They had to be discrete. Tongues will wag. For their idea is a slow idea, not well accepted in the world even today. Their slow idea on the human element, Hu, analogously called latent heat in physics and chemistry, generated a lot of heat by others, full of sound and fury at the time, for these other people vigorously opposed the idea: On Liberty – moral|economic. It wasn’t the fast idea at the time: the conventional wisdom of Victorian, Anglican, England: the idea of nationalised merchantilism — tariffed moral, economic, political, and social trade: locally culture restricted and centralized regulated trade of ideas and things: Oh Britannia.
Green ideas sleep furiously: latent heat
On Liberty of the Min[d]-[e]
In the 1830s, the old flour mills of middle England were disappearing as the new mines and minds were trying to expand trade. The flour mills potential energy [in form of gravity] wasn’t as great using liquid form of energy — the cold water of streams to power the mills of bucolic dissenter England — than the potential energy [the latent heat of boiling water] of steam, which would come with the industrial revolution of mined coal and iron.
The new mills and factories of Manchester and Birmingham needed the new idea of Joseph Black’s latent heat, via James Watt going down to the midlands — it was a slow idea, in its time. In the 1830s, it was gaining steam, so to speak, when Harriet met John.
Harriet Taylor was naturally discrete with John Stuart Mill, for she was married when they met. Tongues a’ wagging otherwise. But tongues started to wag, anyway. Scandalous.
“Into this circle I had the good fortune to be admitted, and I soon perceived that she possessed in combination, the qualities which in all other persons whom I had known I had been only too happy to find singly.”
Taylor was attracted to Mill, who treated her as an intellectual equal and collaborated with her on many of the texts published under his name. Mill was impressed with Taylor, asking her to read and comment on the latest book he was working on. The two became close friends.
Part of it is from his pen. Indeed she says, he wrote it–he says, she wrote it….You may have read it all, before this. It is very fine. — Lucretia Mott.
In 1833 she lived in a separate residence from her husband, keeping her daughter with her while John Taylor raised the two older boys. John Taylor agreed to Harriet’s friendship with Mill in exchange for the “external formality” of her residing “as his wife in his house”. Over the next few years Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill exchanged essays on issues such as marriage and women’s rights. In her essays Taylor especially criticised the degrading effect of women’s economic dependence upon men.
If I do not want what you want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong…
Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view.
Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly or weakly.
Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be.
I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.
I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right — for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me you might come to prize my differences from you, and, far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences. [Different Drummers, Please Understand Me II]
John Stuart Mill, Architect Rational, (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873) was a British philosopher, political economist and civil servant. He was an influential contributor to social theory, political theory and political economy. He has been called “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century”. Mill’s conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control.
Mill expresses his view on freedom by illustrating how an individual’s amelioration of personal quality and self-improvement is the sole source of true freedom. Only when an individual is able to attain such a beneficial standard of one’s self, whilst in the absence of rendering external onerosity upon others, in their own journey to procure a higher calibre of self-worth, can true freedom prevail. Mill’s attitude toward freedom and individual accomplishment through self-improvement has inspired many. By establishing an appreciable level of worthiness concerned with one’s ability to fulfill personal standards of notability and merit, Mill was able to provide many with a principal example of how they should achieve such particular values. [Wikipedia, revised]
Harriet Taylor Mill, Counselor Idealist, (née Harriet Hardy) (London, 8 October 1807 – Avignon, 3 November 1858) was a philosopher and women’s rights advocate. Her second husband was John Stuart Mill, one of the pre-eminent thinkers of the 19th century. Her extant corpus of writing can be found in The Complete Works of Harriet Taylor Mill.
After John Taylor died in 1849, Taylor and Mill waited two years before marrying in 1851. Taylor was hesitant to create greater scandal than the pair already had. John’s marriage proposal is a model of equality. She wrote a number of essays, including several on domestic violence and The Enfranchisement of Women, published in 1851. Many of her arguments in this piece would be developed in J. S. Mill’s The Subjection of Women, published eleven years after her death, although The Subjection is much more conservative than Harriet’s Enfranchisement. [Wikipedia, revised]
“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.” — John Stuart Mill