Bertrand Russell Quotes: Bertrand Arthur William Russell 18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970 was a British philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science and various areas of analytic philosophy, especially philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.
He was one of the early 20th century’s most prominent logicians and a founder of analytic philosophy, along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, his friend and colleague G. E. Moore, and his student and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. Russell and Moore led the British “revolt against idealism“. Together with his former teacher A. N. Whitehead, Russell wrote Principia Mathematica, a milestone in the development of classical logic, and a major attempt to reduce the whole of mathematics to logic. Russell’s article “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy.” REFERENCE
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Bertrand Russell Quotes
“War doesn’t decide who is right, war decides who is left.”
“What is more enviable than happiness?”. – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Most people would die sooner than think — in fact they do so.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
“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.”
“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: one which we preach, but do not practice, and another which we practice, but seldom preach.”
“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.”
“No nation was ever so virtuous as each believes itself, and none was ever so wicked as each believes the other.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Reason is a harmonizing, controlling force rather than a creative one. Even in the most purely logical realms, it is insight that first arrives at what is new.”
“Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.”
Deep Bertrand Russell Quotes
“Dogmatism is the greatest of mental obstacles to human happiness.”
“To endure uncertainty is difficult, but so are most of the other virtues.”
“Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.”
“Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.”
“Whatever we know without inference is mental.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.”
“Beware the man of a single book.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“One must care about a world one will not see.” – Bertrand Russell
“The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“A man without a bias cannot write interesting history.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”
“Now and then, hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.”
“Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country.”
“The fundamental defect of fathers is that they want their children to be a credit to them.”
“Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power.”
“The total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.”
“It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won’t go.”
“A religious creed differs from a scientific theory in claiming to embody eternal and absolutely certain truth, whereas science is always tentative, expecting that modification in its present theories will sooner or later be found necessary, and aware that its method is one which is logically incapable of arriving at a complete and final demonstration.”
Bertrand Russell Quotes on Love
“It’s easy to fall in love. The hard part is finding someone to catch you.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“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.”
“To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“We love those who hate our enemies, and if we had no enemies there would be very few people whom we should love.”
“Love can flourish only as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought of duty. To say that it is your duty to love so-and-so is the surest way to cause you to hate him of her.”
Bertrand Russell Quotes Fear
“It is normal to hate what we fear, and it happens frequently, though not always, that we fear what we hate.”
“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Acquisitiveness — the wish to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title to goods — is a motive which, I suppose, has its origin in a combination of fear with the desire for necessaries.”
“Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes.”
“Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales.”
“No man is liberated from fear who dare not see his place in the world as it is; no man can achieve the greatness of which he is capable until he has allowed himself to see his own littleness.”
“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.”
“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin – more even than death.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
Bertrand Russell Quotes Happiness
“The secret of happiness is this: let your interest be as wide as possible and let your reactions to the things and persons who interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.”
“If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.”
“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? We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies the risk of universal death.”
“I’ve made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant, I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I’m convinced of the opposite.”
“Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.”
Bertrand Russell Quotes Science Knowledge
“Knowledge, like other good things, is difficult, but not impossible; the dogmatist forgets the difficulty, the skeptic denies the possibility.”
“Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.”
“All definite knowledge — so I should contend — belongs to science; all dogma as to what surpasses definite knowledge belongs to theology. But between theology and science there is a No Man’s Land, exposed to attack by both sides; this No Man’s Land is philosophy.”
“The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
Bertrand Russell Quotes on Inspiration
“To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.”
“If I were a medical man, I would prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.” – Bertrand Russell
“Conventional people are roused to fury by departures from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves.”
“In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors.”
“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” – Bertrand Russell – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“The only thing that will redeem mankind is co-operation.”“Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce.”
“Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them.”
“Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.”
“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.”
“In science the successors stand upon the shoulders of their predecessors; where one man of supreme genius has invented a method, a thousand lesser men can apply it.”
“To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, at our age, can still do for those who study it.”
“A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says is never accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something that he can understand.”
“What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Machines are worshiped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery.”
“A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is.”
“Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.”
Bertrand Russell Quotes Motivational
“Vanity is a motive of immense potency. Anyone who has much to do with children knows how they are constantly performing some antics, and saying “Look at me.” “Look at me” is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart. It can take innumerable forms, from buffoonery to the pursuit of posthumous fame.”
“I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: “The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.” In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: what are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out. 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 surely at what are the facts.”
“The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holder’s lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.”
“Politics is concerned with herds rather than with individuals, and the passions which are important in politics are, therefore, those in which the various members of a given herd can feel alike.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that “remembered” a wholly unreal past. There is no logically necessary connection between events at different times; therefore, nothing that is happening now or will happen in the future can disprove the hypothesis that the world began five minutes ago.”
“I cannot believe — and I say this with all the emphasis of which I am capable — that there can ever be any good excuse for refusing to face the evidence in favor of something unwelcome. It is not by delusion, however exalted, that mankind can prosper, but only by unswerving courage in the pursuit of truth.”
“In democratic countries, the most important private organizations are economic. Unlike secret societies, they are able to exercise their terrorism without illegality, since they do not threaten to kill their enemies, but only to starve them.”
“The most essential characteristic of scientific technique is that it proceeds from experiment, not from tradition. The experimental habit of mind is a difficult one for most people to maintain; indeed, the science of one generation has already become the tradition of the next.”
“Joy of life… depends upon a certain spontaneity in regard to sex. Where sex is repressed, only work remains, and a gospel of work for work’s sake never produced any work worth doing.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“Patience and boredom are closely related. Boredom, a certain kind of boredom, is really impatience. You don’t like the way things are, they aren’t interesting enough for you, so you decide- and boredom is a decision-that you are bored.” – Bertrand Russell Quotes!
“An extra-terrestrial philosopher, who had watched a single youth up to the age of twenty-one and had never come across any other human being, might conclude that it is the nature of human beings to grow continually taller and wiser in an indefinite progress towards perfection; and this generalization would be just as well founded as the generalization which evolutionists base upon the previous history of this planet.”
“The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.”
“Freedom in education has many aspects. There is first of all freedom to learn or not to learn. Then there is freedom as to what to learn. And in later education there is freedom of opinion.”
“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.”
“Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom.”
“When men assimilate themselves to machines and value only the consequences of their work, not the work itself, style disappears, to be replaced by something which to the mechanized man appears more natural, though in fact is only more brutal.”
“There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our thoughts.”
“The use of self control is like the use of brakes on a train. It is useful when you find yourself in wrong direction but merely harmful when the direction is right.”
“I say people who feel they must have faith or religion in order to face life are showing a kind of cowardice, which in any other sphere would be considered contemptible. But when it is in the religious sphere it is thought admirable, and I cannot admire cowardice whatever sphere it is in.”
“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatsoever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widely spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”