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John Stuart Mill 1806–73
English philosopher and economist 

  1. Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
    Autobiography (1873) ch. 5
  2. 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.
    Autobiography (1873) ch. 7
  3. The Conservatives…being by the law of their existence the stupidest party.
    Considerations on Representative Government (1861) ch. 7 n.
  4. When society requires to be rebuilt, there is no use in attempting to rebuild it on the old plan.
    Dissertations and Discussions vol. 1 (1859) ‘Essay on Coleridge’
  5. 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 being can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go.
    Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy (1865) ch. 7
  6. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
    Inaugural Address at St Andrew's (1867); see Burke
  7. 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 a sufficient warrant.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 1
  8. The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 1
  9. If all 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.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 2
  10. The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of 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.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 2
  11. He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 2
  12. The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 3
  13. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
    On Liberty (1859)
  14. Liberty consists in doing what one desires.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 5
  15. 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.
    On Liberty (1859) ch. 5
  16. Demand for commodities is not demand for labour.
    Principles of Political Economy (1848) bk. 1, ch. 5
  17. It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any human being.
    Principles of Political Economy (1848) bk. 4, ch. 6
  18. They grow richer, as it were in their sleep, without working, risking or economising.
    on landlords
    Principles of Political Economy (1848) bk. 5, ch. 2
  19. The principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes—the legal subordination of one sex to the other—is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement.
    The Subjection of Women (1869) ch. 1
  20. What is now called the nature of women is an eminently artificial thing—the result of forced repression in some directions, unnatural stimulation in others.
    The Subjection of Women (1869) ch. 1
  21. It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.
    Utilitarianism (1863) ch. 2
  22. My work is done.
    last words, W. L. Courtney Life of John Stuart Mill (1889) ch. 9