- To ask the hard question is simple.
1907–73 English poet: title of poem (1933)
- The Socratic manner is not a game at which two can play.
Zuleika Dobson (1911) ch. 15 1872–1956 English critic, essayist, and caricaturist:
- Metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct; but to find these reasons is no less an instinct.
Appearance and Reality (1893) preface 1846–1924 English philosopher:
- There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it.
bc Roman orator and statesman: De Divinatione bk. 2, ch. 119 (Marcus Tullius Cicero) 106–43
- I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.
Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) 17 April 1778 1711–91 English lawyer: James Boswell
- When philosophy paints its grey on grey, then has a shape of life grown old. By philosophy's grey on grey it cannot be rejuvenated but only understood. The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.
Philosophy of Right (1821, tr. T. M. Knox, 1952) 1770–1831 German idealist philosopher:
- I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.
Newsweek 22 October 2001 1955–2011 American computer executive: in
- The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.
Theses on Feuerbach (written 1845, published 1888) no. 11 1818–83 German political philosopher:
- No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary.
‘Occam's Razor’, an ancient philosophical principle often attributed to Occam but earlier in origin
c.1285–1349 English Franciscan friar and philosopher: not found in this form in his writings, although he frequently used similar expressions, e.g. ‘Plurality should not be assumed unnecessarily’; Quodlibeta (c.1324)
- Apart from the known and the unknown, what else is there?
The Homecoming (1965) act 2, sc. 1 1930–2008 English dramatist:
- The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1918) 1872–1970 British philosopher and mathematician:
- The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the cooperation or consent of his deliberate reason.
The Problems of Philosophy (1912) ch. 15 1872–1970 British philosopher and mathematician:
- The unexamined life is not worth living.
bc Greek philosopher: Plato Apology 38a 469–399
- Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.
Dictionnaire philosophique (1764) ‘Superstition’ 1694–1778 French writer and philosopher:
- The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
Process and Reality (1929) pt. 2, ch. 1 1861–1947 English philosopher and mathematician:
- What is your aim in philosophy?—To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.
Philosophical Investigations (1953) pt. 1, sect. 309 1889–1951 Austrian-born philosopher:
- A philosopher who is not taking part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring.
Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections (1981) 1889–1951 Austrian-born philosopher: said in about 1930, M. O'C. Drury ‘Conversations with Wittgenstein’ in Rush Rhees (ed.)