John Stuart Mill
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Ed's Favorite Quotations. Emphasis added. References below.


Utilitarianism and Other Essays.

"It was found that the state was a bad judge of the wants of society; that it in reality cared very little for them; and when it attempted anything beyond that police against crime, and arbitration of disputes, . . .  the private sinister interest of some class or individual was usually the prompter of its proceedings."1a HEGEL NIETZSCHE

"The truths which are ultimately accepted as the first principles of a science, are really the last results of metaphysical analysis . . . and their relation to the science is not that of foundations to an edifice, but of roots to a tree . . . "1b

"The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure."1c SPENGLER SUZUKI

John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. Utilitarianism and Other Essays. (Penguin Classics.)
John Stuart Mill. On Liberty and Utilitarianism. Introduction by Alan M. Dershowitz. (A Bantam Classic.)
On Liberty.

"This, then, is the appropriate region of human liberty. It comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological. . . Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits; of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character; of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow . . . Thirdly, from this liberty of each individual, follows the liberty, within the same limits, of combination among individuals; freedom to unite, for any purpose not involving harm to others; the persons combining being supposed to be of full age, and not forced or deceived.
"No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole, respected, is free . . . ; and none is completely free in which they do not exist absolute and unqualified."2a

"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."2b

"Cruelty of disposition; malice and ill-nature; that most anti-social and odious of all passions, envy; dissimulation and insincerity, irascibility on insufficient cause, and resentment disproportioned to the provocation; the love of domineering over others; the desire to engross more than one's share of advantages . . . ; the pride which derives gratification from the abasement of others; the egotism which thinks self and its concerns more important than everything else, and decides all doubtful questions in his own favor;-- these are moral vices . . . "2c

" . . . [I]t is now recognized . . . that both the cheapness and the good quality of commodities are more effectually provided for by leaving the producers and sellers perfectly free, under the sole check of equal freedom to the buyers for supplying themselves elsewhere. This is the so-called doctrine of Free Trade, which rests on grounds different from, though equally solid with, the principle of individual liberty asserted in this Essay."2d

"In this and most other civilized countries . . . an engagement by which a person should sell himself, or allow himself to be sold, as a slave, would be null and void; neither enforced by law nor by opinion. . . by selling himself for a slave, he abdicates his liberty . . . He is no longer free . . . The principle of freedom cannot require that he should be free not to be free. It is not freedom, to be allowed to alienate his freedom."2e DIOGENES ARISTOTLE HEGEL SANTAYANA [See Edward Ayoub's Quantum Theory of Economics.] AYOUB

John Stuart Mill. On Liberty. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications Inc., 2002. (Originally published by J.W. Parker in Great Britain in 1859.)


1 John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Utilitarianism and Other Essays. Edited with an Introduction by Alan Ryan. Alan Ryan, 1987. London, UK: Penguin Books Ltd., 1987.
a Coleridge, at 203.
b Utilitarianism, at 273.
c Ibid., at 278.

2 John Stuart Mill. On Liberty. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications Inc., 2002. (Originally published by J.W. Parker in Great Britain in 1859.)
a Chapter I: Introductory, at 10.
b Chapter II: Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion, at 14.
c Chapter IV: Of the Limits to the Authority of Society over the Individual, at 66.
d Chapter V: Applications, at 80.
e Ibid., at 86-87.

UPDATED 20090322.