A System of Logic

John Stuart Mill

Book 6, Chapter 11, Footnote #01
Buckle might have agreed

I have been assured by an intimate friend of Mr. Buckle that he would not have withheld his assent from these remarks, and that he never intended to affirm or imply that mankind are not progressive in their moral as well as in their intellectual qualities. ``In dealing with his problem, he availed himself of the artifice resorted to by the Political Economist, who leaves out of consideration the generous and benevolent sentiments, and founds his science on the proposition that mankind are actuated by acquisitive propensities alone'', not because such is the fact, but because it is necessary to begin by treating the principal influence as if it was the sole one, and make the due corrections afterwards. ``He desired to make abstraction of the intellect as the determining and dynamical element of the progression eliminating the more dependent set of conditions, and treating the more active one as if it were an entirely independent variable.''

The same friend of Mr. Buckle states that when he used expressions which seemed to exaggerate the influence of general at the expense of special causes, and especially at the expense of the influence of individual mines, Mr. Buckle really intended no more than to affirm emphatically that the greatest men cannot effect great changes in human affairs unless the general mind has been in some considerable degree prepared for them by the general circumstances of the age; a truth which, of course, no one thinks of denying. And there certainly are passages in Mr. Buckle's writings which speak of the influence exercised by great individual intelects in as strong terms as could be desired.

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Sol, Book 6, Chapter 11 Additional Elucidations of the Science of History.