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philosophybits · 8 minutes ago
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Men of very ordinary faculties have, nevertheless, made a very respectable way in the world and have sometimes presented even brilliant examples of success. On the other hand, what is called genius is often found by the wayside, a miserable wreck; the more deplorable and shocking because from the height from which it has fallen and the loss and ruin involved in the fall.
Frederick Douglass, "Self-Made Men (1872)"
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philosophybits · 15 hours ago
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There must be more equality established in society, or morality will never gain ground, and this virtuous equality will not rest firmly even when founded on a rock, if one half of mankind be chained to its bottom by fate, for they will be continually undermining it through ignorance or pride.
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
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philosophybits · 18 hours ago
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If intuition is an inner voice – how do I know *how* I am to follow it? And how do I know that it doesn’t mislead me? For if it can guide me right, it can also guide me wrong. (Intuition an unnecessary evasion.)
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
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philosophybits · 21 hours ago
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Philosophers are not the people to come to if you want confirmation that the things you love with all your heart are central to the structure of the universe, or that your sense of moral responsibility is ‘rational and objective’ rather than 'just’ a result of how you were brought up. There are still, as C. S. Peirce put it, 'philosophical slop-shops on every corner’ which will provide such confirmation. But there is a price. To pay the price you have to turn your back on intellectual history and on what Milan Kundera calls 'the fascinating imaginative realm where no one owns the truth and everyone has the right to be understood… the wisdom of the novel’. You risk losing the sense of finitude, and the tolerance, which result from realizing how very many synoptic visions there have been, and how little argument can do to help you choose among them.
Richard Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope
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philosophybits · a day ago
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When we reason a priori, and consider merely any object or cause, as it appears to the mind, independent of all observation, it never could suggest to us the notion of any distinct object, such as its effect, much less, show us the inseparable connection between them.
David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
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philosophybits · a day ago
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The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration.
Confucius, Analects
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philosophybits · a day ago
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Man is such a conservative creature that any change, even a change for the better, scares him, he prefers the bad old way to the new good one. ... The weak, flabby spirit cannot bear quick, ceaseless change. It must look round, it must have time to gather its wits, and so it must undergo the same experience time after time.
Lev Shestov, All Things Are Possible
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philosophybits · a day ago
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Life is an offensive, directed against the repetitious mechanism of the Universe.
Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas
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philosophybits · 2 days ago
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In relation to their systems most systematizers are like a man who has built a vast palace while he himself lives nearby in a barn; they themselves do not live in the vast systematic edifice. But in matters of the spirit this is and remains a decisive objection. Spiritually, a man's thoughts must be the building in which he lives — otherwise it's wrong.
Søren Kierkegaard, Journals and Papers
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philosophybits · 2 days ago
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They will not let you have peace, they don’t want you to have anything they don’t have themselves.
Margaret Atwood, Surfacing (via quotespile)
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philosophybits · 2 days ago
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To know people is wisdom, but to know yourself is enlightenment. To master people takes force, but to master yourself takes strength.
Laozi, Daodejing, Hinton tr. (Ch 33)
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philosophybits · 2 days ago
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Objective judgment, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance — now, at this very moment — of all external events. That’s all you need.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations (9.6)
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philosophybits · 3 days ago
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People know what they want because they know what other people want.
Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia
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philosophybits · 3 days ago
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What each individual wills is obstructed by everyone else, and what emerges is something that no one willed.
Friedrich Engels, Letters
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philosophybits · 3 days ago
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That little word 'why' has run through all universe from the first day of creation, and all nature cries every minute to its creator: "Why?"
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Demons
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philosophybits · 3 days ago
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Man is necessarily always a prey to his passions, he follows and obeys the general order of nature, and he accommodates himself thereto, as much as the nature of things demands.
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
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philosophybits · 4 days ago
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If apart from the cause of form, there were form, form would be without cause. But nowhere is there an effect without a cause. If apart from form there were a cause of form, it would be a cause without an effect. But there are no causes without effects.
Nāgārjuna, Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, Garfield tr. (4:2-3)
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