Bertrand Russell Quotes About Philosophy

Browse 22 famous quotes of Bertrand Russell about Philosophy.

"A truly scientific philosophy will be more humble, more piecemeal, more arduous, offering less glitter of outward mirage to flatter fallacious hopes, but more indifferent to fate, and more capable of accepting the world without the tyrannous imposition of our human and temporary demands." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The trouble arises from the generally received philosophy of life, according to which life is a contest, a competition, in which respect is to be a ccorded to the victor. This view leads to an undue cultivation of the will at the expense of the senses and the intellect." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the cooperation or consent of his deliberate reason." ~ Bertrand Russell
"With subjectivism in philosophy, anarchism in politics goes hand in hand.http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bertrand..." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy, from the earliest times, has made greater claims, and achieved fewer results, than any other branch of learning." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The ancient world found an end to anarchy in the Roman Empire, but the Roman Empire was a brute fact, not an idea. The Catholic world sought an end to anarchy in the church, which was an idea, but was never adequately embodied in fact. Neither the ancient nor the medieval solution was satisfactory – the one because it could not be idealized, the other because it could not be actualized. The modern world, at present, seems to be moving towards a solution like that of antiquity: a social order imposed by force, representing the will of the powerful rather than the hopes of the common men. The problem of a durable and satisfactory social order can only be solved by combining the solidarity of the Roman Empire with the idealism of St. Augustine's City of God. To achieve this a new philosophy will be needed" ~ Bertrand Russell
"(on A History of Western Philosophy) I was sometimes accused by reviewers of writing not a true history but a biased account of the events that I arbitrarily chose to write of. But to my mind, a man without a bias cannot write interesting history - if, indeed, such man exists." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy arises from an unusually obstinate attempt to arrive at real knowledge. What passes for knowledge in ordinary life suffers from three defects: it is cocksure, vague and self-contradictory. The first step towards philosophy consists in becoming aware of these defects, not in order to rest content with a lazy scepticism, but in order to substitute an amended kind of knowledge which shall be tentative, precise and self-consistent." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Grammar and ordinary language are bad guides to metaphysics. A great book might be written showing the influence of syntax on philosophy." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Noone has yet succeeded in inventing a philosophy at once credible and self-consistent. Locke aimed at credibility, and achieved it at the expense of consistency. Most of the great philosophers have done the opposite. A philosophy which is not self-consistent cannot be wholly true, but a philosophy which is self-consistent can very well be wholly false. The most fruitful philosophies have contained glaring inconsistencies, but for that very reason have been partially true. There is no reason to suppose that a self-consistent system contains more truth than one which, like Locke's, is more or less wrong." ~ Bertrand Russell
"We may say, in a broad way, that Greek philosophy down to Aristotle expresses the mentality appropriate to the City State; that Stoicism is appropriate to a cosmopolitan despotism; that stochastic philosophy is an intellectual expression of the Church as an organization; that philosophy since Descartes, or at any rate since Locke, tends to embody the prejudices of the commercial middle class; and that Marxism and Fascism are the philosophies appropriate to the modern industrial state." ~ Bertrand Russell
"That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the débris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy which does not seek to impose upon the world its own conceptions of good and evil is not only more likely to achieve truth, but is also the outcome of a higher ethical standpoint than one which, like evolutionism and most traditional systems, is perpetually appraising the universe and seeking to find in it an embodiment of present ideals." ~ Bertrand Russell
"To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The product of causes ... his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms, that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, that the whole temple of man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand ..." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy, as I shall understand the word, is something intermediate between theology and science." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy, for Plato, is a kind of vision, the 'vision of truth'...Everyone who has done any kind of creative work has experienced, in a greater or less degree, the state of mind in which, after long labour, truth or beauty appears, or seems to appear, in a sudden glory - it may only be about some small matter, or it may be about the universe. I think that most of the best creative work, in art, in science, in literature, and in philosophy, has been a result of just such a moment." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy is an unusually ingenious attempt to think fallaciously." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The accusation of metaphysics has become in philosophy something like the accusation of being a security risk in the public service. I do not for my part know what is meant by the word 'metaphysics'. The only definition I have found that fits all cases is: 'a philosophical opinion not held by the present author'." ~ 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
"Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possiblities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what the may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familar things in an unfamilar aspect" ~ Bertrand Russell
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If you don't feel as close to God today as you did yesterday, who moved?"
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