Top Spinoza Quotes

Browse top 24 famous quotes and sayings about Spinoza by most favorite authors.

Favorite Spinoza Quotes

1. "The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another."
Author: Albert Einstein
2. "I must, I must before I die find some way to say the essential thing that is in me, that I have never said yet – a thing that is not love or hate or pity or scorn but the very breath of life... I want to bring back into the world of men some little bit of new wisdom. There is a little wisdom in the world; Heraclitus, Spinoza, and a saying here and there. I want to add to it, even if ever so little."
Author: Bertrand Russell
3. "Nevertheless, when it is your lot to have to endure something that is (or seems to you) worse than the ordinary lot of mankind, Spinoza's principle of thinking about the whole, or at any rate about larger matters than your own grief, is a useful one. There are even times when it is comforting to reflect that human life, with all that is contains of evil and suffering, is an infinitesimal part of the life of the universe. Such reflections may not suffice to constitute a religion, but in a painful world they are a help towards sanity and an antidote to the paralysis of utter despair. - about Spinoza"
Author: Bertrand Russell
4. "When Maimonides says that the Messiah will come but that 'he may tarry,' we see the origin of every Jewish shrug from Spinoza to Woody Allen."
Author: Christopher Hitchens
5. "Fiziologii ar trebui sa mai chibzuiasca înainte de a afirma ca in¬stinctul primordial al unei fiinte organice este instinctul de conser¬vare. Fiinta vie nazuieste înainte de toate sa dea curs liber puterii sale -viata, ea însasi, este voita de putere -: instinctul de con¬servare fiind doar o consecinta indirecta, una dintre cele mai frec¬vente ale ei. - Pe scurt, aici precum si în alta parte, atentie fata de principiile teleologice inutile! – cum este acela al instinctului de conservare (pe care îl datoram inconsecventei lui Spinoza). În acest fel se ordoneaza metoda ce trebuie sa fie, în esenta, economie de principii."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
6. "Can you catch the expression of the Sperm Whale's there? It is the same he died with, only some of the longer wrinkles in the forehead seem now faded away. I think his broad brow to be full of a prairie-like placidity, born of a speculative indifference as to death. But mark the other head's [Right Whale] expression. See that amazing lower lip, pressed by accident against the vessel's side, so as firmly to embrace the jaw. Does not this whole head seem to speak of an enormous practical resolution in facing death? This Right Whale I take to have been a Stoic; the Sperm Whale, a Platonian, who might have taken up Spinoza in his latter years."
Author: Herman Melville
7. "Exactly. We know that the great Goethe carried a copy of Spinoza's Ethics in his pocket for a year. Imagine that—an entire year! And not only Goethe but many other great Germans. Lessing and Heine reported a clarity and calmness that came from reading this book. Who knows, there may come a time in your life when you, too, will need the calmness and clarity that Spinoza's Ethics offers. I shan't ask you to read that book now. You're too young to grasp its meaning. But I want you to promise that before your twenty-first birthday you will read it. Or perhaps I should say, read it by the time you're fully grown. Do I have your word as a good German?"
Author: Irvin D. Yalom
8. "But Little Spinoza was only interested in that satchel-bellied ten-dollar billy goat. First he jumped back like insulted when the goat lift his head at him and stare. What you think this is, son? Ain't nothing but a spotted he-goat, good for nothing save to be the horse's friend. He gone urinate in you hay and shove his head in you feed bucket and race you to you eats. You don't mind out, he win too. You want that? Medicine Ed reached down and touched that peculiar armor-plate forehead of the goat between his coin-slot eyes, and shuddered. But Little Spinoza dance around and look happy and want a billy goat all his own."
Author: Jaimy Gordon
9. "In 1921, a New York rabbi asked Einstein if he believed in God. "I believe in Spinoza's God," he answered, "who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings."
Author: Jim Holt
10. "Dostoevsky's nature was two-fold, like Spinoza's, and like that of nearly all those who try to awaken humanity from its torpor."
Author: Lev Shestov
11. "I have sincerely tried not to deride the action of men, not to lament nor to abhor them. I have done all in my might to understand them.- Spinoza"
Author: Lion Feuchtwanger
12. "Spinoza spoke of vitality as the purest virtue, the only virtue. The drive to persist, to flourish, he said, is the absolute quality shared by all living beings. What happens, however, when vitality is inverted, and instead of flourishing, one is driven to eat oneself alive?"
Author: Michael Greenberg
13. "...Spinoza's Conjecture:"Belief comes quickly and naturally, skepticism is slow and unnatural, and most people have a low tolerance for ambiguity.The scientific principle that a claim is untrue unless proven otherwise runs counter to our natural tendency to accept as true that which we can comprehend quickly. Thus it is that we should reward skepticism and disbelief, and champion those willing to change their mind in the teeth of new evidence. Instead, most social institutions-most notably those in religion, politics, and economics-reward belief in the doctrines of the faith or party or ideology, punish those who challenge the authority of the leaders, and discourage uncertainty and especially skepticism."
