Category: Quotes

Political Philosophy Quotes

“From these things it is evident, that the city belongs among the things that exist by nature, and that man is by nature a political animal” (Aristotle, The Politics, 1253a1–3). Authority implies an obedience in which men retain their freedom. Hannah Arendt Plato: The Republic. Book VII: “Say then, my friend, in what manner does tyranny arise?–that it has a democratic origin is evident. Clearly. And does not tyranny spring from democracy in the same manner as democracy from oligarchy–I mean, after a sort? How? The good which oligarchy proposed to itself and the means by which it was maintained...

Heavy-Duty Philosophy Quotes

Who thinks philosophy should be easy to understand? How intelligible is true reality? The following randomly selected quotes demonstrate how complicated philosophical language can be. Language is deeply woven into the thought that reflects on reality, which leads to intricate sentence-structures, and sometimes even to the creation of new terminology. Here is a selection of quotes that reflect the struggle of philosophers to express themselves: Martin Heidegger: “Tell me how you read and I’ll tell you who you are…..Making itself intelligible is suicide for philosophy.” Heidegger: The existential and ontological constitution of the totality of Dasein is grounded in temporality. Accordingly,...

Jean Paul: Aphorismen.

Jean Paul heißt eigentlich eigentlich Johann Paul Friedrich Richter (1763 in Wunsiedel bis 1825 in Bayreuth), war ein deutscher Schriftsteller. Sein Werk steht literaturgeschichtlich zwischen der Klassik und der Romantik. Die von ihm gewählte Namensänderung geht auf Jean Pauls Bewunderung für Jean-Jacques Rousseau zurück. Im folgenden sind einige Zitate aus seinen Werken.

Wisdom Crackers

You can find deep insight in strange places. The following quotes are randomly collected from various traditions; if you prefer Asian wisdom, I suggest you check out this collection of Chinese proverbs. I like short sentences that are easy to remember. They should contain rich meanings: fortune cookies for intellectuals. Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of humans. Proverbs, 27:20 The best way to do something is to do it. Joseph Eagle I know not with what weapons World War Ill will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones....

Scientific Assumptions

For a long time, science has operated on the assumption that nature is ruled by causality. What this means, however, is by no means clear to philosophers, and has become a major philosophical debate during the 20th century. Wittgenstein is one of the more prominent skeptics. He argues in the Tractatus that when we scientifically explain something, we try to establish links between one event and another. But are the different states of the world really linked at all? Furthermore, how recognizable are these links, if they existed? Consider the Gambler’s fallacy: People expect certain outcomes based on past events,...

Michel Foucault: Madness and Civilization. 1961

The book [easyazon_link identifier=”067972110X” locale=”US” tag=”mainacademicsite-20″]Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason[/easyazon_link], written by Michel Foucault in 1961, is a classic in 20th century Continental philosophy. It offers a sharp historical analysis of the relations between rationality and mental disorder. The book marks a turning from phenomenological method towards structuralism: the change in the relationship between madness and rationality is driven by powerful social structures. The person with the mental disorder is seen as “the other,” and the attempts to dialog and understand the person affected by the disease are increasingly replaced by a monolog of...

Carl Jung: Quotes

There is a good documentary about Carl Jung: Matters of the Heart, 1983. And here is Jung in an interview, from 1957. “The psyche is the greatest of all cosmic wonders and the sine qua non of the world as an object. It is in the highest degree odd that Western man, with but very few and ever fewer exceptions, apparently pays so little regard to this fact….Swamped by the knowledge of external objects, the subject of all knowledge has been temporarily eclipsed to the point of seeming nonexistence.”   C. G. Jung, 1946, CW 8, par. 357. “Not nature but...

Martin Heidegger (1889–1976)

Martin Heidegger was an important German philosopher in the 20th century, who is famous for his theories on existentialism and phenomenology. He was associated with existentialism, despite his efforts to distance himself from it. He had a strong influence on the French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre, for instance. He developed a phenomenological critique of Kant and wrote widely on Nietzsche and Hölderlin. His thinking influenced many other fields, such as theology, art, architecture, artificial intelligence, cultural anthropology, design, literary theory, social theory, political theory, psychiatry, and psychotherapy. His main work, a 20th century classic in philosophy, is ‘Sein und Zeit...

