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Quotes regarding Philosophy and philosophers:

Quotes Edit

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  • Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
    • Anonymous; quoted in Dennett, Daniel C. (2006). Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (1st ed. ed.). Viking Penguin. pp. p. 17. ISBN 0-670-03472-X. 
  • "Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it … or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings—that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.
  • A cleric who loses his faith abandons his calling; a philosopher who loses his redefines his subject.
  • Philosophy is explicitness, generality, orientation and assessment. That of which one would insinuate, thereof one must speak.
  • "'You only think you are you barnpots,' shouted angry farmers from the meadows. 'Shut that row up! You're frightening the chickens, you lot and your bloody philosophy. You can't eat philosophy can you? Where would you be if us farmers went round spouting statements like that, eh? Dead, that's where you'd be! Because there'd be naff all to eat!"
  • Philosophy is not the owl of Minerva that takes flight after history has been realized in order to celebrate its happy ending; rather, philosophy is subjective proposition, desire, and praxis that are applied to the event.
  • To philosophise is to learn to die – philosophising is a soaring up to the Godhead – the knowledge of Being as Being.
    • Karl Jaspers, Philosophy and Science, World Review Magazine, March 1950.
  • Physics and philosophy are at most a few thousand years old, but probably have lives of thousands of millions of years stretching away in front of them. They are only just beginning to get under way.
  • Too much philosophy makes men mad.
  • Philosophy is life's dry-nurse, who can take care of us -- but not suckle us.
  • It is perfectly true, as the philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards.
  • The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.
  • "In order to live, man must act; in order to act, he must make choices; in order to make choices, he must define a code of values; in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is – i.e. he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in which he acts – i.e. he needs metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, which means: philosophy. He cannot escape from this need; his only alternative is whether the philosophy guiding him is to be chosen by his mind or by chance."
  • Philosophers, for the most part, are constitutionally timid,and dislike the unexpected. Few of them would be genuinely happy as pirates or burglars.
  • Philosophy makes progress not by becoming more rigorous but by becoming more imaginative.
    • Richard Rorty, introduction to Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers, Volume 3 (1998).
  • "Shouldn't I join the ranks of philosophers and merely make unsubstantiated claims about the wonders of human consciousness? Shouldn't I stop trying to do some science and keep my head down? Indeed not".
  • "I feel that we are all philosophers, and that those who describe themselves as a 'philosopher' simply do not have a day job to go to".
  • What characterizes philosophy is this "step back" from actuality into possibility—the attitude best rendered by Adorno's and Horkheimer's motto quoted by Fredric Jameson: "Not Italy itself is given here, but the proof that it exists."

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 596-97.
  • A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.
  • Sublime Philosophy!
    Thou art the patriarch’s ladder, reaching heaven;
    And bright with beckoning angels—but alas!
    We see thee, like the patriarch, but in dreams,
    By the first step,—dull slumbering on the earth.
  • Beside, he was a shrewd philosopher,
    And had read ev’ry text and gloss over
    Whate’er the crabbed’st author hath,
    He understood b’ implicit faith.
  • Before Philosophy can teach by Experience, the Philosophy has to be in readiness, the Experience must be gathered and intelligibly recorded.
  • O vitæ philosophia dux! O virtutis indagatrix, expultrixque vitiorum! Quid non modo nos, sed omnino vita hominum sine et esse potuisset? Tu urbes peperisti; tu dissipatos homines in societatum vitæ convocasti.
    • O philosophy, life’s guide! O searcher-out of virtue and expeller of vices! What could we and every age of men have been without thee? Thou hast produced cities; thou hast called men scattered about into the social enjoyment of life.
    • Cicero, Tusc. Quæst, Book V. 2. 5.
  • The first step towards philosophy is incredulity.
  • The Beginning of Philosophy* ** ** ** is a Consciousness of your own Weakness and inability in necessary things.
    • Epictetus, Discourses, Book II. Ch, XI. St. 1.
  • Philosophy goes no further than probabilities, and in every assertion keeps a doubt in reserve.
  • This same philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey.
  • How charming is divine philosophy!
    Not harsh, and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
    But musical as is Apollo’s lute,
    And a perpetual feast of nectar’d sweets,
    Where no crude surfeit reigns.
  • That stone,* ** *
    Philosophers in vain so long have sought.
  • Se moquer de la philosophie c’est vraiment philosophe.
    • To ridicule philosophy is truly philosophical.
    • Blaise Pascal, Pensées, Article VII. 35.
  • Philosophy is nothing but Discretion.
  • There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
  • The philosopher is Nature’s pilot. And there you have our difference: to be in hell is to drift: to be in heaven is to steer.
  • La clarté est la bonne foi des philosophes.
  • The bosom-weight, your stubborn gift,
    That no philosophy can lift.
  • Why should not grave Philosophy be styled.
    Herself, a dreamer of a kindred stock,
    A dreamer, yet more spiritless and dull?

See also Edit

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