Author: Michael Shermer
14. "Sì, è possibile trapiantare l'ipofisi di uno Spinoza o di qualche altro povero diavolo e fabbricare da un cane un essere intelligentissimo. Ma perché farlo? Me lo dica lei, per favore: perché fabbricare artificialmente gli Spinoza quando una qualunque donnetta è capace di sfornarne uno quando vuole. Madame Lomonosov ha messo al mondo a Cholmogory quel suo celeberrimo figlio. Dottore, è la stessa umanità che ci pensa e, grazie all'evoluzione, genera ostinatamente, ogni anno, dalla gentaglia più triviale, decine di geni eminenti, abbellendo il globo terrestre."
Author: Mikhail Bulgakov
15. "Metti chiunque, anche uno scemo, davanti a una finestra, e avrai uno Spinoza."
Author: Nicole Krauss
16. "When they turned, Pelletier and Espinoza saw an older woman in a white blouse and black skirt, a woman with a figure like Marlene Dietrich, as Pelletier would say much later, a woman who despite her years was still as strong willed as ever, a woman who didn't cling to the edge of the abyss but plunged into it with curiosity and elegance. A woman who plunged into the abyss sitting down."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
17. "The first conversation began awkwardly, although Espinoza had been expecting Pelletier's call, as if both men found it difficult to say what sooner or later the would have to say. The first twenty minutes were tragic in tone, with the word fate used ten times and the word friendship twenty-four times. Liz Norton's name was spoken fifty times, nine of them in vain. The word Paris was said seven times, Madrid, eight. The word love was spoken twice, once by each man. The word horror was spoken six times and the word happiness once (by Espinoza). The word solution was said twelve times. The word solipsism seven times. The world euphemism ten times. The word category, in the singular and the plural, nine times. The word structuralism once (Pelletier). The term American literature three times. The words dinner or eating or breakfast or sandwich nineteen times. The words eyes or hands or hair fourteen times. The the conversation proceeded more smoothly."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
18. "These weren't comforting nights, much less pleasant ones, but Espinoza discovered two things that helped him mightily in the early days: he would never be a fiction writer, and, in his own way, he was brave."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
19. "In a word, and bluntly: as they walked around Sankt Pauli, it came to Pelletier and Espinoza that the search for Archimboldi could never fill their lives. They could read him, they could study him, they could pick him apart, but they couldn't laugh or be sad with him, partly because Archimboldi was always far away, partly because the deeper they went into his work, the more it devoured its explorers. In a word: in Sankt Pauli and later at Mrs. Bubis's house, hung with photographs of the late Mr. Bubis and his writers, Pelletier and Espinoza understood that what they wanted to make was love, not war."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
20. "Espinoza experienced something similar, though slightly different in two respects. First, the need to be near Liz Norton struck some time before he got back to his apartment in Madrid. By the time he was on the plane he'd realized that she was the perfect woman, the one he'd always hoped to find, and he began to suffer. Second, among the ideal images of Norton that passed at supersonic speed through his head as the plane flew toward Spain at four hundred miles an hour, there were more sex scenes than Pelletier had imagined. Not many more, but more. (16)"
Author: Roberto Bolaño
21. "Younger than Morini and Pelletier, Espinoza studied Spanish literature, not German literature, at least for the first two years of his university career, among other sad reasons because he dreamed of being a writer."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
22. "Consistent with the liberal views of the Enlightenment, Leibniz was an optimist with respect to human reasoning and scientific progress. Although he was a great reader and admirer of Spinoza, Leibniz, being a confirmed deist, rejected emphatically Spinoza's pantheism."
Author: Shelby D. Hunt
23. "When a poet's mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experience; the ordinary man's experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary. The latter falls in love, or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter or the smell of cooking; in the mind of the poet these experiences are always forming new wholes."
Author: T.S. Eliot
24. "All that is good in our history is gathered in libraries. At this moment, Plato is down there at the library waiting for us. So is Aristotle. Spinoza is there and so is Kats. Shelly and Byron adn Sam Johnson are there waiting to tell us their magnificent stories. All you have to do is walk in the library door and the great company open their arms to you. They are so happy to see you that they come out with you into the street and to your home. And they do what hardly any friend will-- they are silent when you wish to think."
Author: Will Durant

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Instead, he was astonished by what he had: the chance to sit beside this woman in the late afternoon light while she read."
Author: Ann Patchett

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