Philosophy Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 988 quotes )
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.
Philosophy, then, is that thinkins with which one can start nothing and about which housemaids necessarily laugh. Such a definition of philosophy is not a mere joke but is something to think over. We shall fo well to remember occasionally that by our strolling we can fall into a well whereby we may not reach ground for quite some time.
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.
Philosophy is to the mind of the architect as eyesight to his steps. The Term 'genius' when applied to him simply means a man who understands what others only know about. A poet, artist or architect, necessarily 'understands' in this sense and is likely, if not careful, to have the term 'genius' applied to him; in which case he will no longer be thought human, trustworthy or companionable. Whatever may be his medium of expression he utters truth with manifest beauty of thought. If he is an architect, his building is natural. In him, philosophy and genius live by each other, but the combination is subject to popular suspicion and appellation 'genius' likely to settle him--so far as the public is concerned.
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
Philosophy is a necessary activity because we, all of us, take a great number of things for granted, and many of these assumptions are of a philosophical character; we act on them in private life, in politics, in our work, and in every other sphere of our lives -- but while some of these assumptions are no doubt true, it is likely, that more are false and some are harmful. So the critical examination of our presuppositions -- which is a philosophical activity -- is morally as well as intellectually important.
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.
Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering.
Philosophy, art, politics, religion and bohemia have never sought to do away entirely with the status hierarchy; they have attemptee, rather, to institute new kinds of hierarchies based on sets of values unrecognised by, and critical of, those of the majority.. They have provided us with persuasive and consoling reminders that there is more than one way of succeeding in life.
Philosophy, beginning in wonder, as Plato and Aristotle said, is able to fancy everything different from what it is. It sees the familiar as if it were strange, and the strange as if it were familiar. It can take things up and lay them down again. It rouses us from our native dogmatic slumber and breaks up our caked prejudices.