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Name: John Stuart Mill

Time Period: 1806 -- 1873

Quote: "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."

Brief Description: John Stuart Mill was born in London. His father was a respected author and seen to it that his son was given an extensive education. He was reading Greek by the age of seven and explored logic at age 12, among other intellectual accomplishments. However, it was so stressful that he suffered a nervous breakdown but recovered quickly. He pondered much about happiness- what makes people and how to be happy and concluded that happiness is simply "intended pleasure and the absence of pain". Unlike other philosophers such as Aristotle, he did not believe that the path to happiness lay within ourselves in the introverted way Aristotle did, but rather that happiness includes making sacrifices for the greater good, sharing with others, etc., and not to live in happiness yourself but allow and help others to achieve it as well. John Stuart Mill also believed that it is necessary to seek happiness in the ordinary things in life and to value dignity and virtue, family, and even the middle class life.

Current Relevance:  The appeal of John Stuart Mill's philosophy is that it is incredibly realistic. He advocates helping others and in turn that will make you happy- just as charities and organizations such as The Salvation Army does today. By being happy with the ordinary things in life, you are much more likely to find happiness than waiting for something extravagant to happen for you, and will be happier for it.

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