John Stuart Mill Quotes

Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.
John Stuart Mill (Autobiography, 1873)
One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.
John Stuart Mill (On Representative Government, 1861)
Over one's mind and over one's body the individual is sovereign.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
Everyone who receives the protection of society owes a return for the benefit.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
All good things which exist are the fruits of originality.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
Pleasure and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism, 1863)
Men might as well be imprisoned, as excluded from the means of earning their bread.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
No slave is a slave to the same lengths, and in so full a sense of the word, as a wife is.
John Stuart Mill (The Subjection of Women, 1869)
That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.
John Stuart Mill
I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
John Stuart Mill
What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.
John Stuart Mill
Life has a certain flavor for those who have fought and risked all that the sheltered and protected can never experience.
John Stuart Mill
There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home.
John Stuart Mill
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.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism - Chapter 2, 1863)
But society has now fairly got the better of individuality; and the danger which threatens human nature is not the excess, but the deficiency, of personal impulses and preferences.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty - Chapter 3, 1859)
Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain.
John Stuart Mill (Utilitarianism, 1863)
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.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead. 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.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
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. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)
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. The person 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.
John Stuart Mill (The Contest in America - Fraser's Magazine, 1862)
He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gather materials for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)

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John Stuart Mill Biography

Born: May 20, 1806
Died: May 8, 1873

John Stuart Mill was an English political philosopher and economist. He has been very influenetial and is best known for his advocacy of the ethical theory Utilitarianism.

Notable Works

Principles of Political Economy (1848)
On Liberty (1859)
Utilitarianism (1863)
The Subjection of Women (1869)
Autobiography (1873)