John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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Table of Contents | Discuss John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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

are the differences
among human beings
in their sources of pleasure,
their susceptibilities of pain,
and the operation on them
of different physical and moral agencies
unless there is
a corresponding diversity
in their modes of life,
they neither obtain their fair share of happiness,
nor grow up to the mental, moral, and aesthetic stature
of which their nature is capable

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)