Philosophy

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       Chinese Philosophy (37)
       Greek Philosophy (27)
       Roman Philosophy (10)

- A -
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
Douglas Adams

Philosophy: Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.
Henry Adams

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
John Adams

A rolling stone gathers no moss, so there's nothing to cushion the impact when it hits.
Anonymous

All that glitters is not gold, there's brass and copper or it might be plated!
Anonymous

Anything good or bad lies in your eyes.
Anonymous

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
Anonymous

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
Anonymous

Be on the world, not of it...As a waterdrop on a lotusleaf...
Anonymous

Begin with the end in mind.
Anonymous

Definition of a philosopher: a philosopher is a blind man in a dark cellar at midnight looking for a black cat that isn't there. He is distinguished from a theologian, in that the theologian finds the cat. He is also distinguished from a lawyer, who smuggles in a cat in his overcoat pocket, and emerges to produce it in triumph.
Cornell Law Quarterly
Anonymous

Any one can get angry - that is easy - or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy.
Aristotle

Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.
Aristotle

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
Aristotle

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
Aristotle

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.
Aristotle

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Aristotle

Love is the beauty of the soul.
Augustine

This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.
Augustine

- B -
The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
William Blake

A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.
Martin Buber

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.
Martin Buber

I do, indeed, close my door at times and surrender myself to a book, but only because I can open the door again and see a human face looking at me.
Martin Buber

There are three principle in a man's being and life: The principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don't do what I say.
Martin Buber

All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it.
Samuel Butler (Author)

- C -
The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don't like their rules, whose would you use?
Dale Carnegie

Is not this whole world an illusion? And yet it fools everybody.
Angela Carter

Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.
Cicero

First things first, second things never.
Shirley Conran

Life's too short to stuff a mushroom.
Shirley Conran

- D -
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.
James Dean

Only the gentle are ever really strong.
James Dean

The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.
James Dean

- E -
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. After some years, it can boast of a long series of successes.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

- F -
Roast Beef, Medium, is not only a food. It is a philosophy.
Edna Ferber

The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.
E. M. Forster

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
E. M. Forster

If your head is wax, don't walk in the sun.
Benjamin Franklin

Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is.
Erich Fromm

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
Robert Frost

- G -
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
Mahatma Gandhi

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
Mahatma Gandhi

If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
Khalil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They came through you but not from you
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Khalil Gibran

Some marry the first information they receive, and turn what comes later into their concubine. Since deceit is always first to arrive, there is no room left for truth.
Baltasar Gracián

Think with the few and speak with the many.
Baltasar Gracián

A leader is one who ventures and takes the risks of going out ahead to show the way and whom others follow, voluntarily, because they are persuaded that the leader's path is the right one - for them, probably better than they could devise for themselves.
Robert Greenleaf

- H -
In peace, children inter their parents; war violates the order of nature and causes parents to inter their children.
Herodotus

Why resist temptation? There will always be more.
Don Herold

Work is the greatest thing in the world, so we should always save some of it for tomorrow.
Don Herold

Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding, Joseph exclaimed. If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?

The master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht - I can see that they already have begun.
The Glass Bead Game
Hermann Hesse

Life is short, [the] art long, opportunity fleeting, experience deceptive, judgment difficult.
Hippocrates

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Langston Hughes

A propensity to hope and joy is real riches; one to fear and sorrow real poverty.
David Hume

But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.
David Hume

Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by the few.
David Hume

To be a philosophical Skeptic is the first and most essential step towards being a sound, believing Christian.
David Hume

- I -

- J -

- K -
Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
John Keats

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
Victor Kiam

What's really important in life? Sitting on a beach? Looking at television eight hours a day? I think we have to appreciate that we're alive for only a limited period of time, and we'll spend most of our lives working.
Victor Kiam

- L -
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.
Dalai Lama

Sincerity is impossible unless it pervades the whole being, and the pretense of it saps the very foundation of character.
James Russell Lowell

- M -
The violin, through the serene clarity of its song, helps to keep our bearings in the storm, as a light in the night, a compass in the tempest, it shows us a way to a haven of sincerity and respect.
Yehudi Menuhin

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.
John Stuart Mill

To mistake money for wealth, is the same sort of error as to mistake the highway which may be the easiest way of getting to your house or lands, for the house and lands themselves.
John Stuart Mill

- N -
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
Anaïs Nin

- O -

- P -
Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers... What we call art is a game.
Octavio Paz

