Philosophical Radicals

Philosophical Radicalphilosophicphilosophic radicalismPhilosophic Radicalsphilosophical radicalismRadicalradicalism
The Philosophical Radicals were a philosophically-minded group of English political radicals in the nineteenth century inspired by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and James Mill (1773–1836).wikipedia
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Radicalism (historical)

radicalRadicalismradicals
The Philosophical Radicals were a philosophically-minded group of English political radicals in the nineteenth century inspired by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and James Mill (1773–1836).
More respectable "philosophical radicals" followed the utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham and strongly supported parliamentary reform, but were generally hostile to the arguments and tactics of the "popular radicals".

Joseph Parkes

Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).
Born into Unitarian Whig circles, Parkes developed an association with the Philosophical Radicals.

The Westminster Review

Westminster ReviewForeign Quarterly ReviewLondon and Westminster Review
Several became Radical members of Parliament, and the group as a whole attempted to use the Westminster Review to exert influence on public opinion.
Established in 1823 as the official organ of the Philosophical Radicals, it was published from 1824 to 1914.

Radicals (UK)

RadicalRadicalsEnglish Radical
Several became Radical members of Parliament, and the group as a whole attempted to use the Westminster Review to exert influence on public opinion.
Working class and middle class "Popular Radicals" agitated to demand the right to vote and assert other rights including freedom of the press and relief from economic distress, while "Philosophic Radicals" strongly supported parliamentary reform, but were generally hostile to the arguments and tactics of the Popular Radicals.

James Mill

JamesMillMill, James
The Philosophical Radicals were a philosophically-minded group of English political radicals in the nineteenth century inspired by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and James Mill (1773–1836).

George Grote

GroteG. GroteGeorge Grote FRS
Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).
After serving in three parliaments, he resigned in 1841, by which time his party ("the Philosophical Radicals") had dwindled away.

Edward John Trelawny

Edward TrelawnyTrelawny, Edward John
Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).
Upon his return to England, Trelawny became politically active with a group known as the Philosophical Radicals.

Jeremy Bentham

BenthamBenthamiteBentham, Jeremy
The Philosophical Radicals were a philosophically-minded group of English political radicals in the nineteenth century inspired by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and James Mill (1773–1836). They rejected any philosophical or legal naturalism and furthered Jeremy Bentham's utilitarian philosophy.

Francis Place

Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).

John Arthur Roebuck

RoebuckJ. A. RoebuckJohn A. Roebuck
Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).

Charles Buller

Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).

John Stuart Mill

MillJ.S. MillJ. S. Mill
Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).

Sir William Molesworth, 8th Baronet

Sir William MolesworthWilliam MolesworthSir William Molesworth, Bt
Individuals within this group included Francis Place (1771–1854), George Grote (1794–1871), Joseph Parkes (1796–1865), John Arthur Roebuck (1802–1879), Charles Buller (1806–1848), John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), Edward John Trelawny (1792–1881), and William Molesworth (1810–1855).

Naturalism (philosophy)

naturalismnaturalisticmethodological naturalism
They rejected any philosophical or legal naturalism and furthered Jeremy Bentham's utilitarian philosophy.

Utilitarianism

utilitarianutilitariansutilitarian ethics
Utilitarianism as a moral philosophy argues that maximizing happiness should be the moral standard by which our actions should be measured.

Immanuel Kant

KantKantianKant, Immanuel
It thereby stands in contrast to the rationalistic ethics of Immanuel Kant as well as to the convictions of idealism, amongst others.

Idealism

idealistidealisticidealists
It thereby stands in contrast to the rationalistic ethics of Immanuel Kant as well as to the convictions of idealism, amongst others.

Age of Enlightenment

Enlightenmentthe EnlightenmentFrench Enlightenment
Born in the first half of the eighteenth century, Bentham proved a conduit for enlightenment ideas to reach nineteenth century Britain.

Claude Adrien Helvétius

HelvétiusHelvetiusClaude-Adrien Helvétius
A disciple of Helvetius, who saw all society as based on the wants and desires of the individual, Bentham began with a belief in reform through enlightened despotism, before becoming a philosophical radical and supporter of universal suffrage, (though without ever losing his belief in the positive power of the state).

Enlightened absolutism

enlightened despotenlightened despotismenlightened absolutist
A disciple of Helvetius, who saw all society as based on the wants and desires of the individual, Bentham began with a belief in reform through enlightened despotism, before becoming a philosophical radical and supporter of universal suffrage, (though without ever losing his belief in the positive power of the state).

G. M. Trevelyan

George Macaulay TrevelyanG.M. TrevelyanTrevelyan, G. M
G. M. Trevelyan considered that “Parliamentary, municipal, scholastic, ecclesiastical, economic reform all sprang from the spirit of Bentham’s perpetual enquiry, ‘what is the use of it?’ - his universal shibboleth”.

Six Acts

1819 Blasphemous and Seditious Libels ActCriminal Libel Act 1819Newspaper and Stamp Duties Act
When radicalism re-emerged from the defeat of the Six Acts, it was (in Elie Halévy’s words) “the Radicalism – respectable, middle-class, prosaic, and calculating – of Bentham and his followers”.

Élie Halévy

Elie HalévyElie HalevyHalévy, Élie
When radicalism re-emerged from the defeat of the Six Acts, it was (in Elie Halévy’s words) “the Radicalism – respectable, middle-class, prosaic, and calculating – of Bentham and his followers”.

Disestablishmentarianism

disestablishmentdisestablisheddisestablish
Some of their remedies – universal suffrage; the ballot – would a century later have become taken-for-granted realities of British life; others – abolition of the monarchy and the House of Lords; disestablishment of the Church of England - never materialised.

David Ricardo

RicardoRicardianDavid Ricardo,MP
Alongside their political radicalism, the group shared a liberal view of political economy influenced by David Ricardo, and favouring laissez faire; while codification and centralisation also formed component elements (not always compatible with laissez faire) of the Benthamite creed.