From Carl Becker's Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers I learned that even the most revolutionary ideas remain closely connected with what the revolutionaries were trying to reject.
The prestige of the Nobel Prize is due to many causes, but in particular to its twofold idealistic and international character: idealistic in that it has been designed for works of lofty inspiration; international in that it is awarded after the production of different countries has been minutely studied and the intellectual balance sheet of the whole world has been drawn up. Free from all other considerations and ignoring any but intellectual values, the judges have deliberately taken their place in what the philosophers have called a community of the mind.henri-louis bergson
If...the ability to tell right from wrong should turn out to have anything to do with the ability to think, then we must be able to "demand" its exercise from every sane person, no matter how erudite or ignorant, intelligent or stupid, he may happen to be. Kant in this respect almost alone among the philosophers was much bothered by the common opinion that philosophy is only for the few, precisely because of its moral implications.hannah arendt
If what the philosophers say be true, that all men's actions proceed from one source; that as they assent from a persuasion that a thing is so, and dissent from a persuasion that it is not, and suspend their judgment from a persuasion that it is uncertain, so likewise they seek a thing from a persuasion that it is for their advantage.epictetus
Of course some sort of general idea they must have, if they were to do their work intelligently though as little of one as possible. For particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but fretsawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.aldous huxley
The ancient Hindu philosophers stated as a fundamental truth that the world of our sense - experience is all illusion (maya), that change, plurality, and causation are not real, but there is one reality, God . This is metaphysical Monism of the idelalistic-spiritual type, tending towards mysticism .
Prakriti is called by the Sânkhya philosophers indiscreet, and defined as the perfect balance of the materials in it; and it naturally follows that in perfect balance there cannot be any motion . In the primal state before any manifestation , when there was no motion but perfect balance, this Prakriti was indestructible, because decomposition or death comes from instability or change.
The age in which true history appeared in India was one of great intellectual and spiritual ferment. Mystics and sophists of all kinds roamed through the Ganga Valley, all advocating some form of mental discipline and asceticism as a means to salvation; but the age of the Buddha , when many of the best minds were abandoning their homes and professions for a life of asceticism, was also a time of advance in commerce and politics. It produced not only philosophers and ascetics, but also merchant princes and men of action.
Another curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it. I mean philosophers, social scientists, and so on. While in fact very few people understand it, actually, as it stands, even as it stood when Darwin expressed it, and even less as we now may be able to understand it in biology.Jacques Monod
philosophers should consider the fact that the greatest happiness principle can easily be made an excuse for a benevolent dictatorship. We should replace it by a more modest and more realistic principle the principle that the fight against avoidable misery should be a recognized aim of public policy, while the increase of happiness should be left, in the main, to private initiative.karl popper
The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me. The use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat -- at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing.anita dunn
Ideal goals are a menace in themselves, as much in more modern philosophers as in Plato.moses i. finley
[Seneca] would have denounced the opinion to which most philosophers, tacitly or otherwise, have come round in the last half-century, that it is no part of the business of philosophy to turn people into better persons, as tantamount to desertion or lèse-majesté.seneca the younger
It's only by thinking even more crazily than philosophers do that you can solve their problems.ludwig wittgenstein
Einstein, my upset stomach hates your theory it almost hates you yourself:;! How am I to provide for my students:;? What am I to answer to the philosophers:;?paul ehrenfest
The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains mountain-dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature's workshops.john muir
( ...philosophy is more often the systematization of the prejudices of philosophers than the systematization of nature.) Distrust all generalizations: stick to the concrete.epifanio de los santos
Some philosophers fail to distinguish propositions from judgements; ... But in the real world it is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true. The importance of truth is that it adds to interest.Alfred North Whitehead
...quite in keeping with Trotsky’s passion for ideas, his generous indignation at injustice, was his sense of personal rectitude, his idealistic approach to life. All who knew him intimately even when he was one of the rulers of Russia speak of it. Max Eastman and also Souvarine, who, a fierce opponent of Trotsky’s politics, has said of him that there was nothing “mesquin” in his character, not a trace of rascality. It is a noticeable characteristic of many great writers and philosophers, but a fatal weakness in a politician.
Theories had been propounded and repeated, others had been taken up, until at last the idea of Maya became fixed. We read in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, "Know nature to be Maya and the Ruler of this Maya is the Lord Himself." Coming to our philosophers, we find that this word Maya has been manipulated in various fashions, until we come to the great Shankaracharya.
In old times, you see, a man who wanted to educate himself a Frenchman, for instance would have set to work to study all the classics and theologians and tragedians and historians and philosophers, and, you know, all the intellectual work that came in his way. But in our day he goes straight for the literature of negation, very quickly assimilates all the extracts of the science of negation, and he's ready.
Neither natural ability without instruction nor instruction without natural ability can make the perfect artist. Let him be educated, skilful with the pencil, instructed in geometry, know much history, have followed the philosophers with attention, understand music, have some knowledge of medicine, know the opinions of the jurists, and be acquainted with astronomy and the theory of the heavens.
One profound lesson Plato teachers, albeit not by design, is that Plato himself, considered by many the greatest of all philosophers, could not construct the perfect society. He sought to avoid the disintegration of society and the onset of tyranny, but his solution was a totalitarian City destructive of human nature. Regrettably, Plato provided a philosophical and intellectual brew for a utopian society that would influence tyrannies for centuries to come.
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 deep seated prejudices were heaven-sent intuitions .
philosophers get paid for posing interesting questions; scientists for answering them. Thus, one cannot live without the other...carlos gershenson