I have always taken as the standard of the mode of teaching and writing, not the abstract, particular, professional philosopher, but universal man, that I have regarded man as the criterion of truth, and not this or that founder of a system, and have from the first placed the highest excellence of the philosopher in this, that he abstains, both as a man and as an author, from the ostentation of philosophy, i. e., that he is a philosopher only in reality, not formally, that he is a quiet philosopher, not a loud and still less a brawling one.
I recall the story of the philosopher and the theologian... The two were engaged in disputation and the theologian used the old quip about a philosopher resembling a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat - which wasn't there. 'That may be, ' said the philosopher, 'but a theologian would have found it.
Faced with a world of "modern ideas" which would like to banish everyone into a corner and a "specialty," a philosopher, if there could be a philosopher these days, would be compelled to establish the greatness of mankind, the idea of "greatness," on the basis of his own particular extensive range and multiplicity, his own totality in the midst of diversity.
Men are not philosophers, but are rather very foolish children, who, by reason of their partiality, see everything in the most absurd manner, and are the victims at all times of the nearest object. There is even no philosopher who is a philosopher at all times. Our experience, our perception is conditioned by the need to acquire in parts and in succession, that is, with every truth a certain falsehood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I will tell you why I became a philosopher. I became a philosopher because I wanted to be able to talk about many, many things, ideally with knowledge, but sometimes not quite the amount of knowledge that I would need if I were to be a specialist in them. It allows you to be many different things. And plurality and complexity are very, very important to me.
An enthusiastic philosopher, of whose name we are not informed, had constructed a very satisfactory theory on some subject or other, and was not a little proud of it. "But the facts, my dear fellow, " said his friend, "the facts do not agree with your theory."-"Don't they?" replied the philosopher, shrugging his shoulders, "then, tant pis pour les faits;"-so much the worse for the facts!
To quote a famous philosopher revered in my time 'But this is no different from regular life. When have you ever known what's going to happen in the future?'" Wait a minute, Jonah thought. I said that. Back at Westminster, with Katherine. Does that mean I'm going to be a famous philosopher in the future? Does that mean I'm going to be revered? There wasn't time to ask.
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Beyond egoistic interests there is no goodness. If one decides to do some good thing, of course according to his ideal of goodness, it must be connected to his Ego consciously or unconsciously. One of noble motives that triggers to do goodness is empathy, putting yourself on other man's place and realizing what you would feel if you were him/her. Even in that conditions egoistic interests exist. Here is an excellent story from Diogenes, one of the famous ancient philosopher. One day Diogen was asked: "Why do people give money to an old or disabled person rather than to a philosopher or a wise man who is poor." Diogen's answer was amazing: "Because that people know that they are going to be old one day or they can be a disabled person in any time, but they know that they can never be a philosopher or a wise man.
in these new days and in these new pages a philosophical tradition of the spontaneity of speculation kind has been rekindled on the sacred isle of e‰ire, regardless of its creative custodian never having been taught how to freely speculate, how to profoundly question, and how to playfully define. Spontaneity of speculation being synonymous with the philosophical-poetic, the philosophical-poetic with the rural philosopher-poet, and by roundelay the rural philosopher-poet thee with the spontaneity of speculation be. And by the way of the rural what may we say? A philosopher-poet of illimitable space we say. Iohannes Scottus e‰riugena the metaphor of old salutes you; salutes your lyrical ear and your skilful strumming of the rippling harp. (Source: Hearing in the Write, Canto 19, Ivy-muffled)
To me, a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether you have a white or a black skin, and a philosopher who says that the distinction between human and nonhuman depends on whether or not you know the difference between a subject and a predicate, are more alike than they are unlike.
J. M. Coetzee
Wheels have been set in motion, and they have their own pace, to which we are... condemned. Each move is dictated by the previous one - that is the meaning of order. If we start being arbitrary it'll just be a shambles: at least, let us hope so. Because if we happened, just happened to discover, or even suspect, that our spontaneity was part of their order, we'd know that we were lost. A Chinaman of the T'ang Dynasty - and, by which definition, a philosopher - dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him; his two-fold security.
So now you must choose... Are you a child who has not yet become world-weary? Or are you a philosopher who will vow never to become so? To children, the world and everything in it is new, something that gives rise to astonishment. It is not like that for adults. Most adults accept the world as a matter of course. This is precisely where philosophers are a notable exception. A philosopher never gets quite used to the world. To him or her, the world continues to seem a bit unreasonable - bewildering, even enigmatic. Philosophers and small children thus have an important faculty in common. The only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder...
I know about sureness, ' said Didactylos. 'I remember, before I was blind, I went to Omnia once. And in your Citadel I saw a crowd stoning a man to death in a pit. Ever seen that?' 'It has to be done, ' Brutha mumbled. 'So the soul can be shriven and-' 'Don't know about the soul. Never been that kind of philosopher, ' said Didactylos. 'All I know is, it was a horrible sight.' 'The state of the body is not-' 'Oh, I'm not talking about the poor bugger in the pit, ' said the philosopher. 'I'm talking about the people throwing the stones. They were sure all right. They were sure it wasn't them in the pit. You could see it in their faces. So glad it wan't them in the pit that they were throwing just as hard as they could.
The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' Said [author:Diogenes|3213618, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king".
Anthony de Mello
To a Mistress Dying Lover. YOUR beauty, ripe and calm and fresh As eastern summers are, Must now, forsaking time and flesh, Add light to some small star. Philosopher. Whilst she yet lives, were stars decay'd, Their light by hers relief might find; But Death will lead her to a shade Where Love is cold and Beauty blind. Lover. Lovers, whose priests all poets are, Think every mistress, when she dies, Is changed at least into a star: And who dares doubt the poet wise? Philosopher. But ask not bodies doom'd to die To what abode they go; Since Knowledge is but Sorrow's spy, It is not safe to know.
When I was a young philosopher, I asked a senior colleague, Pat Suppes (then and now a famous philosopher of science and an astute student of human nature), what the secret of happiness was. Instead of giving me advice, he made a rather droll observation about what a lot of people who were happy with themselves seem to have done, namely: 1. Take a careful inventory of their shortcomings and flaws 2. Adopt a code of values that treats these things as virtues 3. Admire themselves for living up to it Brutal people admire themselves for being manly; compulsive pedants admire themselves for their attention to detail; naturally selfish and mean people admire themselves for their dedication to helping the market reward talent and punish failure, and so on.
John R. Perry