Front Page Titles (by Subject) Appendix D: DRAFT OF A PORTION OF THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS (1866) - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXI - Essays on Equality, Law, and Education
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Appendix D: DRAFT OF A PORTION OF THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS (1866) - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXI - Essays on Equality, Law, and Education 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXI - Essays on Equality, Law, and Education, ed. John M. Robson, Introduction by Stefan Collini (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984).
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DRAFT OF A PORTION OF THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS (1866)
MS (evidently first draft), Houghton Library, Harvard University, part of the miscellaneous papers bought by George Herbert Palmer from the Avignon bookseller, J. Roumanille.
The variant notes to the text below give the differences between the draft and the printed versions, the latter indicated by “67”. The comparable passage in the printed versions appears at 222-5 above.
acquired with tenfold greater facility when the aexamples of their applicationa are already bpresent inb the cmind—if this were but done,c an average schoolboy long before the age at which schooling dgenerallyd terminates, emight easilye be able to read fwith ease, fluency, andf intelligent interest any ordinary Latin or Greek author, in prose or verse, gmightg have a competent knowledge of the grammatical structure of both languages, and have had time besides for an ample amount of scientific instruction.h I am as unwilling to imentioni all that I think practicable in this matter, as George Stephenson was jin the matter of locomotionj , when he calculated the average speed of a krailwayk train at ten miles an hour because if he had estimated it lat morel the practical men mwhose cooperation he neededm would have ndistrustedn him as that most unsafe character in their estimation an enthusiast and a visionary. The results have shewn, in othiso case, who was the real practical man. What the results would shew in the other case I will notp anticipate. qIt is enough to be able to say with confidenceq , that if the two classical languages were properly taught, there would be no need whatever for rturning them out ofr the school course in order to have sufficient srooms for everything else that tneedst be included therein.
uThis wonderfullyu limited estimate of what it is possible for human beings to learn, resting upon a tacit assumption that they are already as efficiently taught as they ever can vbe,v not only vitiates wthe general conceptionw of education, but actually, if we receive it, darkens our anticipations as to the future progress of mankind. For if the inexorable conditions of human life make it useless for one man to attempt to know more than one thing, what is to become of the human intellect as facts accumulate? In every generation, and xmore rapidly nowx than ever ybefore, the number of things increases,y which it is necessary that somebody should zlearnz . Every department of aour knowledge of the universea becomes so loaded with details that bif a personb endeavours to know call that is known of it, hec must confine himself to a smaller and smaller portion of the whole dfield,d every science and art must be edivided and subdividede , until each man’s fspeciality, the regionf which he thoroughly knows, bears about the same gproportiong to the whole hfieldh of useful knowledge that the art of putting on a pin’s head does to the field of human industry. Now, iwhen we take this along with the fact certified by experience,i that there is no one study or pursuit which, practised to the exclusion of all others, does not narrow and pervert the mindj, breedj in it a class of prejudices special to that kparticular pursuit, andk a general prejudice common to all narrow specialities against lgeneral ideas of all sorts, grounded onl an incapacity to take mthem in or to judgem of them. nWhat prospect have we before us but that of a human intellectn more and more dwarfed and unfitted for oallo great things, pactually by its progressp in small onesq? But thingsq are not so bad with us: rthis is not the fate we need look forward tor . It is not the utmost limit of human acquirement to know only one thing, but to combine a minute knowledge of one or a few things with a general knowledge of many things. By a general knowledge I do not mean a smere vague impressions . An eminent man one of whose writings is part of the course of this University, Abp. Whately, has well tpointed out, thatt a general knowledge uis a totally different thing fromu a superficial knowledge. To have a general knowledge of a subject is to know vits leading truths, but towlearn them with understanding,w not superficially but thoroughly, so as to have a true conception of the subject xas a whole,x leaving the minor details to those who require ythe knowledge ofy them zbecause it is their business to follow them out and to apply them. This kind of knowledge does not tend to narrow but to enlarge the mind; it formsz a body of cultivated intellects, acapable of illuminating each his own special studies by the lights derived from the other branches of human knowledge, and constituting a public able to understand and appreciate the processes of thought in other people’s special departments and intelligently follow the lead of those specialists who by their general powers and cultivation of their minds are most capable of leading rightly. Above all, it is this alone which can form mindsa capable of bdirectingb and improving public opinion in the greater concerns of chumanc life. Government and civil society are the most complicated of all subjects accessible to the human mind, and dto be competent to deal with them there is great need not only ofd a general knowledge of the leading facts of ethe universe in almost all its departments, but ofe an understanding exercised and disciplined in the principles and rules of sound thinking up to a point which fnof one science or branch of knowledge affordsg, and to obtain which it is necessary to be more or less conversant with manyg . Let us understand then, that it hought to be our objecth in learning, not merely to know isome one thing, the thingi which is to be our principal occupation, as well as it can be known but to do this and also to know something of all the great jdepartmentsj of human kknowledge;k taking care to know that something laccurately, or at all eventsl marking well the dividing line between what we know accurately and what we do not; and remembering that our object should be to obtain a true view of nature and mthe world in itsm broad outline, nbutn that it is ouselesso to throw away time upon the pminutep details of anything which is qnot to beq part of the occupation of our practical energies.
