Top Philosopher Quotes

Browse top 560 famous quotes and sayings about Philosopher by most favorite authors.

Favorite Philosopher Quotes

1. "You are the patient one, Mademoiselle,' said Poirot to Miss Debenham.She shrugged her shoulders slightly. 'What else can one do?'You are a philosopher, Mademoiselle.'That implies a detached attitude. I think my attitude is more selfish. I have learned to save myself useless emotion."
Author: Agatha Christie
2. "Shortly after her older brother died, Chloe (who had just celebrated her eighth birthday) went through a deeply philosophical stage. "I began to question everything," she told me, "I had to figure out what death was, that's enough to turn anyone into a philosopher." Chloe would put her hand over her eyes and tell the family her brother was still alive because she could see him in her mind just as well as she could see them."
Author: Alain De Botton
3. "Almost all the noblest things that have been achieved in the world, have been achieved by poor men; poor scholars, poor professional men, poor artisans and artists, poor philosophers, poets, and men of genius."
Author: Albert Pike
4. "For of course some sort of general idea they must have, if they were to do their work intelligently-though as little of one, if they were to be good and happy members of society, as possible. For particulars, as every one knows, makes for virtues and happiness;generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers, but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society."
Author: Aldous Huxley
5. "Philosophers say man forms himself in dialogue."
Author: Anne Carson
6. "Therefore, even the lover of myth is a philosopher; for myth is composed of wonder."
Author: Aristotle
7. "Film and TV V.I.P, seeker of the peace, part time chandelier cleaner, a legend in his own time, oppressor of champions, soldier of fortune, world traveller, bonvivant, all round good guy, international lover, casual hero, philosopher, wars fought, bears wrestled, equations solved, virgins enlightened, revolutions quelled, tigers castrated, orgies organised, bars quaffed dry, governments run, test rockets flown, life president of the Liquidarian Society of Great Britain and Ireland."
Author: Billy Connolly
8. "A great human philosopher nearly let our secret out when he said that where virute is concerned, "Experience is the mother of illusion."
Author: C.S. Lewis
9. "A philosopher has remarked that if a man knew that he had thirty years of life before him, it would not be an unwise thing to spend twenty of those in mapping out a plan of living and putting himself under rule; for he would do more with the ten well-arranged years than with the whole thirty if he spent them at random. There is much truth in that saying. A man will do little by firing off his gun if he has notlearned to take aim."
Author: Charles H. Spurgeon
10. "It will sometimes strike a scientific man that the philosophers have been less intent on finding out what the facts are, than on inquiring what belief is most in harmony with their system."
Author: Charles Sanders Peirce
11. "Man is brilliant at solving problems; but solving them only makes him the victim of his own childishness and laziness. It is this recognition that has made almost every major philosopher in history a pessimist."
Author: Colin Wilson
12. "Five hundred years before Christ was born, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus told his students that "everything changes except the law of change". He said: "You cannot step in the same river twice." The river changes every second; and so does the man who stepped in it. Life is a ceaseless change. The only certainty is today. Why mar the beauty of living today by trying to solve the problems of a future that is shrouded in ceaseless change and uncertainty-a future that no one can possibly foretell?"
Author: Dale Carnegie
13. "The impulse of the journalist is to be novel, yet to relate his curiosities to the urgencies of the moment; the philosopher seeks what he conceives to be true, regardless of the moment."
Author: Daniel Bell
14. "Very few of us can now place ourselves in the mental condition in which even such philosophers as the great Descartes were involved in the days before Newton had announced the true laws of the motion of bodies."
Author: Descartes
15. "The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.'Said [author:Diogenes|3213618, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"."
Author: Diogenes
16. "First, anyone who seriously intends to become a philosophermust "once in his life" withdraw into himself and attempt,within himself, to overthrow and build anew all the sciencesthat, up to then, he has been accepting. Philosophy wisdom(sagesse) is the philosophizer's quite personal affair. It mustarise as His wisdom, as his self-acquired knowledge tendingtoward universality, a knowledge for which he can answer fromthe beginning, and at each step, by virtue of his own absoluteinsights."
Author: Edmund Husserl
17. "The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful."
Author: Edward Gibbon
18. "God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature, and it has often been said by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see."
Author: Frank Lloyd Wright
19. "Progress in science and technology is real, but it builds on past truths without rejecting them. Computers don't have to be re-invented in order to keep getting better; innovations expand what they already do. Knowledge accumulates, so it can increase. Scientists and engineers know this, but artists, authors, and philosophers keep trying to start over from ground zero in the humanities. Thus, they don't really progress—they become primitive."
Author: Gene Edward Veith Jr.
