65 John Stuart Mill Quotes On Success In Life

John Stuart Mill usually cited as J. S. Mill, was an English philosopher, political economist, Member of Parliament, and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century”, he conceived liberty as justifying the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control. These John Stuart Mill quotes will motivate you.

Best John Stuart Mill Quotes

  1. “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
  2. “If all mankind minus one were of one 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.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  3. “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
  4. “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  5. “Liberty lies in the rights of that person whose views you find most odious.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  6. “I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.” ~ John Stuart Mill, John Stuart Mill quotes on happiness
  7. “He who knows only his own side of the case (argument) knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion” ~ John Stuart Mill
  8. “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. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.” ~ John Stuart Mill, John Stuart Mill quotes on freedom
  9. “When one’s ideas are not challenged, one’s ability to defend them weakens.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  10. “How can great minds be produced in a country where the test of great minds is agreeing in the opinion of small minds?” ~ John Stuart Mill
  11. “There is always hope when people are forced to listen to both sides.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  12. “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  13. “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
  14. “In this age, the man who dares to think for himself and to act independently does a service to his race.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  15. “In the long-run, the best proof of a good character is good actions.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  16. “To tax the larger incomes at a higher percentage than the smaller, is to lay a tax on industry and economy; to impose a penalty on people for having worked harder and saved more than their neighbors.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  17. “Not the violent conflict between parts of the truth, but the quiet suppression of half of it, is the formidable evil; there is always hope when people are forced to listen to both sides; it is when they attend to only one that errors harden into prejudices, and truth itself ceases to have the effect of truth, by being exaggerated into falsehood.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  18. “Whatever crushes individuality is despotism.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  19. “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

  20. “It is not because men’s desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  21. “To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  22. “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
  23. “Men do not desire to be rich, but to be richer than other men.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  24. “The peculiar 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.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  25. “All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  26. “The worth of the state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  27. “…to bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society” ~ John Stuart Mill
  28. “Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  29. “One person with a belief is equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  30. “The pupil who is never required to do what he cannot do, never does what he can do.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  31. “The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  32. “There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  33. “Every great movement must experience three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  34. “He who does anything because it is the custom, makes no choice.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  35. “There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  36. “The love of power and the love of liberty are in eternal antagonism.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  37. “the only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject, is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion, and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this; nor is it in the nature of human intellect to become wise in any other manner.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  38. “There is an imaginary circle drawn around every human being, over which no government should be able to step.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  39. “In proportion to the development of his individuality, each person becomes more valuable to himself, and is therefore capable of being more valuable to others. . . .” ~ John Stuart Mill
  40. “Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  41. “What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  42. “In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  43. “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  44. “Life has a certain flavor for those who have fought and risked all that the sheltered and protected can never experience.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  45. “Genius can only breathe freely in an atmosphere of freedom.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  46. “In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  47. “As often as a study is cultivated by narrow minds, they will draw from it narrow conclusions.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  48. “Protection, therefore, 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.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  49. “Men are men before they are lawyers, or physicians, or merchants, or manufacturers; and if you make them capable and sensible men, they will make themselves capable and sensible lawyers or physicians.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  50. “The moral influence of woman over man is almost always salutary.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  51. “It often happens that the universal belief of one age of mankind — a belief from which no one was, nor without an extraordinary effort of genius and courage, could at that time be free — becomes to a subsequent age so palpable an absurdity, that the only difficulty then is to imagine how such a thing can ever have appeared credible.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  52. “The spirit of improvement is not always a spirit of liberty, for it may aim at forcing improvements on an unwilling people.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  53. “A profound conviction raises a man above the feeling of ridicule.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  54. “He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gather materials for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  55. “In all the more advanced communities the great majority of things are worse done by the intervention of government than the individuals most interested in the matter would do them, or cause them to be done, if left to themselves.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  56. “Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  57. “The price paid for intellectual pacification is the sacrifice of the entire moral courage of the human mind.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  58. “However unwillingly a person who has a strong opinion may admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that, however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  59. “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
  60. “The object of universities is not to make skillful lawyers, physicians or engineers. It is to make capable and cultivated human beings” ~ John Stuart Mill
  61. “‎A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  62. “In this age, the mere example of nonconformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service.” ~ John Stuart Mill

  63. “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  64. “… All ideas need to be heard, because each idea contains one aspect of the truth. By examining that aspect, we add to our own idea of the truth. Even ideas that have no truth in them whatsoever are useful because by disproving them, we add support to our own ideas.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  65. “The perpetual obstacle to human advancement is custom.” ~ John Stuart Mill

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