Autobiography 189). We need to try to understand the extentof the transformation Mill brings to the utilitarian and liberalprinciples of the Radicals.


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