John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) quotes

 

  • A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All action is for the sake of some end; and rules of action, it seems natural to suppose, must take their whole character and color from the end to which they are subservient.
  • All good things which exist are the fruits of originality.
  • 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 am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized.
  • I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
  • If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
  • In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.
  • It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any human being.
  • Life has a certain flavor for those who have fought and risked all that the sheltered and protected never experience.
  • Pleasure and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends.
  • The individual is not accountable to society for his actions in so far as these concern the interests of no person but himself.
  • The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.
  • 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.
  • Unquestionably, it is possible to do without happiness; it is done involuntarily by nineteen-twentieths of mankind.
  • 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.
  • Whatever crushes individuality is despotism.

Thoughts & Comments