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
"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
"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;
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
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 . . .
" . . . [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
[See Edward Ayoub's Quantum Theory
Stuart Mill (1806-1873) and Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Utilitarianism
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.
John Stuart Mill. On
Mineola, NY: Dover Publications Inc., 2002. (Originally published
by J.W. Parker in Great Britain in 1859.)
a Chapter I: Introductory, at 10.
II: Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion, at 14.
IV: Of the Limits to the Authority of Society over the Individual,
V: Applications, at 80.
Ibid., at 86-87.