Hegel Quotes

The website Marxists.org has an extensively researched collection of Hegel texts. The following quotes from Hegel are linked to these texts, so you can read each quote in the context in which it was written, which is very helpful.   When philosophy paints its grey in grey, one form of life has become old, and by means of grey it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known. The owl of Minerva, takes its flight only when the shades of night are gathering. Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821) The spirit of a nation is reflected in its history, its religion, and the degree of...

Ancient Chinese Proverbs

The proverbs of China form an embodied philosophy; they transmit a common-sense approach to life mixed with a deep sense of humor, and compassion for failure. The origins of most these sayings and quotes are lost in the mists of time; some appear to be related to comments by Confucius and other ancient sages. Some also appear elsewhere, for instance in the Zen sayings from Japan. You can fond many sources of Chinese proverbs; Amazon has many books dedicated to Chinese proverbs. Here is a small collection: A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because...

David Bohm (1917-1992)

David Joseph Bohm lived from 20 December 1917 to 27 October 1992. He was an American theoretical physicist who contributed innovative and unorthodox ideas to quantum theory, philosophy of mind, and neuro-psychology. He is considered to be one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century. He was a good friend of Einstein. Biography David Bohm was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to Jewish parents. His father owned a local furniture store. Bohm graduated from Pennsylvania State College in 1939. After attending the California Institute of Technology in 1940, he acquired a doctorate in theoretical physics at the University...

Reductionism or Emergence?

Here are some quotes about the controversy between reductionism and emergence as basic paradigm for physics. Robert Laughlin: A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down. 2005. From the Introduction: “Much as I dislike the idea of ages, I think a good case can be made that science has now moved from an Age of Reductionism to an Age of Emergence, a time when the search for ultimate causes of things shifts from the behavior of parts to the behavior of the collective. It is difficult to identify a specific moment when this transition occurred because it was gradual and...

Quotes from this Website

Let others do the thinking…. “From this story it may be seen what the nature of true storytelling is. The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new. It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. A story is different. It does not expend itself. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time.”   ― Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays And Reflections “To religion would belong the task of consolation, not of demonstration.” Levinas “. ....

Darwin: The marvels of a riverbank

At the end of the “Origin of the Species” (1859) Darwin writes about a riverbank: It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability...

Banksy

The New Activist is a truth seeker: someone who has left the introvert schisms of the old world behind. The new activist is like a sniffer dog detecting power strategies and corruption, without hesitation. Banksy is the prototype.

Jean Baudrillard – Quotes

Baudrillard (27 July 1929 – 6 March 2007) was a French sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer. His work is frequently associated with postmodernism and post-structuralism. Quotes: If you say, I love you, then you have already fallen in love with language, which is already a form of break up and infidelity. Baudrillard, Jean. Never resist a sentence you like, in which language takes its own pleasure and in which, after having abused it for so long, you are stupefied by its innocence. Baudrillard, Jean. At the heart of pornography is sexuality haunted by its own disappearance. Baudrillard,...

Judith Butler – Quotes

I think … that we have not yet become human. Or, I might say, in a different way, that the category of the human is in the process of becoming. What constitutes the human is a site of contestation. there are clashing cultural interpretations about what the human ought to be, and that every time you assert human rights, you are also adding to the meaning of what the human is. Butler, Judith Like such miraculously resilient characters of the Saturday morning cartoons. Hegel’s protagonists always reassemble themselves, prepare a new scene, enter the stage armed with a new set...

Slavoj Zizek – Quotes

Maoz said his film is not a condemnation of Israel’s policies, but a personal account of what he went through.This is ideology at its purest: The re-focus on the perpetrator’s traumatic experience enables us to obliterate the entire ethico-political background of the conflict: What was the Israeli army doing deep in Lebanon? Such a “humanization” thus serves to obfuscate the key point: the need for a ruthless analysis of what we are doing in our political-military activity and what is at stake. Our political-military struggles are not an opaque history that brutally disrupts our intimate personal lives—they are something in...

Gilles Deleuze – Quotes

Gilles Deleuze  (18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French postmodern philosopher who wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and art. Main Works: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, two Volumes: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), with Félix Guattari. Difference and Repetition (1968) Quotes: The history of philosophy has always been the agent of power in philosophy, and even in thought. It has played the repressors role: how can you think without having read Plato, Descartes, Kant and Heidegger, and so-and-so’s book about them? A formidable school of intimidation which manufactures specialists in thought – but which also makes those...