It by no means follows, however, that reverything which deserves to be known, and which is capable of being known by everybody who has received a liberal educationr , should be included in the scourses of school or university studies. tSome things, very desirable to be learnt, are learnt bettert out of school or uafteru school yearsv are over wFor this reasonw I do not agree with those reformers who would xassign a place, and an important place,x in the schooly course, to modern languages. This is not because I attach small importance to zthem* ; noz one cana be bconsidered well-instructed or cultivatedb who is not familiar with at least the French language cand ablec to read French books with ease; and there is great dadvantaged in cultivating a familiarity with German. But living languages are so much more easily acquired elater in life,e by intercourse with those who use them in daily flife,f that it is really waste of timeg to labour at htheir acquisition without anyh help but that of books and mastersi . Again, it has always seemed to me a great absurdity that jsuch things asj history and geography should be taught in schools, except ka few of the leading facts of bothk in elementary schools for the lmass of the peoplel . Who ever really learnt history and geography except by private reading? and what an utter failure myourm education must be if it has not given nyourn pupil a sufficient taste for reading to omake him seek by that easy process the most interestingo of all kinds of knowledge? Besides such history and geography as can be taught in schools exercise none of the faculties of the pintellect except that of merep memory. qAt an University indeed it is very important that the pupilq should be introduced to the Philosophy of Historyr—that a Professorr who not merely sknowss the facts but thast exercised uhis mindu on them, should initiate vthe pupilsv into the causes and explanation, wasw far as xan explanation is possiblex of the past life of mankind in its ymore important features and vicissitudesy . But of the mere facts of history as commonly zbelieved and understoodz , what educated apersona of any mental activity does not learn ball that is of primary importanceb if he is conlyc turned loose in an historical library? What dis wanted on this subjectd is not that he should be taught it in boyhood, but thate books should be accessible to him.
The only languages fthereforef and the only gliteraturesg to which I would allow a place in the ordinary hcourse of a liberal educationh are those of the Greeks and Romans; to these I would preserve the position i they at present occupy jin it. The importance of these languages in education is twofold: first, the value of languages in general, of studying and knowingj some other cultivated language and ksome otherk literature than one’s ownl: secondly,l the peculiar value of those particular languagesm .
nThe value, to the human mind, of knowing, and knowing well, more than one language; or I should rather say, the extreme disadvantage of knowing no language but one’s own, is scarcely, I think, generally felt and recognized in all its force. Every thinker or writer who hasn reflected on the causes of human error ohaso been deeply impressed with the pnaturalp tendency of mankind to mistake.
