Bertrand Russell Quotes


Type: Philosopher, logician, mathematician

Born: 18 May 1872

Died: 2 February 1970

Bertrand Arthur William Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense". He was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

Bertrand Russell Quotes

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already 3-parts dead..
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already 3-parts dead.

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of happy mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give.

There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.

To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.

The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.

My desire and wish is that the things I start with should be so obvious that you wonder why I spend my time stating them. This is what I aim at because 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.

Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attibutable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century.

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.

Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.

Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?

Philosophy, from the earliest times, has made greater claims, and achieved fewer results, than any other branch of learning.

The search for something permanent is one of the deepest of the instincts leading men to philosophy.

There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? I appeal as a human being to human beings; remember your humanity, and forget the rest.

Whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.

The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the cooperation or consent of his deliberate reason.

Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed; but look only and solely at what are the facts.

Grammar and ordinary language are bad guides to metaphysics. A great book might be written showing the influence of syntax on philosophy.

The method of 'postulating' what we want has many advantages ; they are the same as the advantages of theft over honest toil.

It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they (world religions) disagree, not more than one of them can be true.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible.

Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people's.

It is essential to happiness that our way of living should spring from our own deep impulses and not from the accidental tastes and desires of those who happen to be our neighbors, or even our relations.

To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.

If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.

In adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics.

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence

Science can teach us, and I think our hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supporters, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make the world a fit place to live.

The Victorian Age, for all its humbug, was a period of rapid progress, because men were dominated by hope rather than fear. If we are again to have progress, we must again be dominated by hope.

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

We know too much and feel too little. At least, we feel too little of those creative emotions from which a good life springs.

We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power.

Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own.

Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know

It is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition.

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.

La Ciencia en ningún momento está totalmente en lo cierto, pero rara vez está completamente equivocada y tiene en general mayores posibilidades de estar en lo cierto que las teorías no científicas.

A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.

Conquer the world by intelligence, and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it.

Ser optimista o pesimista es cuestion de temperamento, no de razones.

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover.

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

War grows out of ordinary human nature.

Of all the studies by which men acquire citizenship of the intellectual commonwealth, no single one is so indispensable as the study of the past.

It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.

It might seem that the empirical philosopher is the slave of his material, but that the pure mathematician, like the musician, is a free creator of his world of ordered beauty.

When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think.

The world is full of injustice, and those who profit by injustice are in a position to administer rewards and punishments. The rewards go to those who invent ingenious justifications for inequality, the punishments to those who try to remedy it.

The habit of considering a man’s religious, moral and political opinions before appointing him to a post or giving him a job is the modern form of persecution.

...It is necessary for the average citizen, if he wishes to make a living, to avoid incurring the hostility of certain big men. And these big men have an outlook - religious, moral, and political - with which they expect their employees to agree, at least outwardly.

Religious toleration, to a certain extent, has been won, because people have ceased to consider religion so important as it was once thought to be. But in politics and economics, which have taken the place formerly occupied by religion, there is a growing tendency to persecution, which is not by any means confined to one party.

The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.

So long as there is death there will be sorrow, and so long as there is sorrow it can be no part of the duty of human beings to increase its amount, in spite of the fact that a few rare spirits know how to transmute it.

Happiness, as is evident, depends partly upon external circumstances and partly upon oneself.

Travelling, whether in the mental or the physical world, is a joy, and it is good to know that, in the mental world at least, there are vast countries still very imperfectly explored

Liberation from the tyranny of the body contributes to greatness, but just as much to greatness in sin as to greatness in virtue.

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