Philosophers / Thinkers

Top 42 John Stuart Mill Quotes (PHILOSOPHER)

Top 10 Most Famous John Stuart Mill Quotes (BEST)

“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.”

John Stuart Mill
I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
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 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.
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.
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.
One person with a belief is equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.
One person with a belief is equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.
Men do not desire merely to be rich, but to be richer than other men.
Men do not desire merely to be rich, but to be richer than other men.
Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
It is not because men's desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.
It is not because men’s desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.
Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.
Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.

8 John Stuart Mill Quotes on Life and Freedom

Life has a certain flavor for those who have fought and risked all that the sheltered and protected can never experience.
Life has a certain flavor for those who have fought and risked all that the sheltered and protected can never experience.
Men might as well be imprisoned, as excluded from the means of earning their bread.
Men might as well be imprisoned, as excluded from the means of earning their bread.
The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.
The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.
Pleasure and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends.
Pleasure and freedom from pain, are the only things desirable as ends.
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.
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.
The duty of man is the same in respect to his own nature as in respect to the nature of all other things, namely not to follow it but to amend it.
The duty of man is the same in respect to his own nature as in respect to the nature of all other things, namely not to follow it but to amend it.
Unquestionably, it is possible to do without happiness; it is done involuntarily by nineteen-twentieths of mankind.
Unquestionably, it is possible to do without happiness; it is done involuntarily by nineteen-twentieths of mankind.
We have a right, also, in various ways, to act upon our unfavorable opinion of anyone, not to the oppression of his individuality, but in the exercise of ours.
We have a right, also, in various ways, to act upon our unfavorable opinion of anyone, not to the oppression of his individuality, but in the exercise of ours.

3 John Stuart Mill Quotes on Originality

All good things which exist are the fruits of originality.
All good things which exist are the fruits of originality.
Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.
Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.
That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.
That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.

12 Wise John Stuart Mill Quotes that will Make You Think (WISDOM)

“Of two pleasures, if there be one which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure.”

John Stuart Mill
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
Persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow.
Persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow.
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.
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.
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.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.
Popular opinions, on subjects not palpable to sense, are often true, but seldom or never the whole truth.
Popular opinions, on subjects not palpable to sense, are often true, but seldom or never the whole truth.

“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
So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses in stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it.
So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses in stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it.
The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors.
The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors.
In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.
In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.

“As for charity, it is a matter in which the immediate effect on the persons directly concerned, and the ultimate consequence to the general good, are apt to be at complete war with one another.”

John Stuart Mill

6 John Stuart Mill Quotes on Justice and Politics

“As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.”

John Stuart Mill
The disease which inflicts bureaucracy and what they usually die from is routine.
The disease which inflicts bureaucracy and what they usually die from is routine.
A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.
A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.
The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power.
The most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power.
I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized.
I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized.
The only power deserving the name is that of masses, and of governments while they make themselves the organ of the tendencies and instincts of masses.
The only power deserving the name is that of masses, and of governments while they make themselves the organ of the tendencies and instincts of masses.

3 John Stuart Mill Quotes on Actions

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

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
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 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.

(MUST READ) On Liberty, Utilitarianism and Other Essays (Oxford World’s Classics)

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