Selected Quotes about Philosophy

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain. -- John Adams

Stripped of ethical rationalizations and philosophical pretensions, a crime is anything that a group in power chooses to prohibit. -- Freda Adler

The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next. -- Henry Ward Beecher

Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce

All philosophies, if you ride them, are nonsense, but some are greater nonsense than others. -- Samuel Butler

There is no statement so absurd that no philosopher will make it. -- Cicero

There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it. -- Cicero

True philosophy invents nothing; it merely establishes and describes what is. -- Victor Cousin

One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another. -- Rene Descartes

In laying hands upon the sacred ark of absolute permanency, in treating the forms that had been regarded as types of fixity and perfection as originating and passing away, the Origin of Species introduced a mode of thinking that in the end was bound to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of morals, politics, and religion. -- John Dewey

All serious conversations gravitate towards philosophy. -- Ernest Dimnet

Philosophers say a great deal about what is absolutely necessary for science, and it is always, so far as one can see, rather naive, and probably wrong. -- Richard Feynman

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. -- John W. Gardner

The intelligentsia ...was kept busy embroidering white stitches on the philosophical and ecclesiastical vestments of the bourgeoisie - that old and filthy fabric besmeared with the blood of toiling masses. -- Maxim Gorky

Leisure is the mother of philosophy. -- Thomas Hobbes

There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers. -- William James

If a man's good for nothing else, he can at least teach philosophy. -- William James

Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. -- William James

Pragmatism asks its usual question. "Grant an idea or belief to be true," it says, "what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth's cash-value in experiential terms? -- William James

Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck. -- Immanuel Kant

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. -- HH the Dalai Lama

In the information age, you don't teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he'd have a talk show. -- Timothy Leary

Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself. -- H. L. Mencken

Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself. -- H. L. Mencken

How charming is divine philosophy! Not harsh and crabbèd, as dull fools suppose, But musical as is Apollo’s lute, And a perpetual feast of nectared sweets, Where no crude surfeit reigns. -- John Milton

“All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions, is called a philosopher.” -- Ambrose Pierce

There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands. -- Plato

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine. -- Bertrand Russell

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. -- Bertrand Russell

This is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities. -- Bertrand Russell

Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don't know. -- Bertrand Russell

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. -- Bertrand Russell

Nietzsche was personally more philosophical than his philosophy. His talk about power, harshness, and superb immorality was the hobby of a harmless young scholar and constitutional invalid. -- George Santayana

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. -- Arthur Schopenhauer

There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker. -- Charles M. Schulz

The aim of philosophy is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term. -- Wilfred Sellars

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. -- William Shakespeare

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education. -- George Bernard Shaw

My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher. -- Socrates

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes. -- Jonathan Swift

History is Philosophy teaching by examples. -- Thucydides

All schools, all colleges, have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten. -- Mark Twain

The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people. -- Mark Twain

I went off to college planning to major in math or philosophy-- of course, both those ideas are really the same idea. -- Frank Wilczek

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate -- that's my philosophy. -- Thornton Wilder

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein

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