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L. Susan Stebbing

  • The opposite of thinking clearly is being muddled. To be conscious of being muddled is a horrible experience. To avoid it we may even be tempted to shut our minds and swallow a belief, ready-made, from some expert authority.

    • L. Susan Stebbing,
    • "Imagination and Thinking," in Joanna Field, An Experiment in Leisure ()
  • There is an urgent need to-day for the citizens of a democracy to think well. It is not enough to have freedom of the Press and parliamentary institutions. Our difficulties are due partly to our own stupidity, partly to the exploitation of that stupidity, and partly to our own prejudices and personal desires.

  • ... few true statements about a complicated state of affairs can be expressed in a single sentence. … We easily fall into the habit of accepting compressed statements which save us from the trouble of thinking.

  • ... we come to think of an idealist as one who seeks to realize what is not in fact realizable. But, it is necessary to insist, to have ideals is not the same as to have impracticable ideals, however often it may be the case that our ideals are impracticable.

  • It is not swinish to be happy unless one is happy in swinish ways.

  • It is an illusion to suppose that a Dictator makes himself; at most he seizes an opportunity made for him by passive, stupid, incompetent, and above all, unsatisfied and fearful men.

L. Susan Stebbing, English philosopher

(1885 - 1943)

Full name: Lizzie Susan Stebbing.