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One of the most celebrated educational experiments in history was performed by James Mill, the British historian, on his eldest son, John Stuart Mill, who was born outside London in 1806. John began learning Greek when he was three, and read Herodotus and other historians and philosophers before commencing Latin, at the age of seven. By the time he was twelve, he was widely read in history and had studied experimental science, mathematics, philosophy, and economics. James Mill’s pedagogical approach reflected the influence of Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarian philosophy, and was intended to discover whether a child of unexceptional intellectual capacities could, through rigorous exposure, learn material that was typically acquired in adulthood, if at all. The answer, according to the research subject, was yes. “I started, I may fairly say, with a quarter of a century over my contemporaries,” J. S. Mill wrote in his 1873 “Autobiography.”