His main source of inspiration Mill found with Coleridge and Carlyle, Saint-Simon, Tocqueville and Comte. In his book Cor Hermans presents us with a detailed study of all these different spheres of influence. He succeeds in unearthing their connections, while writing expressively and well documented, and in showing how they were brought together in Mill’s writings in a harmonious way to form a masterly whole. Also very interesting is how Mr Hermans places these philosophical and sociological views in their historical context… Mr Hermans brings to life a Mill who radically engaged in the improvement of the fortune of both individual and society …

Willy Deckers, De Leeswolf, nr. 8, 2008

It’s his merit that he has placed Darwin himself clearly in the foreground as originator of the debate on social evolution in the second half of the nineteenth century. Against this there is the drawback that Mr Hermans has not resisted the temptation to walk every side-road he encountered in his long trail of study. He needs quite a lot of space to both distinguish and connect all the diverse currents. (…) In spite of these critical remarks, in my final verdict appreciation for this clever piece of work of Mr Hermans takes precedence.

Jan Breman, Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift, 31 (2), 2004