Quotes

 Aristotle

And further, observing that all this indeterminate substance is in motion, and that no true predication can be made of that which changes, they supposed that it is impossible to make any true statement about that which is in all ways and entirely changeable. For it was from this supposition that there blossomed forth the most extreme view of those which we have mentioned, that of the professed followers of Heraclitus, and such as Cratylus held, who ended by thinking that one need not say anything, and only moved his finger; and who criticized Heraclitus for saying that one cannot enter the same river twice, for he himself held that it cannot be done even once.

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom,

…but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.

— Kahil Gibran

…On Anger.

Anyone can become angry — that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way — this is not easy.

…On Education.

The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead.

Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, and a provision in old age.

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

…On Friendship.

A friend to all is a friend to none.

The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.

To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.

Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.

Great men are always of a nature originally melancholy.

He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.

The soul never thinks without a mental picture.

Plot is character revealed by action

Democracy arose from men’s thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.

The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.

The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.

With respect to the requirement of art, the probable impossible is always preferable to the improbable possible.

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.

Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

…On Truth

The investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, no one fails entirely, but everyone says something true about the nature of all things, and while individually they contribute little or nothing to the truth, by the union of all a considerable amount is amassed.

The least deviation from truth will be multiplied later. 

We acquire a particular quality by acting in a particular way.

Whatever lies within our power to do lies also within our power not to do.

The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook.

Therefore, even the lover of myth is a philosopher; for myth is composed of wonder.

Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.

David Hume

Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.

Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.

George Berkeley

From my own being, and from the dependency I find in myself and my ideas, I do, by an act of reason, necessarily infer the existence of a God, and of all created things in the mind of God.

We ought to think with the learned, and speak with the vulgar.

Few men think; yet all have opinions.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If we admit a thing so extraordinary as the creation of this world, it should seem that we admit something strange, and odd, and new to human apprehension, beyond any other miracle whatsoever.

I know what I mean by the term I and myself; and I know this immediately, or intuitively, though I do not perceive it as I perceive a triangle, a colour, or a sound.

John Locke

For it will be very difficult to persuade men of sense that he who with dry eyes and satisfaction of mind can deliver his brother to the executioner to be burnt alive, does sincerely and heartily concern himself to save that brother from the flames of hell in the world to come.

If a man says of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, he speaks the truth,

…but if he says of what is not that it is, or of what is that it is not, he does not speak the truth.

— Aristotle

Revolt is the right of the people

Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves poison the fountain.

Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.

One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.

Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.

Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.

Plato

The society we have described can never grow into a reality or see the light of day, and there will be no end to the troubles of states, or indeed, my dear Glaucon, of humanity itself, till philosophers become rulers in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.

Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.

…On Love.

…if a man can be properly said to love something, it must be clear that he feels affection for it as a whole, and does not love part of it to the exclusion of the rest.

Love is a serious mental disease.

There is truth in wine and children.

Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

I know not how I may seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with.

Ignorance, the root and stem of every evil.

How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?

The measure of a man is what he does with power.

To be afraid of death is only another form of thinking that one is wise when one is not; it is to think that one knows what one does not know. No one knows with regard to death wheather it is not really the greatest blessing that can happen to man; but people dread it as though they were certain it is the greatest evil. -The Last Days of Socrates

The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful

Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand.

Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.

No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.

I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.

Socrates

And a thing is not seen because it is visible, but conversely, visible because it is seen; nor is a thing led because it is in the state of being led, or carried because it is in the state of being carried, but the converse of this. And now I think, Euthyphro, that my meaning will be intelligible; and my meaning is, that any state of action or passion implies previous action or passion. It does not become because it is becoming, but it is in a state of becoming because it becomes; neither does it suffer because it is in a state of suffering, but it is in a state of suffering because it suffers. Do you not agree?”

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;

they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors,

…and the most patient of teachers.

— Charles William Elliot

If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Let him who would move the world first move himself.

Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.

If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.

Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.

Envy is the ulcer of the soul.

Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.

Understanding a question is half an answer

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.

If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.

The really important thing is not to live, but to live well. And to live well meant, along with more enjoyable things in life, to live according to your principles.

The greatest blessing granted to mankind come by way of madness, which is a divine gift.

In all of us, even in good men, there is a lawless wild-beast nature, which peers out in sleep.

Through your rags I see your vanity.

And therefore if the head and the body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first and essential thing. And the care of the soul, my dear youth, has to be effected by the use of certain charms, and these charms are fair words; and by them temperance is implanted in the soul, and where temperance comes and stays, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but to the whole body.

God takes away the minds of poets, and uses them as his ministers, as he also uses diviners and holy prophets, in order that we who hear them may know them to be speaking not of themselves who utter these priceless words in a state of unconsciousness, but that God himself is the speaker, and that through them he is conversing with us.

Well, although I do not suppose that either of us know anything really beautiful & good, I am better off than he is- for he knows nothing and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know.

The misuse of language induces evil in the soul

 Our transgressions are multiplied before thee,

…and our sins testify against us:

for our transgressions are with us;

…and as for our inequities, we know them.

– Isiah 59:12

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matt 7:20).

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