米切尔是一个古老而充满活力的哲学流派的产物，该流派起源于苏格兰理想主义和“常识”哲学的传统。唯心主义的死手和它对哲学现实主义的影响是米切尔作品的影响之一。在米切尔时代之前、期间和之后的其他早期澳大利亚哲学家也将他们的基础归功于这些传统。简而言之，这些影响可以总结如下:从托马斯•里德(Thomas Reid, 1710-1796)等常识性哲学家那里，米切尔接受了反对唯我论和反现实主义的观点，以及大脑可能呈现不同的信息处理层次的观点。米切尔从t·h·格林(1836-1882)那里得到了这样的观点:一个未被解释的感官数据简直就是愚蠢的。从F. H.布拉德利(1846-1924)的观点来看，米切尔认为经验——至少是最初的经验——是认识者和已知者的无缝结合。从詹姆斯·沃德(1843-1925)，米切尔接受了生物生长的重要思想，对精神活动的充分解释必须抓住这一点。从威廉·詹姆斯(1842-1910)开始，米切尔采用了现实主义的一个版本。这些观点在米切尔的思想中都有不同的表现。
Mitchell was the product of an old and vibrant school of philosophy which had its roots in the Scottish traditions of idealism and “common-sense” philosophy. The dead hand of idealism and the consequences it had for philosophical realism was one of the influences which gave rise to Mitchell’s work. Other early Australian philosophers before, during and after Mitchell’s time also owe their foundations to these traditions. In brief, these influences can be summarised as follows: from the common-sense philosophers such as Thomas Reid (1710-1796), Mitchell accepts the arguments advanced against solipsism and anti-realism, and the idea that the mind may exhibit different information-processing hierarchies. From T. H. Green (1836-1882), Mitchell derived the idea that an uninterpreted sense datum was simply folly. From F. H. Bradley (1846-1924), Mitchell takes the idea that experience—at least initially—is a seamless unity of knower and known. From James Ward (1843-1925), Mitchell takes the important idea that organisms grow, and that an adequate explanation of mental activity must capture this. From William James (1842-1910), Mitchell adopts a version of realism. Each of these ideas are represented in one way or another in Mitchell’s thought.