Philosophers Quotes

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.

Isaac Asimov

In my view, only those who have had the courage to work through Lacan's anti-philosophy without faltering deserve to be called 'contemporary philosophers'.

Alain Badiou

Since the essence of the soul is but a will to bestow, and all its manifestations and possessions are fulfillments of that will to bestow (...) therefore it is immortal and irreplaceable. The soul, with all its manifestations is eternal and exists forever. Absence does not apply to them upon the departure of the body. On the contrary, the absence of the corrupted form of the body, greatly strengthens it, thus enabling it to rise to the Heavens. Thus we have clearly shown that the persistence in no way depends upon the concepts it has acquired, as philosophers claim, but its eternality is in its very essence, meaning in its will to bestow, which is its essence. And the concepts it acquires are its reward, not its essence.

Yehuda Ashlag

Philosophers are adults who persist in asking childish questions.

Sir Isaiah Berlin

That there is no such thing as what philosophers call material substance, I am seriously persuaded: but if I were made to see any thing absurd or skeptical in this, I should then have the same reason to renounce this, that I imagine I have now to reject the contrary opinion.

George Berkeley

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

Even if a king defeats his enemy in battle, that still doesn't settle anything. There are other, less numerous armies of philosophers and scientists, and their contests determine the true triumph or defeat of nations. One scholar is matched with another; one creative mind with another; and one judicious temperament with his counterpart. A victory won on that field counts for three won by force of arms.

Cyrano Hercule Savinien de Bergerac

Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wiseas priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.

Allan David Bloom

From the outset [of the Enlightenment], scholars treated Greek philosophers more as natural scientists treat atoms than as they treat other natural scientists. They were not invited to join the serious discussion of the scholars.

Allan David Bloom

The philosophers in their closets or their academies have entirely different ends than the rest of mankind. ... The moderns did not think, as did the ancients, that they would lose sight of the distinction between the two in identifying them. ... What the ancients almost religiously kept apart, the moderns thought they could join without risk.

Allan David Bloom

The necessary unity of power and wisdom is only a coincidence for the ancients, i.e., dependent on chance completely out of the philosophers control. Knowledge is not in itself power, and though it is not in itself vulnerable to power, those who seek it and possess it most certainly are. Therefore the great virtue for the philosophers in their political deeds was moderation. They were utterly dependent on the prejudices of the powerful and had to treat them most delicately.

Allan David Bloom

The defenselessness of philosophy in the city is what Aristophanes points out and ridicules. He, the poet, has much sympathy with the philosophers wisdom but prides himself on not being so foolish. He can take care of himself, win prizes from and be paid by the people. His stance is that of the wise guy in the face of the wise man; he is city smart.

Allan David Bloom

Although the philosophic experience is understood by the philosophers to be what is uniquely human, the very definition of man, the dignity and charm of philosophy have not always or generally been popularly recognized. This is not the case with the other claimants to the throne, the prophet or the saint, the hero or the statesman, the poet or the artist, whose claims, if not always accepted, are generally recognized to be serious.

Allan David Bloom

As a result of Enlightenment, philosophers and philosophy came to inhabit the universities exclusively, abandoning their old habits and haunts. There they have become vulnerable in new ways and thus risk extinction. The classical philosophers would not, for very good reasons, have taken this risk.

Allan David Bloom

It is Enlightenment that was intent on philosophers ruling, taking Socrates ironies seriously. If they did not have the title of king, their political schemes were, all the same, designed to be put into practice. And they were put into practice, not by begging princes to listen to them but by philosophys generating sufficient power to force princes to give way.

Allan David Bloom

Socrates never suggests that the nature of the cave could be altered or that a civil society, a people, a demos, could do without false opinions. The philosophers who returned to the cave would recognize that what others take to be reality is only image, but they could not make any but the happy few able to see the beings as they really are. ... Or to put it in another way, the unwise could not recognize the wise. Men like Bacon and Descartes, by contrast, thought that it was possible to make all men reasonable, to change what had always and everywhere been the case. Enlightenment meant to shine the light of being in the cave and forever to dim the images on the wall. Then there would be unity between the people and the philosopher. The whole issue turns on whether the cave is intractable, as Plato thought, or can be changed by a new kind of education, as the greatest philosophic figures of the seventeenth and eighteenth century taught.

Allan David Bloom

The men of the Enlightenment proper were the first whose teachings were addressed not only, or primarily, to other philosophers or potential philosophers of the same rank, and who were concerned not only with those who understand but also with changing the opinions of mankind at large. Enlightenment was the first philosophically inspired movement, a theoretical school that is a political force at the same time.

Allan David Bloom

I have included among the Enlightenment philosophers men like Machiavelli, Bacon, Montaigne, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza and Locke, along with the eighteenth-century thinkers like Montesquieu, Diderot and Voltaire, whose teachings are usually held to constitute the Enlightenment, because these latter were quite explicit about their debt to the originators of what the Enlightenment was in large measure only popularizing.

Allan David Bloom

A Dialogue between two Infants in the womb concerning the state of this world, might handsomely illustrate our ignorance of the next, whereof methinks we yet discourse in Plato's Den, and are but Embryon Philosophers.

Sir Thomas Browne

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