John M. Robson (essay date 1960)
SOURCE: "J. S. Mill's Theory of Poetry," in University of Toronto Quarterly, Vol. XXIX, No. 4, 1960, pp. 420-38.
[In the following essay, Robson argues that Mill's theory of poetry combined Utilitarian principles with certain aspects of Romanticism by asserting that poetry advocates moral actions through an appeal to the emotions. ]
John Stuart Mill is often held up to scorn as a cold, mechanical thinker for whom ethics is no more than logic, and politics no more than political economy. Swathed in mournful black, hard-visaged and iceveined, Mill stands for the Victorian virtues to which we (thank heaven) cannot pretend. The picture is patently a caricature, failing to...
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