Paul > Paul's Quotes

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  • #1
    Oscar Wilde
    “It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.”
    Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    Franz Kafka
    “In man's struggle against the world, bet on the world.”
    Franz Kafka

  • #3
    Ian McEwan
    “She bent her finger and then straightened it. The mystery was in the instant before it moved, the dividing moment between not moving and moving, when her intention took effect. It was like a wave breaking. If she could only find herself at the crest, she thought, she might find the secret of herself, that part of her that was really in charge. She brought her forefinger closer to her face and stared at it, urging it to move. It remained still because she was pretending... . And when she did crook it finally, the action seemed to start in the finger itself, not in some part of her mind.”
    Ian McEwan, Atonement

  • #4
    Søren Kierkegaard
    “Boredom is the only continuity the ironist has.”
    Søren Kierkegaard

  • #5
    Paul Tillich
    “[A] process was going on in which people were transformed into things, into pieces of reality which pure science can calculate and technical science can control. … [T]he safety which is guaranteed by well-functioning mechanisms for the technical control of nature, by the refined psychological control of the person, by the rapidly increasing organizational control of society – this safety is bought at a high price: man, for whom all this was invented as a means, becomes a means himself in the service of means.”
    Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be

  • #6
    W. Somerset Maugham
    “Only a mediocre person is always at his best. ”
    W. Somerset Maugham

  • #7
    Wilhelm Dilthey
    “What is experienced from within cannot be categorized in concepts that have been developed for the external world of the senses.”
    Wilhelm Dilthey

  • #8
    Charles Lamb
    “Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a feeling of disappointment.”
    Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia

  • #9
    Ian McEwan
    “Who could ever reckon up the damage done to love and friendship and all hopes of happiness by a surfeit or depletion of this or that neurotransmitter? And who will ever find a morality, an ethics down among the enzymes and amino acids when the general taste is for looking in the other direction?”
    Ian McEwan, Saturday

  • #10
    “To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid - one must also be polite.”

  • #11
    John Keats
    “O for a life of Sensations rather than of Thoughts!”
    John Keats, Letters of John Keats

  • #12
    Ambrose Bierce
    “MIND, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavour to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with.”
    Ambrose Bierce, The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary
    tags: humor

  • #13
    Wilhelm Dilthey
    “In the case of lived experience, there is no difference between an object that is perceived and the eye that perceives it.”
    Wilhelm Dilthey

  • #14
    Bertrand Russell
    “In a world where there were no specifically mental facts, is it not plain that there would be a complete impartiality, an evenly diffused light, not the central illumination fading away into outer darkness, which is characteristic of objects in relation to a mind?”
    Bertrand Russell

  • #15
    Robert Musil
    “The thought is not something that observes an inner event, but, rather it is this inner event itself. We do not reflect on something, but, rather, something thinks itself in us. ”
    Robert Musil

  • #16
    Albert Einstein
    “I do not at all believe in human freedom in the philosophical sense... Schopenhauer’s saying, ‘A man can do what he wants, but not will what he wants,’ has been a very real inspiration to me since my youth; it has been a continual consolation in the face of life’s hardships, my own and others’, and an unfailing wellspring of tolerance. This realization mercifully mitigates the easily paralyzing sense of responsibility and prevents us from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it is conducive to a view of life which, in part, gives humour its due.”
    Albert Einstein, The World As I See It

  • #17
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    “We laugh at a man who, stepping out of his room at the very minute when the sun is rising, says, “It is my will that the sun shall rise”; or at him who, unable to stop a wheel, says, “I wish it to roll”; or, again, at him who, thrown in a wrestling match, says, “Here I lie, but here I wish to lie.” But, joking apart, do we not act like one of these three persons whenever we use the expression “I wish”?”
    Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality

  • #18
    Haruki Murakami
    “Time is too conceptual. Not that it stops us from filling it in. So much so, we can't even tell whether our experiences belong to time or to the world of physical things.”
    Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

