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Philosophy & Philosopher
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★ Philosophy & Philosopher

Philosophy & Philosopher: see Happiness & Humanity & Emotion & Brain & Head & Anger & Mind & Religion & Faith & Belief & Superstition & Think & Greece & Knowledge & Poetry & Literature & Reason

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83,486.  The philosopher forms his principles from an infinity of particular observations.  Most people adopt principles without thinking of the observations that have produced them, they believe the maxims exist, so to speak, by themselves.  But the philosopher takes maxims from their source; he examines their origin; he knows their proper value, and he makes use of them only in so far as they suit him.  (Observation & Philosophy)  Denis Diderot, L’Encyclopédie 

 

 

173.  When you say that if I deny, that the operations of seeing, hearing, attending, wishing, &c., can be ascribed to God, or that they exist in Him in any eminent fashion, you do not know what sort of God mine is; I suspect that you believe there is no greater perfection than such as can be explained by the aforesaid attributes.  I am not astonished; for I believe that, if a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular.  Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped.

 

The briefness of a letter and want of time do not allow me to enter into my opinion on the divine nature, or the questions you have propounded.  Besides, suggesting difficulties is not the same as producing reasons.  That we do many things in the world from conjecture is true, but that our redactions are based on conjecture is false.  In practical life we are compelled to follow what is most probable; in speculative thought we are compelled to follow truth.  A man would perish of hunger and thirst, if he refused to eat or drink, till he had obtained positive proof that food and drink would be good for him.  But in philosophic reflection this is not so.  On the contrary, we must take care not to admit as true anything, which is only probable.  For when one falsity has been let in, infinite others follow.

 

Again, we cannot infer that because sciences of things divine and human are full of controversies and quarrels, therefore their whole subject-matter is uncertain; for there have been many persons so enamoured of contradiction, as to turn into ridicule geometrical axioms.  (God & Philosophy)  Baruch Spinoza

 

 

330.  All good moral philosophy is but an handmaid to religion.  (Religion & Philosophy)  Francis Bacon 1561-1626, The Advancement of Learning

 

 

59,185.  A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.  (Atheism & Philosophy)  Francis Bacon

 

 

369.  Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous. (Religion & Philosophy & Error)  David Hume

 

 

9,079.  Opposing one species of superstition to another set them a quarrelling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy.  (Philosophy & Superstition)  David Hume

 

 

432.  To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.  (Religion & Superstition & Philosophy)  William Ralph Inge

 

 

515.  Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.  Religion is answers that may never be questioned.  (Religion & Philosophy & Question & Answer)  Author unknown

 

 

601.  Religion is what you get before Philosophy.  (Religion & Philosophy)  Christopher Hitchens, lecture 6th October 2009

 

 

773.  Philosophy is an odd thing ... The most important philosophy I think is that even if it isn’t true, you must absolutely assume there is no after-life.  You cannot for one second I think abrogate the responsibility of believing that this is it.  (Belief & Philosophy & Heaven & Life’s Like That)  Stephen Fry, televised interview

 

 

9,098.  It’s not all bad.  Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing – they are not all bad.  Those devils have been my angels.  Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.  (Philosophy & Life’s Like That)  Stephen Fry, Moab is My Washpot
 

 

1,031.  Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind ...

In the faith that looks through death,

In years that bring the philosophic mind.  (Faith & Hour & Life’s Like That & Philsophy)  William Wordsworth, ‘Ode Intimations of Immortality’ 1807

 

 

62,468.  Adversity’s sweet milk, philosophy.  (Adversity & Philosophy)  William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet III iii 55, Friar Laurence to Romeo

 

 

1,193.  There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  (Life’s Like That & Heaven & Earth & Dream & Philosophy & Life After Death)  William Shakespeare, Hamlet I v 167-168, Hamlet to Horatio

 

9,084.  There is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.  ibid.  II ii 392

 

 

2,370.  Ever since Plato most philosophers have considered it part of their business to produce ‘proofs’ of immortality and the existence of God.  They have found fault with the proofs of their predecessors – Saint Thomas rejected Saint Anselm’s proofs, and Kant rejected Descartes’ – but they have supplied new ones of their own.  In order to make their proofs seem valid, they have had to falsify logic, to make mathematics mystical, and to pretend that deepseated prejudices were heaven-sent intuitions.  (Logic & Philosophy & Proof & God)  Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy

 

 

2,666.  Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.  (Science & Knowledge & Philosophy)  Bertrand Russell

 

 

9,096.  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

 

 

9,104.  Dogmatism and scepticism 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.  (Philosophy & Dogma & Sceptic & Absolutism & Certainty & Knowledge & Ignorance)  Bertrand Russell   

 

 

9,124.  The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilised men.  (Philosophy & Understanding)  Bertrand Russell

 

 

9,133.  Philosophy seems to me on the whole a rather hopeless business.  Bertrand Russell, letter to Gilbert Murray 28th December 1902

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