PHILOSOPHY QUOTES

quotations about philosophy

Philosophy quote

Children are the boldest philosophers. They enter life naked, not covered by the smallest fig leaf of dogma, absolutes, creeds. This is why every question they ask is so absurdly naïve and so frighteningly complex.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, On Literature, Revolution, Entropy, and Other Matters

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

AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil's Dictionary

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The problems of philosophy and the systems designed to solve them are formulated in terms which tend to refer, not to the realm of actuality, but to the realms of possibility and necessity: to what might be and what must be, rather than to what is.

ROGER SCRUTON, Short History of Modern Philosophy

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It is unfortunately very difficult to describe the nature of philosophy in a small compass; the only satisfaction that an author can draw from the attempt to do so lies in the knowledge that an answer to the question "What is philosophy?" is apt to seem persuasive only to the extent that it is brief. The more one ponders over the qualifications that any reasoned answer must contain, the more one is driven to the conclusion that this question is itself one of the principal subjects of philosophical thinking.

ROGER SCRUTON, Short History of Modern Philosophy

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The philosopher is neither a chemist, a smith, a merchant, or a manufacturer; but he both teaches and is taught by all of them; and his prayer is that the intellectual light may be as general as the solar, and uncontrolled.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon

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It is the duty of all who make philosophy the entertainment of their lives, to turn their thoughts to practical schemes for the good of society, and not pass away their time in fruitless searches, which tend rather to the ostentation of knowledge than the service of life.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Tatler, December 9, 1710

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Philosophers are like cartographers -- they map our world. The milestones, however, are not road signs or signposts. They are ideas and values.

IVAN KOLEV, "Bangladesh Philosophy Olympiad 2016", Dhaka Tribune, April 3, 2016

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A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

FRANCIS BACON, Essays

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I have tried in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.

OLIVER EDWARDS, attributed, Life of Samuel Johnson

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To a philosopher no circumstance, however trifling, is too minute.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH, Citizen of the World

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

LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN, Philosophical Investigations

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The true philosopher is a brave spirit; dauntless to discover, and bold to declare the truth at all hazard. He feels the inner constraint of his messages, and, as a prophet to his day and generation, he must needs speak, though the whole world cry to him, silence.

JOHN GRIER HIBBEN, The Problems of Philosophy

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Philosophy is concerned with that which is, in contrast with that which seems to be. Its aim is to reveal the reality which underlies appearance.

JOHN GRIER HIBBEN, The Problems of Philosophy

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To believe only possibilities is not faith, but mere Philosophy.

SIR THOMAS BROWNE, Religio Medici

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You can't do without philosophy, since everything has its hidden meaning which we must know.

MAXIM GORKY, The Zykovs

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The maxim, "An unexamined life is not worth living," is the priceless legacy of Socrates to the generations of men who have followed him upon this earth. The beings who have stood on humanity's summit are those, and only those, who have heard the voice of Socrates across the centuries. The others are a superior kind of cattle.

NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, lecture at Columbia University, March 4, 1908

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Philosophy should quicken life, not deaden it.

SUSAN GLASPELL, Little Masks

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Philosophy, like science, consists of theories or insights arrived at as a result of systemic reflection or reasoning in regard to the data of experience. It involves, therefore, the analysis of experience and the synthesis of the results of analysis into a comprehensive or unitary conception. Philosophy seeks a totality and harmony of reasoned insight into the nature and meaning of all the principal aspects of reality.

JOSEPH ALEXANDER LEIGHTON, The Field of Philosophy

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The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Life Thoughts

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A philosopher ... is not fairly judged by his eccentricities, nor by the frailties to which he is liable; still less should his philosophy as a whole fall into ill-repute because of those among its devotees who have stumbled into wells, or who aimlessly pass their lives in whetting their faculties and then neglecting to use them.

JOHN GRIER HIBBEN, The Problems of Philosophy

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