20. "Philosophers and psychiatrists should explain why it is that we mathematicians are in the habit of systematically erasing our footsteps. Scientists have always looked askance at this strange habit of mathematicians, which has changed little from Pythagoras to our day."
Author: Gian Carlo Rota
21. "Don't listen to people telling you that getting up early is best. René Descartes is one of history's most important philosophers, but he rarely got out of bed before noon - and when he started getting up early for a new job as a private tutor, it caused him to catch pneumonia and die."
Author: Gideon Defoe
22. "Anyone who can read history with both hemispheres of the brain knows that a world comes to an end every instant--the waves of time leave washed up behind themselves only dry memories of a closed & petrified past--imperfect memory, itself already dying & autumnal. And every instant also gives birth to a world--despite the cavillings of philosophers & scientists whose bodies have grown numb--a present in which all impossibilities are renewed, where regret & premonition fade to nothing in one presential hologrammatical psychomantric gesture."
Author: Hakim Bey
23. "Most mothers are instinctive philosophers."
Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe
24. "As a philosopher, I'm not obliged to explore every unknown wilderness."
Author: Harry Frankfurt
25. "The creative artist has something in common with the hero. Though functioning on another plane, he too believes that he has solutions to offer. He gives his life to accomplish imaginary triumphs. At the conclusion of every grand experiment, whether by statesman, warrior, poet or philosopher, the problems of life present the same enigmatic complexion. The happiest people, it is said, are those which have no history. Those which have a history, those which have made history, seem only to have emphasized through their accomplishments the eternality of struggle. These disappear too, eventually, just as those who made no effort, who were content merely to live and to enjoy."
Author: Henry Miller
26. "Science has so far been unable to tell us how self-aware dogs are, much less whether they have anything like our conscious thoughts. This is not surprising, since neither scientists nor philosophers can agree about what the consciousness of humans consists of, let alone that of animals."
Author: John Bradshaw
27. "The philosopher Elaine Scarry has observed that "beauty always takes place in the particular." Cruelty, on the other hand, prefers abstraction."
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
28. "Here is Thomas Kuhn, the philosopher of science, describing the way scientists react when their pet theories are unraveling: "What scientists never do when confronted by even severe and prolonged anomalies," Kuhn wrote, "…. [is] renounce the paradigm that led them into crisis." Instead, he concluded, "A scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place." That is, scientific theories very seldom collapse under the weight of their own inadequacy. They topple only when a new and seemingly better belief turns up to replace it."
Author: Kathryn Schulz
29. "Comedians and jazz musicians have been more comforting and enlightening to me than preachers or politicians or philosophers or poets or painters or novelists of my time. Historians in the future, in my opinion, will congratulate us on very little other than our clowning and our jazz."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
30. "Laozi was an ancient Chinese philosopher. According to Chinese tradition, Laozi lived in the 6th century BC, however many historians contend that Laozi"
Author: Lao Tzu
31. "This is connected with the conception of naming as a process that is, so to speak, occult. Naming seems to be a _strange_ connection of a word with an object. -- And such a strange connection really obtains, particularly when a philosopher tries to fathom _the_ relation between name and what is named by staring at an object in front of him and repeating a name, or even the word "this", innumerable time. For philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday. And _then_ we may indeed imagine naming to be some remarkable mental act, as it were the baptism of an object. And we can also say the word "this" _to_ the object, as it were _address_ the object as "this" -- a strange use of this word, which perhaps occurs only when philosophizing."
Author: Ludwig Wittgenstein
32. "Faced with the thoughts, the actions of a woman whom we love, we are as completely at a loss as the world's first natural philosophers must have been, face to face with the phenomena of nature, before their science had been elaborated and had cast a ray of light over the unknown. Or, worse still, we are like a person in whose mind the law of causality barely exists, a person who would be incapable, therefore, of establishing a connexion between one phenomenon and another and to whose eyes the spectacle of the world would appear as unstable as a dream."
Author: Marcel Proust
33. "Poets create gods, philosophers destroy them."
Author: Marty Rubin
34. "Democritus and Heraclitus were two philosophers, of whom the first, finding the condition of man vain and ridiculous, never went out in public but with a mocking and laughing face; whereas Heraclitus, having pity and compassion on this same condition of ours, wore a face perpetually sad, and eyes filled with tears. I prefer the first humor; not because it is pleasanter to laugh than to weep, but because it is more disdainful, and condemns us more than the other; and it seems to me that we can never be despised as much as we deserve. Pity and commiseration are mingled with some esteem for the thing we pity; the things we laugh at we consider worthless. I do not think there is as much unhappiness in us as vanity, nor as much malice as stupidity. We are not so full of evil as of inanity; we are not as wretched as we are worthless."
Author: Michel De Montaigne
35. "Kings and philosophers defecate, and so do ladies."
