Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery — the only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets — is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together
—Alan Watts (1915–73) British Buddhist Philosopher, Writer, Speaker
Metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct; but to find these reasons is no less an instinct.
—F. H. Bradley (1846–1924) British Philosopher
Leisure is the mother of philosophy.
—Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) English Political Philosopher
The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.
—Denis Diderot (1713–84) French Philosopher, Critic, Writer
Two half philosophers will probably never a whole metaphysician make.
—Gaston Bachelard (1884–1962) French Philosopher, Psychoanalyst, Poet
Apart from the known and the unknown, what else is there?
—Harold Pinter (1930–2008) British Playwright
Many talk like philosophers yet live like fools.
To be a husbandman, is but a retreat from the city; to be a philosopher, from the world; or rather a retreat from the world as it is man’s, into the world as it is God’s.
—Abraham Cowley (1618–67) English Poet
Philosophy can add to our happiness in no other manner but by diminishing our misery; it should not pretend to increase our present stock, but make us economists of what we are possessed of. Happy were we all born philosophers; all born with a talent of thus dissipating our own cares by spreading them upon all mankind.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Author, Playwright, Poet, Physician
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
A writer must always try to have a philosophy and he should also have a psychology and a philology and many other things. Without a philosophy and a psychology and all these various other things he is not really worthy of being called a writer. I agree with Kant and Schopenhauer and Plato and Spinoza and that is quite enough to be called a philosophy. But then of course a philosophy is not the same thing as a style.
—Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) American Writer
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
—Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) German Philosopher
One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities.
—Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751) English Politician, Philosopher
There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.
—Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000) American Cartoonist, Writer, Artist
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
—The 14th Dalai Lama (b.1935) Tibetan Buddhist Religious Leader, Civil Rights Leader, Philosopher, Author
The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good, are the two most important aims of philosophy.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
—Stephen Hawking (b.1942) English Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Academic
In the information age, you don’t teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he’d have a talk show.
—Timothy Leary (1920–96) American Psychologist, Author
I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion
—Baruch Spinoza (1632–77) Dutch Philosopher
To believe only possibilities is not faith, but mere philosophy.
—Thomas Browne (1605–82) English Christian Author, Mystic
What is the first business of one who practices philosophy? To get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.
—Epictetus (55–135) Ancient Greek Philosopher
My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate — that’s my philosophy.
—Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) American Novelist, Playwright