John Stuart Mill

John Stuart
Mill
1806
1873

English Philosopher, Economist and Civil Servant

Author Quotes

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

Stupidity is much the same all the world over.

A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.

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

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.

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

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.

The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

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

The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

The progressive principle is antagonistic to the sway of custom. The contest between these two principles, custom and progress, constitutes the chief interest of the history of mankind.

Protection against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.

The perpetual obstacle to human advancement is custom.

Will is the child of desire, and passes out of the dominion of its parent only to come under that of habit.

Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and even if we were sure, it would be an evil still.

Author Picture
First Name
John Stuart
Last Name
Mill
Birth Date
1806
Death Date
1873
Bio

English Philosopher, Economist and Civil Servant