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. ~ Søren Kierkegaard
Quotes regarding Philosophy and philosophers:
Last modified on 12 June 2013, at 20:32
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The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. ~ Karl Marx
"Philosophy" is a word which has been used in many ways, some wider, some narrower. I propose to use it in a very wide sense, which I will now try to explain. ~ Bertrand Russell
A man becomes a philosopher by reason of a certain perplexity, from which he seeks to free himself. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
- 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.). Viking Penguin. pp. p. 17. ISBN 0-670-03472-X.
- The philosopher as an analyst is not concerned with the physical properties of things, but only with the way in which we speak about them.
- 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 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.
- Pretend what we may, the whole man within us is at work when we form our philosophical opinions. Intellect, will, taste, and passion co-operate just as they do in practical affairs; and lucky it is if the passion be not something as petty as a love of personal conquest over the philosopher across the way.
- 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.
- The failure of previous philosophy is essentially the failure to see the self-evident.
- 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 spheres with which philosophy properly has to deal, the spheres proper to thought, are logic, nature, and history. Here necessity rules and therefore mediation has its validity. That this is true of logic and nature, no one will deny, but with history there is a difficulty, for here, it is said, freedom prevails. But I think that history is incorrectly interpreted and that the difficulty arises from the following: History, namely, is more than a product of the free actions of free individuals. The individual acts, but his action enters into the order of things that maintains the whole of existence. What is going to come of his action, one who acts does not really know. But this higher order of things that digests, so to speak, the free actions and works them together in its eternal laws is necessity, and this necessity is the movement of world history; it is therefore quite proper for philosophy to use mediation-that is, relative mediation. If I am contemplating a world-historical individuality, I can then distinguish between the deeds of which Scripture says “they follow him” and the deeds by which he belongs to history. Philosophy has nothing to do with what could be called the inner deed, but the inner deed is the true life of freedom. Philosophy considers the external deed, yet in turn it does not see this as isolated but sees it as assimilated into and transformed in the world-historical process. This process is the proper subject for philosophy and it considers this under the category of necessity. Therefore it reject the reflection that wants to point out that everything could be otherwise; it views world-history in such a way that there is no question of an either/or.
- 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.
- Philosophy seems to me on the whole a rather hopeless business.
- Philosophy, if it cannot answer so many questions as we could wish, has at least the power of asking questions which increase the interest of the world, and show the strangeness and wonder lying just below the surface even in the commonest things of daily life.
- Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.
- 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.
- When people begin to philosophize they seem to think it necessary to make themselves artificially stupid.
- Science is what we know, and philosophy is what we don't know.
- 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)
- The philosopher places himself at the summit of thought; from there he views what the world has been and what it must become. He is not just an observer, he is an actor; he is an actor of the highest kind in a moral world because it is his opinion of what the world must become that regulates society.
- A man becomes a philosopher by reason of a certain perplexity, from which he seeks to free himself.
- 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.
- When we affirm that philosophy begins with wonder, we are affirming in effect that sentiment is prior to reason.
- 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 Quotations
- 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.
- Adversity’s sweet milk, 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?