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A collection of quotes by John Stuart Mill on utilitarianism, freedom of speech, democracy, liberty, technology and happiness.

57 Uplifting Quotes By John Stuart Mill, The Renowned English Philosopher

Quick Facts

Famous As: British Philosopher and Civil Servant.

Born On: May 20, 1806

Died On: May 8, 1873

Born In: Pentonville, London, England

Died At Age: 66

John Stuart Mill was an eminent English philosopher, civil servant and political economist. He was renowned for advocating liberty, ideals on society, governance and women. He lived through the Industrial Revolution which changed everything for Britain and made it a World leader. Although Mill did not believe in direct democracy, he advocated a liberal society with opportunity. Mill is exalted for his three major works, ‘On Liberty’, ‘Utilitarianism’ and ‘The Subjection of Women’ which depict his ideology. He observed the life of women in society closely and advocated its rights and reforms. His ideas, writings, thoughts, sayings and works still affect the governance and society. Mill became the first ‘Member of Parliament’ from the ‘Liberal Party’, to be in favor of women’s rights and equality. We see the ideologies, writings, thoughts, sayings and quotes of this great philosopher come true in today’s world. A collection of  John Stuart Mill quotes on utilitarianism, democracy, freedom of speech, liberty and intellect.

Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.

John Stuart Mill

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.

John Stuart Mill

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

John Stuart Mill

I will call no being good who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow creatures; and if such a creature can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go .

John Stuart Mill

It is not because men's desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.

John Stuart Mill

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.

John Stuart Mill

A state which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes--will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.

John Stuart Mill

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

John Stuart Mill

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

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

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.

John Stuart Mill

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.

John Stuart Mill

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.

John Stuart Mill

Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.

John Stuart Mill

The time appears to me to have come when it is the duty of all to make their dissent from religion known.

John Stuart Mill

If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.

John Stuart Mill

Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement.

John Stuart Mill

So true is that unnatural generally means only uncustomary, and that everything which is usual appears natural.

John Stuart Mill

There are no means of finding what either one person or many can do, but by trying - and no means by which anyone else can discover for them what it is for their happiness to do or leave undone

John Stuart Mill

It is given to no human being to stereotype a set of truths, and walk safely by their guidance with his mind's eye closed.

John Stuart Mill

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.

John Stuart Mill

After the primary necessities of food and raiment, freedom is the first and strongest want of human nature.

John Stuart Mill

The strongest of all arguments against the interference of the public with purely personal conduct, is that when it does interfere, the odds are that it interferes wrongly, and in the wrong place.

John Stuart Mill

The love of power and the love of liberty are in eternal antagonism.

John Stuart Mill

The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited, he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.

John Stuart Mill

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

In history, as in traveling, men usually see only what they already had in their own minds; and few learn much from history, who do not bring much with them to its study.

John Stuart Mill

Since the state must necessarily provide subsistence for the criminal poor while undergoing punishment, not to do the same for the poor who have not offended is to give a premium on crime.

John Stuart Mill

There have been, and may be again, great individual thinkers, in a general atmosphere of mental slavery.

John Stuart Mill

I believe in spectacles, but I think eyes necessary too.

John Stuart Mill

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

One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.

John Stuart Mill

Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seem good to themselves than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.

John Stuart Mill

...it is contrary to reason and experience to suppose that there can be any real check to brutality, consistent with leaving the victim still in the power of the executioner.

John Stuart Mill

Language is the light of the mind.

John Stuart Mill

Foresight of phenomenon and power over them depend on knowledge of their sequences, and not upon any notion we may have formed respecting their origin or inmost nature.

John Stuart Mill

Those only are happy .... who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness, "a crisis in my mental history

John Stuart Mill

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

John Stuart Mill

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.

John Stuart Mill

One person with a belief is worth 99 people who have only interests.

John Stuart Mill

An objection which applies to all conduct can be no valid objection to any conduct in particular.

John Stuart Mill

The yoke is naturally and necessarily humiliating to all persons, except the one who is on the throne, together with, at most, the one who expects to succeed to it.

John Stuart Mill

We have had the morality of submission, and the morality of chivalry and generosity; the time is now come for the morality of justice.

John Stuart Mill

Have intercourse with females, acquire wealth.

John Stuart Mill

The struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history with which we are earliest familiar, particularly in that of Greece, Rome, and England.

John Stuart Mill

The general or prevailing opinion in any subject is rarely or never the whole truth; it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied

John Stuart Mill

Natural rights, nonsense; natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense, elevated nonsense, nonsense going on stilts.

John Stuart Mill

Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.

John Stuart Mill

Proposed Roads to Freedom In this book Russell weighs the respective advantages and disadvantages of Socialism, Marxism and Syndicalism.

John Stuart Mill

The test of real and vigorous thinking, the thinking which ascertains truths instead of dreaming dreams, is successful application to practice.

John Stuart Mill

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.

John Stuart Mill

...the English mode of existence in which everybody acts as if everybody else ( with few, or no exceptions ) was either an enemy or a bore.

John Stuart Mill

Lest the habit of work should be broken, and a taste for idleness acquired

John Stuart Mill

One person with a belief is equal to the foce of 100,000 who have only interests.

John Stuart Mill

Define logic as the science which treats of the operations of the human understanding in the pursuit of truth.

John Stuart Mill

Governments must be made for human beings as they are, or as they are capable of speedily becoming.

John Stuart Mill

In every respect the burthen is hard on those who attack an almost universal opinion.

John Stuart Mill