John Stuart Mill Quotes

John Stuart Mill QuotesJohn Stuart Mill was a great believer in, and defender of freedom, especially that of speech and of thought.

Mill argued that society's utility would be maximized if each person was free to make his/her own choices and that freedom was necessary for a person's development.

Among his most well-known works are A System of Logic, Principles of Political Economy, On Liberty, Utilitarianism, The Subjection of Women and Three Essays on Religion.

The Quotes

A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.

A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

All good things which exist are the fruits of originality.

All desirable things... are desirable either for the pleasure inherent in themselves, or as a means to the promotion of pleasure and the prevention of pain.

Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think.

Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.

Those only are happy … who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness.

The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized.

Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.

Life has a certain flavor for those who have fought and risked all that the sheltered and protected can never experience.

One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests.

It might be plausibly maintained, that in almost every one of the leading controversies, past or present, in social philosophy, both sides were in the right in what they affirmed, though wrong in what they denied.

How can great minds be produced in a country where the test of a great mind is agreeing in the opinions of small minds?

No slave is a slave to the same lengths, and in so full a sense of the word, as a wife is.

Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.

Popular opinions, on subjects not palpable to sense, are often true, but seldom or never the whole truth.

The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement.

The disease which inflicts bureaucracy and what they usually die from is routine.

The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.

What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.

That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.

Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained.

No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.

Everyone who receives the protection of society owes a return for the benefit.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth a war, is much worse.

Over one's mind and over one's body the individual is sovereign.

Whatever we may think or affect to think of the present age, we cannot get out of it; we must suffer with its sufferings, and enjoy with its enjoyments; we must share in its lot, and, to be either useful or at ease, we must even partake its character.

A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.

To understand one woman is not necessarily to understand any other woman.

John Stuart Mill Philosophy
Philosopher's Corner
Philosopher Archives

sidebar2 footer2