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Philosophy

  • If you can't have what you like, you must like what you have.

  • In philosophy if you aren't moving at a snail's pace you aren't moving at all.

  • I think philosophy is extremely good training for anyone who wants to do anything. Although that is an idea which people may speak scornfully of now, I think it does teach one to , it teaches judgement insofar as it can be taught, it gives a confidence in dealing with conceptual problems wherever they arise, and of course they arise everywhere.

  • You have heard of, and studied various systems of philosophy; but real philosophy is opposed to all systems.

  • Philosophy is called upon to compensate for the frustrations of politics and, more generally, of life itself.

  • Philosophy by its nature has to be based only on that which is available to the knowledge of any man with a normal mental equipment. Philosophy is not dependent on the discoveries of science; the reverse is true. So whenever you are in doubt about what is or is not a philosophical subject, ask yourself whether you need a specialized knowledge, beyond the knowledge available to you as a normal adult, unaided by any special knowledge or special instruments. And if the answer is possible to you on that basis alone, you are dealing with a philosophical question. If to answer it you would need training in physics, or psychology, or special equipment, etc., then you are dealing with a derivative or scientific field of knowledge, not philosophy.

    • Ayn Rand,
    • in Harry Binswanger and Leonard Peikoff, eds., Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology ()
  • As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation — or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's wings should have grown.

  • There is no monster more destructive than the inventive mind that has outstripped philosophy.

  • I can, therefore I am.

    • Simone Weil,
    • "Science and Perception in Descartes," Formative Writings 1929-1941 ()
  • There is no place in the world, I imagine, for a philosopher with a sense of humor, a new leisure, and an inquiring turn of mind!

  • [On her philosopher father:] 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,
    • 1878, in Ednah D. Cheney, ed., Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals ()
  • I make the most of all that comes, / The least of all that goes.

  • I tried for the longest time to find out what deconstructionism was. Nobody was able to explain it to me clearly. The best answer I got was from a writer, who said, 'Honey, it's bad news for you and me.'

    • Margaret Atwood,
    • in Earl G. Ingersoll, ed., Margaret Atwood: Conversations ()
  • It is the bane of moralists and philosophers that they never know where to stop.

  • It's living — a broad spectrum of living — that teaches you how to live, not philosophy. Philosophy teaches you how to think.

  • [Theorists who] tell themselves that they are not doing philosophy, while they are in fact reflecting upon the foundations of the theory of [their subject], suppose that the alternative to doing philosophy in such matters is not-doing-philosophy, whereas the alternative is merely doing-philosophy-badly.

  • Philosophizing is a process of making sense out of experience ...