Author: Michel De Montaigne
36. "And usually [the philosopher] philosophizes either in order to resign himself to life, or to seek some finality in it, or to distract himself and forget his griefs, or for pastime and amusement."
Author: Miguel De Unamuno
37. "It has generally been assumed that of two opposing systems of philosophy, e.g., realism and idealism, one only can be true and one must be false; and so philosophers have been hopelessly divided on the question, which is the true one."
Author: Morris Raphael Cohen
38. "Too many leaders fancy themselves on being philosophers, but not enough pride themselves on decisive action."
Author: Noel DeJesus
39. "You say some Greek philosophers could dazzle their audienceswith their riddles? That does not interest me at all. Bringmore wine instead and play your lute; your changes in tonesremind me of the wind that rushes past and disappears,just like us."
Author: Omar Khayyam
40. "The Street Epistemologist is a philosopher and a fighter. She has savvy and street smarts that come from the school of hard knocks. She relentlessly helps others by tearing down falsehoods about whatever enshrined "truths" enslave us."
Author: Peter Boghossian
41. "«Who are the true philosophers you have in mind?» he asked. «Sightseers of the truth,» I answered. «That must be right, but what exactly does it mean?» he asked."
Author: Plato
42. "A dog has the soul of a philosopher."
Author: Plato
43. "Don't talk rot, Whitney," said Rainsford. "You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a jaguar feels?"
Author: Richard Connell
44. "The phaenomena afforded by trades, are a part of the history of nature, and therefore may both challenge the naturalist's curiosity and add to his knowledge, Nor will it suffice to justify learned men in the neglect and contempt of this part of natural history, that the men, from whom it must be learned, are illiterate mechanicks... is indeed childish, and too unworthy of a philosopher, to be worthy of an honest answer."
Author: Robert Boyle
45. "To prove to [her friend, Swedish diplomat Count] Gyllenborg that she was not superficial, Catherine composed an essay about herself, "so that he would see whether I knew myself or not." The next day, she wrote and handed to Gyllenborg an essay titled 'Portrait of a Fifteen-Year-Old Philosopher.' He was impressed and returned it with a dozen pages of comments, mostly favorable. "I read his remarks again and again, many times [Catherine later recalled in her memoirs]. I impressed them on my consciousness and resolved to follow his advice. In addition, there was something else surprising: one day, while conversing with me, he allowed the following sentence to slip out: 'What a pity that you will marry! I wanted to find out what he meant, but he would not tell me."
Author: Robert K. Massie
46. "These views were voiced by the school of 'optessimists', i.e. philosophers who derived optimism for the future from a pessimistic appraisal of the present." The 21st Voyage, The Star Diaries"
Author: Stanisław Lem
47. "When they asked some old Roman philosopher or other how he wanted to die, he said he would open his veins in a warm bath. I thought it would be easy, lying in the tub and seeing the redness flower from my wrists, flush after flush through the clear water, till I sank to sleep under a surface gaudy of poppies.But when it came right down to it, the sink of my wrist looked so white and defenseless that I couldn't do it. It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn't in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, and a whole lot harder to get at."
Author: Sylvia Plath
48. "Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed."
Author: Terence McKenna
49. "Proceed, philosophers, teach, enlighten, enkindle, think aloud, speak aloud, run joyously towards the bright daylight, fraternise in the public squares, announce the glad tidings, scatter plenteously your alphabets, proclaim human rights, sing your Marseillaises, sow enthusiasms, broadcast, tear off green branches from the oak trees. Make thought a whirlwind. This multitude can be sublimated. Let us learn to avail ourselves of this vast combustion of principles and virtues, which sparkles, crackles and thrills at certain periods. These bare feet, these naked arms, these rags, these shades of ignorance, these depths of abjectness, these abysses of gloom may be employed in the conquest of the ideal. Look through the medium of the people, and you shall discern the truth. This lowly sand which you trample beneath your feet, if you cast it into the furnace, and let it melt and seethe, shall become resplendent crystal, and by means of such as it a Galileo and a Newtown shall discover stars."
Author: Victor Hugo
50. "For Kierkegaard, for Heidegger, for Sartre, the more profound the awareness, the more authentic the existence. They measure honesty and the essence of experience by the degree of awareness. But is our humanity really built on awareness? Doesn't awareness--that forced, extreme awareness--arise among us, not from us, as something created by effort, the mutual perfecting of ourselves in it, the confirming of something that one philosopher forces onto another? Isn't man, therefore, in his private reality, something childish and always beneath his own awareness? And doesn't he feel awareness to be, at the same time, something alien, imposed and unimportant? If this is how it is, this furtive childhood, this concealed degradation are ready to explode your systems sooner or later."
Author: Witold Gombrowicz

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