When I study philosophical works I feel I am swallowing something which I don't have in my mouth.
Philosophy is nothing but common sense in a dress suit.
Get married, in any case. If you happen to get a good mate, you will be happy; if a bad one, you will become philosophical, which is a fine thing in itself.
~Socrates, in Diogenes Laertius, Lives
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.
~Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary
We live in a world in which politics has replaced philosophy.
~Martin L. Gross, A Call for Revolution, 1993
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.
Leisure is the mother of Philosophy.
~Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651
Philosophy is just a hobby. You can't open a philosophy factory.
The natural philosophers are mostly gone. We modern scientists are adding too many decimals.
~Martin H. Fischer
God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please - you can never have both.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
My definition [of a philosopher] is of a man up in a balloon, with his family and friends holding the ropes which confine him to earth and trying to haul him down.
~Louisa May Alcott, in Life, Letters, and Journals, ed. E.D. Cheney, 1889
Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.
~Alfred North Whitehead
If everybody contemplates the infinite instead of fixing the drains, many of us will die of cholera.
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
~Ambrose Bierce, Epigrams
Upon the whole, I am inclined to think that the far greater part, if not all, of those difficulties which have hitherto amused philosophers, and blocked up the way to knowledge, are entirely owing to our selves. That we have first raised a dust, and then complain, we cannot see.
To live alone one must be a beast or a god, says Aristotle. Leaving out the third case: one must be both - a philosopher.
And this activity alone would seem to be loved for its own sake; for nothing arises from it apart from the contemplating, while from practical activities we gain more or less apart from the action. And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace.
~Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, "Book X: Pleasure and Happiness," translated by W.D. Ross
Being a philosopher, I have a problem for every solution.
Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck.
Nobody can have the consolations of religion or philosophy unless he has first experienced their desolations.
~Aldous Huxley, Themes and Variations, 1950
Philosophy, like medicine, has plenty of drugs, few good remedies, and hardly any specific cures.
~Nicolas Chamfort, Maximes et penseés
Philosophers, for the most part, are constitutionally timid, and dislike the unexpected. Few of them would be genuinely happy as pirates or burglars. Accordingly they invent systems which make the future calculable, at least in its main outlines.
To teach how to live with uncertainty, yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy can do.
Philosophy will clip an angel's wings.
If you've never met a student from the University of Chicago, I'll describe him to you. If you give him a glass of water, he says, "This is a glass of water. But is it a glass of water? And if it is a glass of water, why is it a glass of water?" And eventually he dies of thirst.
What is the first business of philosophy? To part with self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn what he thinks that he already knows.
Philosophy is a state of fermentation, a process without final outcome.
To ridicule philosophy is really to philosophize.
~Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670
We come late, if at all, to wine and philosophy: whiskey and action are easier.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Philosophy will clip an angel's wings,Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine -Unweave a rainbow.
~John Keats, "Lamia," 1819
Religion is a man using a divining rod. Philosophy is a man using a pick and shovel.
I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam: I looked into the soul of another boy.
I also realized that the philosophers, far from ridding me of my vain doubts, only multiplied the doubts that tormented me and failed to remove any one of them. So I chose another guide and said, Let me follow the Inner Light; it will not lead me so far astray as others have done, or if it does it will be my own fault, and I shall not go so far wrong if I follow my own illusions as if I trusted to their deceits.
~Jean Jacques Rousseau
The only difference between graffiti and philosophy is the word "fuck."
Learning Zen is a phenomenon of gold and dung. Before you understand it, it's like gold; after you understand it, it's like dung.
Philosophy cannot raise the commonalty up to her level: so, if she is to become popular, she must sink to theirs.
~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.
~La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1678
Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
~Ambrose Bierce, The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary