Skip navigation

Contemporary Civilization

“It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied” (John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism)

On Liberty, Utilitarianism, and Other Essays


John Stuart Mill

1806 CE – 1873 CE

John Stuart Mill was the son of the philosopher, historian, and economist James Mill. Together with Jeremy Bentham, Mill the elder was a leading advocate of social reform based on utilitarianism, or the idea that government should pursue “the greatest happiness of the greatest number.”


Explorations labeled “Licensed for Private Use” are available only to members of the Columbia community.