Man does not speak because he thinks; he thinks because he speaks. Or rather, speaking is no different than thinking: to speak is to think.
Octavio Paz

All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own.
Plutarch

But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.
Plutarch

Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause.
Plutarch

For the mind does not require filling like a bottle, but rather, like wood, it only requires kindling to create in it an impulse to think independently and an ardent desire for the truth.
Plutarch

God is the brave man's hope, and not the coward's excuse.
Plutarch

I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.
Plutarch

It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything.
Plutarch

No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.
Plutarch

Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.
Plutarch

Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.
Plutarch

The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.
Plutarch

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
Plutarch

To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.
Plutarch

- Q -

- R -
A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
Ayn Rand

I am the bullgod; I am free, and I feed on all that is forsaken.
Ayn Rand

The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.
Ayn Rand

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.
Ayn Rand

While animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.
Ayn Rand

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

If you are going to do something wrong at least enjoy it.
Leo Rosten

The purpose of life is not to be happy at all. It is to be useful, to be honorable. It is to be compassionate. It is to matter, to have it make some difference that you lived.
Paraphrasing Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Leo Rosten

Truth is stranger than fiction; fiction has to make sense.
Leo Rosten

We see things as we are, not as they are.
Leo Rosten

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?

Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.
Rumi

The wound is the place where the light enters you.
Rumi

When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.
Rumi

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Rumi

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

- S -
It's better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a cow.
Stan Shih

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.
Publilius Syrus

Audacity augments courage; hesitation, fear.
Publilius Syrus

Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness.
Publilius Syrus

He who has lost honor can lose nothing more.
Publilius Syrus

He whom many fear, has himself many to fear.
Publilius Syrus

How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.
Publilius Syrus

I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.
Publilius Syrus

If you wish to reach the highest, begin at the lowest.
Publilius Syrus

In quarreling the truth is always lost.
Publilius Syrus

It is a bad plan that cannot be changed.
Publilius Syrus

It is a good thing to learn caution from the misfortunes of others.
Publilius Syrus

It is bad advice that cannot be altered.
Publilius Syrus

It is better to learn late than never.
Publilius Syrus

It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire when you live next door.
Publilius Syrus

It is kindness to immediately refuse what you intend to deny.
Publilius Syrus

It is not every question that deserves an answer.
Publilius Syrus

It is only the ignorant who despise education.
Publilius Syrus

Learn to see in another's calamity the ills which you should avoid.
Publilius Syrus

Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.
Publilius Syrus

Let your life be pleasing to the multitude, and it can not be so to yourself.
Publilius Syrus

Never promise more than you can perform.
Publilius Syrus

No one knows what he can do until he tries.
Publilius Syrus

No pleasure endures unseasoned by variety.
Publilius Syrus

One is not exposed to danger who, even when in safety is always on their guard.
Publilius Syrus

One ungrateful man does an injury to all who stand in need of aid.
Publilius Syrus

Pain forces even the innocent to lie.
Publilius Syrus

Practice is the best of all instructors.
Publilius Syrus

Take care that no one hates you justly.
Publilius Syrus

The bare recollection of anger kindles anger.
Publilius Syrus

The bow too tensely strung is easily broken.
Publilius Syrus

The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeing.
Publilius Syrus

The person who receives the most favors is the one who knows how to return them.
Publilius Syrus

The things which belong to others please us more, and that which is ours, is more pleasing to others.
Publilius Syrus

To do two things at once is to do neither.
Publilius Syrus

You cannot put the same shoe on every foot.
Publilius Syrus

- T -
After sixty years of self-experience, I have found that out and out hypocrisy is an almost impossible achievement.
Rabindranath Tagore

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore

Creation is an endless activity of God's freedom; it is an end in itself.
Rabindranath Tagore

Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
Rabindranath Tagore

Freedom is true when it is a revelation of truth.
Rabindranath Tagore

I believe in the true meeting of the East and the West.
Rabindranath Tagore

That which fails to illuminate the intellect, and only keeps it in the obsession of some delusion, is its greatest obstacle.
Rabindranath Tagore

The danger inherent in all force grows stronger when it is likely to gain success, for then it becomes temptation.
Rabindranath Tagore

To enjoy something, it's essential to guard it with the fence of leisure.
Rabindranath Tagore

Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
Mark Twain

- U -

- V -
We owe respect to the living; to the dead we owe only truth.
Voltaire

- W -
Every man dies, not every man really lives.
William Wallace

Our philosophy is that management's role is simply to get the right people in the right places to do a job, and to encourage them to use their own inventiveness to accomplish the task at hand.
Sam Walton