  • #20
    Ludwig Wittgenstein
    “Think, for example, of the words which you perhaps utter in this space of time. They are no longer part of this language. And in different surroundings the institution of money doesn’t exist either.”
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

  • #21
    Ludwig Wittgenstein
    “What I called jottings would not be a rendering of the text, not so to speak a translation with another symbolism. The text would not be stored up in the jottings. And why should it be stored up in our nervous system?”
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, Zettel

  • #22
    George Santayana
    “Since the days of Descartes it has been a conception familiar to philosophers that every visible event in nature might be explained by previous visible events, and that all the motions, for instance, of the tongue in speech, or of the hand in painting, might have merely physical causes. If consciousness is thus accessory to life and not essential to it, the race of man might have existed upon the earth and acquired all the arts necessary for its subsistence without possessing a single sensation, idea, or emotion. Natural selection might have secured the survival of those automata which made useful reactions upon their environment. An instinct would have been developed, dangers would have been shunned without being feared, and injuries avenged without being felt.”
    George Santayana, Little Essays Drawn From The Writings Of George Santayana

  • #23
    “Thinking in art and morals and even mathematics is neither the reflection in consciousness of a mechanical order in the brain nor the tracing with the mind’s eye of some empirical order in its object, but an endeavour to realize in thought an ideal order which would satisfy an inner demand. The nearer thought comes to its goal, the more it finds itself under constraint by that goal, and dominated in its creative effort by aesthetic or moral or logical relevance. These relations of relevance are not physical or psychological relations. They are normative relations that can enter into the mental current because that current is . . . teleological. Their operation marks the presence of a different type of law, which supervenes upon physical and psychological laws when purpose takes control.”
    Brand Blanshard

  • #24
    Karl Jaspers
    “What is meaningful cannot in fact be isolated…. We achieve understanding within a circular movement from particular facts to the whole that includes them and back again from the whole thus reached to the particular significant facts.”
    Karl Jaspers, General Psychopathology, Vol. 1

  • #25
    Ludwig Wittgenstein
    “The mechanism which we don't understand is not anything in our soul, but rather that of the life of this expression.”
    Ludwig Wittgenstein

  • #26
    Paul Tillich
    “The vitality that can stand the abyss of meaninglessness is aware of a hidden meaning within the destruction of meaning.”
    Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be

  • #27
    Leonardo da Vinci
    “The mind that engages in subjects of too great variety becomes confused and weakened.”
    Leonardo da Vinci

  • #28
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    “Unless we have the courage to fight for a revival of wholesome reserve between man and man, we shall perish in an anarchy of human values… . Socially it means the renunciation of all place-hunting, a break with the cult of the “star,” an open eye both upwards and downwards, especially in the choice of one’s more intimate friends, and pleasure in private life as well as courage to enter public life. Culturally it means a return from the newspaper and the radio to the book, from feverish activity to unhurried leisure, from dispersion to concentration, from sensationalism to reflection, from virtuosity to art, from snobbery to modesty, from extravagance to moderation.”
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • #29
    David Hume
    “For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception…. If any one, upon serious and unprejudic'd reflection thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may, perhaps, perceive something simple and continu'd, which he calls himself; tho' I am certain there is no such principle in me.”
    David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

  • #30
    George Berkeley
    “I know what I mean by the term I and myself; and I know this immediately, or intuitively, though I do not perceive it as I perceive a triangle, a colour, or a sound.”
    George Berkeley, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous

  • #31
    “In his great treatise, Electricity and Magnetism, Clerk Maxwell had remarked that we are often told that in science we must, first of all, investigate the properties of very small local places one after another, and only when this has been done can we permit ourselves to consider how more complicated situations result from what we have found in those elements. This procedure, he added, ignores the fact that many phenomena in nature can only be understood when we inspect not so-called elements but fairly large regions.”
    Wolfgang Köhler, Gestalt Psychology

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