Mill is famous for having said the following quotes:
If you are having trouble finding a particular John Stuart Mill quote, try control + F.
One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who
have only interests.
The disease which inflicts bureaucracy
and what they usually die from is routine.
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.
Conservatives are not necessarily
stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
the practice of chivalry fell even more sadly short of its theoretic standard
than practice generally falls below theory, it remains one of the most precious
monuments of the moral history of our race, as a remarkable instance of a concerted
and organized attempt by a most disorganized and distracted society, to raise
up and carry into practice a moral ideal greatly in advance of its social condition
and institutions; so much so as to have been completely frustrated in the main
object, yet never entirely inefficacious, and which has left a most sensible,
and for the most part a highly valuable impress on the ideas and feelings of all
The despotism of custom is everywhere
the standing hindrance to human advancement.
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.
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.
Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character
has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional
to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained.
There is one plain rule of life. Try thyself unweariedly till
thou findest the highest thing thou art capable of doing, faculties and outward
circumstances being both duly considered, and then do it.
are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience
has brought it home.
The most important thing women
have to do is to stir up the zeal of women themselves.
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.
I have learned to seek my happiness
by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
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.
That so few now
dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.
ever crushes individuality is despotism, no matter what name it is called.
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.
A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about
his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless
made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself.
who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.
All that makes existence valuable to any one depends on the enforcement
of restraints upon the actions of other people.
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 general tendency of things throughout the world is to render
mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human
race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the
opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are
deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose,
what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression
of truth, produced by its collision with error.
good things which exist are the fruits of originality.
is the one thing unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.
party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary
elements of a healthy state of political life.
never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion;
and even if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.
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 worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals
composing it -- 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.
idea that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of those pleasant falsehoods,
which most experience refutes. History is teeming with instances of truth put
down by persecution. If not put down forever, it may be set back for centuries.
To understand one woman is not necessarily to understand
any other woman.
War is an ugly thing, but not the
ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling
which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A war to protect other human beings
against tyrannical injustice; a war to give victory to their own ideas of right
and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their
own free choice -- is often the means of their regeneration.
which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height
of wisdom in the next.
If you know of any Mill quotes that are not currently on this page, please let us know at quotes (AT) philosophyparadise.com.
© 2006 Philosophy Paradise