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward

Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority.
William Arthur Ward

Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life.
Simone Weil

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.
Alfred North Whitehead

Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.
Frank Lloyd Wright

- X -

- Y -

- Z -

  Chinese Philosophy (37)
A gentleman can withstand hardships; it is only the small man who, when submitted to them, is swept off his feet.
Confucius

He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.
Confucius

If a gentleman is frivolous, he will lose the respect of his inferiors.
Confucius

It is only the very wisest and the very stupidest who cannot change.
Confucius

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
Confucius

Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them apart.
Confucius

Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.
Confucius

The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration.
Confucius

The Master said, At fifteen I set my heart on learning; at thirty I took my stand; at forty I came to be free from doubts; at fifty I understood the Decree of Heaven; at sixty my ear was attuned; at seventy I followed my heart's desire without overstepping the line.
Confucius

Things that are done, it is needless to speak about ... things that are past, it is needless to blame.
Confucius

The superior man is easy to serve, but difficult to please ... The inferior man is difficult to serve, but easy to please.
Confucius

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
Confucius

To be dilatory about giving orders, but to expect absolute punctuality, that is called being a tormentor.
Confucius

When anger rises, think of the consequences.
Confucius

When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.
Confucius

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
Confucius

The great man does not think beforehand of his words that they may be sincere, nor of his actions that they may be resolute - he simply speaks and does what is right.
Mencius

There is no fixed road to wealth, and goods do not stay with the same master forever.
Sima Qian

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists.
Less good when they obey and acclaim him.
Worse when they fear and despise him.
Fail to honor people, and they fail to honor you.
But of a good leader, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
they will say, We did this ourselves.

Lao Tzu

A terrace nine stories high rises from a handful of earth; A journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath one's feet.
Lao Tzu

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
Lao Tzu

Failure is the foundation of success; success is the lurking place of failure.
Lao Tzu

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Lao Tzu

In government it is order that matters; In action it is timeliness that matters.
Lao Tzu

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
Lao Tzu

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

It is on disaster that good fortune perches; it is beneath good fortune that disaster crouches.
Lao Tzu

The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind, he has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way.
Lao Tzu

The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is.
Lao Tzu

To lead people, walk behind them.
Lao Tzu

Wise men don't need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren't wise.
Lao Tzu

All war is deception.
Sun Tzu

The general who wins a battle makes many calculations ... here the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few to defeat.
Sun Tzu

The successful person has unusual skill at dealing with conflict and ensuring the best outcome for all.
Sun Tzu

Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.
Sun Tzu

Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things.
Zhuangzi

  Greek Philosophy (27)
Any one can get angry - that is easy - or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy.
Aristotle

Bashfulness is an ornament to youth, but a reproach to old age.
Aristotle

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
Aristotle

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.
Aristotle

Some men are just as firmly convinced of what they think as others are of what they know.
Aristotle

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these only gave life, those the art of living well.
Aristotle

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Aristotle

Wicked men obey for fear; good men, from love.
Aristotle

It is difficulties that show what men are.
Epictetus

It is your own conviction which compels you; that is, choice compels choice.
Epictetus

Only the educated are free.
Epictetus

There is no royal road to geometry.
Euclid

A bad beginning makes a bad ending.
Euripides

In every work a reward added makes the pleasure twice as great.
Euripides

Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.
Euripides

Man tell us our lives are free of danger. We stay at home. They go to war. Rubbish. I'd rather face three assaults. In line of battle, than bear one child.
Euripides

Ten soldiers wisely led will beat a hundred without a head.
Euripides

There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course: a quiet conscience.
Euripides

Where two discourse, if the one's anger rise,
The man who lets the contest fall is wise.

Euripides

Youth is the best time to be rich, and the best time to be poor.
Euripides

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.
Nicos Kazantzakis

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.
John Stuart Mill

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.
Plato

What I say is that just or right means nothing but what is in the interest of the stronger party.
Plato

Where there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same income.
Plato

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

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.
Plutarch

  Roman Philosophy (10)
He who receives a benefit with gratitude repays the first installment on his debt.
Seneca

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.
Seneca

Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty; the difficulty comes from lack of confidence.
Seneca

Age carries all things away, even the mind.
Virgil

From one learn all.
Virgil

Love conquers all.
Virgil

The medicine increases the disease.
Virgil

They are able because they think they are able.
Virgil

They can because they think they can.
Virgil

We can't all do everything.
Virgil