Look at this quote by John Stuart Mill:

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own side of the question.

I have a problem with finding out the meaning of the sentence after because, that is they only know their own side of the question. I know the meaning of each word but I am not sure what it means. How would you paraphrase it?


It means that that the pig doesn't know what it's like to be human, and a fool doesn't know what it's like to be Socrates.

The word "question" might be what's throwing you off. It approximately means "situation" in this context.

  • Nice, concise answer. I agree that "situation" is a good approximation of the meaning but I think Mill might also be implying an actual question: "Which is better?" – Tonkleton Jul 15 '17 at 0:56
  • @Tonkleton Astute! JSM posits equivalencies, but not between the fool and Socrates. You know that more than one good answer is possible, aye? – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 15 '17 at 2:08

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