[a-a]67 cases to which they apply
[b-b]67 familiar to
[f-f]67 fluently and with
[h]67 I might go much further, but
[i-i]67 speak out
[j-j]67 about railways
[n-n]67 turned a deaf ear to
[p]67 attempt to
[q-q]67 But I will say confidently
[r-r]67 ejecting them from
[u-u]67 Let me say a few words more on this strangely
[v-v]67 be. So narrow a conception
[w-w]67 our idea
[x-x]67 now more rapidly
[y-y]67 , the things
[z-z]67 know are more and more multiplied
[b-b]67 one who
[c-c]67 it with minute accuracy,
[e-e]67 cut up into subdivisions
[f-f]67 portion, the district
[i-i]67 if in order to know that little completely, it is necessary to remain wholly ignorant of all the rest, what will soon be the worth of a man, for any human purpose except his own infinitesimal fraction of human wants and requirements? His state will be even worse than that of simple ignorance. Experience proves
[j-j]67 , breeding
[k-k]67 pursuit, besides
[l-l]67 large views, from
[m-m]67 in and appreciate the grounds
[n-n]67 We should have to expect that human nature would be
[p-p]67 by its very proficiency
[q-q]67 But matters
[r-r]67 there is no ground for so dreary an anticipation
[s-s]67 few vague impressions
[t-t]67 discriminated between
[w-w]67 know these
[x-x]67 in its great features
[z-z]67 for the purposes of their special pursuit. There is no incompatibility between knowing a wide range of subjects up to this point, and some one subject with the completeness required by those who make it their principal occupation. It is this combination which gives an enlightened public
[a-a]67 each taught by its attainments in its own province what real knowledge is, and knowing enough of other subjects to be able to discern who are those that know them better. The amount of knowledge is not to be lightly estimated, which qualifies us for judging to whom we may have recourse for more. The elements of the more important studies being widely diffused, those who have reached the higher summits find a public capable of appreciating their superiority, and prepared to follow their lead. It is thus too that minds are formed
[d-d]67 he who would deal competently with them as a thinker, and not as a blind follower of a party, requires not only
[e-e]67 life, both moral and material, but
[f-f]67 neither the experience of life, nor any
[h-h]67 should be our aim
[i-i]67 the one thing
[m-m]67 life in their
[q-q]67 to form no
[r-r]67 every useful branch of general, as distinct from professional, knowledge
[t-t]67 There are things which are better learnt
[u-u]67 when the
[v]67 , and even those usually passed in a Scottish university,
[x-x]67 give a regular and prominent place
[y]67 or university
[z-z]67 the knowledge of them No
[* ][-67]Acquaintance with the literature and forms of thought of other nations is the most effectual of all preservatives against a narrow nationality, against mistaking one local type of human nature for the universal laws of it, and against the habit of accepting custom both in opinion and practice, as a test of right, for want of knowing that perfectly opposite customs prevail elsewhere.
[a]67 in our age
[b-b]67 esteemed a well-instructed person
[c-c]67 , so as
[f-f]67 life, a few months in the country itself, if properly employed, go so much farther than as many years of school lessons,
[g]67 for those to whom that easier mode is attainable,
[h-h]67 them with no
[i]67 and it will in time be made attainable, through international schools and colleges, to many more than at present. Universities do enough to facilitate the study of modern languages, if they give a mastery over that ancient language which is the foundation of most of them, and the possession of which makes it easier to learn four or five of the continental languages than it is to learn one of them without it
[l-l]67 children of the labouring classes, whose subsequent access to books is limited
[m-m]67 a system of
[o-o]67 seek for himself those most attractive and easily intelligible
[p-p]67 intelligence except the
[q-q]67 An University is indeed the place where the student
[r-r]67 , where Professors
[u-u]67 their minds
[x-x]67 within our reach,
[y-y]67 principal features. Historical criticism also—the tests of historical truth—are a subject to which his attention may well be drawn in this stage of his education
[b-b]67 as much as is necessary,
[d-d]67 he needs on this, and on most other matters of common information,
[e]67 abundance of
[f-f]67 , then,
[i]67 in it which
[j-j]67 That position is justified, by the great value, in education, of knowing well
[l-l]67 , and by
[m]67 and literatures
[n-n]67 There is one purely intellectual benefit from a knowledge of languages, which I am specially desirous to dwell on. Those who have seriously