Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, time, and language. Wise philosophical quotes teach critical thinking to get deep insight, and clarity about our life and reality.
If you’re searching for thoughtful life quotes to share with the people you love or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of amazing quotes to live by, to be yourself quotes and best curiosity quotes.
Top 10 Philosophical Quotes
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world. – Lao Tzu
The unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Quality is not an act, it is a habit. – Aristotle
It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop. – Confucius
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu
One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away. – Stephen Hawking
A good decision is based on knowledge and not numbers. – Plato
Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly. – Plato
The beginning is the most important part of the work. – Plato
Best Philosophical Quotes from Famous Philosophers
Nobody is smarter than you are. And what if they are? What good is their understanding doing you? – Terence McKenna
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius
Happiness is the feeling that power increases, that resistance is being overcome. – Friedrich Nietzsche
I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them. – John Stuart Mill
Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced. – Soren Kierkegaard
Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence. – Immanuel Kant
I think therefore I am (Cogito, ergo sum). – René Descartes
Thinking. The talking of the soul with itself. – Plato
To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering. – Friedrich Nietzsche
It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. – Rene Descartes
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This is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities. – Bertrand Russell
When it is obvious that goals can’t be reached, don’t adjust the goals, but adjust the action steps. – Confucius
All things have sprung from nothing and are borne forward to infinity. Who can follow out such an astonishing career? The Author of these wonders, and He alone, can comprehend them. – Blaise Pascal
Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily. – William of Ockham
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness. – Bertrand Russell
The life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. – Thomas Hobbes
To be is to be perceived (Esse est percipi). Or, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? – Bishop George Berkeley
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. – Albus Dumbledore
We live in the best of all possible worlds. – Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. – Jeremy Bentham
Who is also aware of the tremendous risk involved in faith. When he nevertheless makes the leap of faith. This is subjectivity, at its height. – Soren Kierkegaard
The secret of happiness, you see is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. – Socrates
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. – Joseph Chilton Pearce
God is dead! He remains dead! And we have killed him. – Friedrich Nietzsche
There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. – Albert Camus
The more man mediates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large. – Confucius
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It is the privilege of true genius, and especially genius who opens up a new path, to make great mistakes with impunity. – Lewis Carrol
One cannot step twice in the same river. – Heraclitus
The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not. – Seneca
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle
Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. – Plato
If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. – Lao Tzu
Happiness depends upon ourselves. – Aristotle
Philosophy is common sense with big words. – James Madison
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form. – Karl Marx
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. – Plato
He who thinks great thoughts, often makes great errors. – Martin Heidegger
Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. – Henry David Thoreau
It’s strange how simple things become, once you see them clearly. – Ayn Rand
What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational. – G. W. F. Hegel
If you hate a person, then you’re defeated by them. – Confucius
Philosophy must indeed recognize the possibility that the people rise to it but must not lower itself to the people. – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
You are never too old to set another goal. Or to dream a new dream. – Aristotle
Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination. – Immanuel Kant
Never form a friendship with a man who is not better than you. – Confucius
No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience. – John Locke
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. ― Marcus Aurelius
God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us. – Niccolo Machiavelli
When anger arises, think of the consequences. – Confucius
Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. – Albert Einstein
Clever Philosophy Quotes
Liberty consists in doing what one desires. – John Stuart Mill
It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. – Bertrand Russell
To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do rather than what they say. – Rene Descartes
There are only two great tragedies in life: one is not getting what you want and the other is getting it. – Oscar Wilde
Even while they teach, men learn. – Seneca the Younger
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance. – Socrates
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him. – Voltaire
What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. – Confucius
We do not describe the world we see. We see the world we can describe. – Rene Descartes
There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat. – James Russell Lowell
Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right. – Isaac Asimov
One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another. – René Descartes
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. – Confucius
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Confucius
Ride the energy of your own unique spirit. – Gabrielle Roth
Leisure is the mother of philosophy. – Thomas Hobbes
Famous Philosophy Quotes About Life, Love and Reality
The sum total of all possible knowledge of God is not possible for a human being, not even through a true revelation. But it is one of the worthiest inquiries to see how far our reason can go in the knowledge of God. – Immanuel Kant
Happiness is something final and complete in itself, As being the aim and end of practical activities whatever. Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue. – Aristotle
Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can? – Sun Tzu
There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers. – William James
Life is much more successfully looked at from a single window. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance. – Confucius
I want to sing like the bird’s sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think. – Rumi
To be content with what we possess is the greatest and most secure of riches. – Marcus Tullius Cicero
A ‘no’ uttered from deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. – Mahatma Gandhi
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. – Bruce Lee
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
Knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual. – Al-Ghazali
Only one man ever understood me, and he didn’t understand me. – G. W. F. Hegel
The mind is furnished with ideas by experience alone. – John Locke
Education is a system of imposed ignorance. – Noam Chomsky
Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished. – Confucius
The more sand had escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it. – Niccolo Machiavelli
At a certain point in their existential experience, the oppressed feel an irresistible attraction toward the oppressor and his way of life. Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration. – Paulo Freire
There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. – C. S. Lewis
Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward. – Soren Kierkegaard
Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. – John Dewey
Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know. – Bertrand Russell
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. – Thomas Paine
Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck. – Immanuel Kant
If they spit at you behind your back it means you’re ahead of them. – Confucius
You only learn when you give your whole being to something. – J. Krishnamurti
Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. – William James
History is Philosophy teaching by examples. – Thucydides
He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god. – Aristotle
No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen. – Alan Watts
You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato
Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. – Francis Bacon
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. – Edmund Burke
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. – Aristotle
There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers. – Plato
Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man’s? – Friedrich Nietzsche
I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. – Bertrand Russell
Religion is the sign of the oppressed. it is the opium of the people. – Karl Marx
Happiness is the highest good. – Aristotle
Deep Philosophical Quotes About Life
Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be. – Alan Watts
Any philosophy that can fit into a nutshell belongs there. – Grenville Kleiser
Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men. – Miyamoto Musashi
If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil. – Baruch Spinoza
The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. – Epicurus
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. – Alan Watts
Whatever is reasonable is true, and whatever is true is reasonable. – G. W. F. Hegel
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. – Jack London
Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but of how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. – Immanuel Kant
Man is condemned to be free. – Jean-Paul Sartre
Life without experience and sufferings is not life. – Socrates
No valid plans for the future can be made can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. – Alan Watts
An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. – Victor Hugo
It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth. – John Locke
Only the dead have seen the end of the war. – Plato
The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish. – Terence McKenna
I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure it is not in order to enjoy ourselves. – Ludwig Wittgenstein
Everyone is a genius. – Albert Einstein
Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.
Thought-Provoking Philosophical Quotes by Greatest Philosophers
That man is wisest who, like Socrates, realizes that his wisdom is worthless. – Plato
Prejudices are what fools use for reason. – Francois Voltaire
The Intentionality of the mind not only creates the possibility of meaning but limits its forms. – John Searle
The only thing I know is that I know nothing. – Socrates
All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. – Voltaire
The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. – Soren Kierkegaard
Man is born free but is everywhere in chains. – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The madness of love the greatest of heaven’s blessings. – Plato
You can’t do without philosophy, since everything has its hidden meaning which we must know. – Maxim Gorky
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. – Denis Diderot
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. – René Descartes
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. – Thomas Aquinas
Happiness lies in virtuous activity, and perfect happiness lies in the best activity, which is contemplative. – Aristotle
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake. – Confucius
To believe only possibilities is not faith, but mere Philosophy. – Sir Thomas Browne
I can control my passions and emotions if I can understand their nature. – Spinoza
Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it. – Karl Marx
It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. – W. K. Clifford
Virtue is nothing else than right reason. – Seneca the Younger
Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. – Dalai Lama
Live simply that others may simply live. – Mahatma Gandhi
Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one’s desires, but by the removal of desire. – Epictetus
Rare Philosophical Quotes
In everything, there is a share of everything. – Anaxagoras
The brave man is he who overcomes not only his enemies but his pleasures. – Democritus
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle
Philosophy, a route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. – Ambrose Bierce
Good and evil, reward and punishment, are the only motives to a rational creature. – John Locke
To do as one would be done by, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality. – John Stuart Mill
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
An intelligent being, is the active principle of all things. One must have renounced all common sense to doubt it, and it is a waste of time to try to prove such self-evident truth. – Jean Jacques Rousseau
Everything that exists is born for no reason, carries on living through weakness, and dies by accident. – Jean-Paul Sartre
Man is the measure of all things. – Protagoras
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde
We are too weak to discover the truth by reason alone. – St. Augustine
There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. – Aristotle
It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not the reason. – Pascal
Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have uncultured souls. – Heraclitus
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The more you know, the more you know you don’t know. – Aristotle
I only know one thing, and that is I know nothing. – Socrates
The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk. – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. – Oscar Wilde
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. – Epicurus
Philosophy should quicken life, not deaden it. – Susan Glaspell
The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next. – Henry Ward Beecher
Real sign of intelligence isn’t knowledge, it’s imagination. – Albert Einstein
Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. – Salvador Dali
Among the facts of the universe to be accounted for, it may be said, is Mind; and it is self-evident that nothing can have produced mind but mind. – John Stuart Mill
I have concluded the evident existence of God, and that my existence depends entirely on God in all the moments of my life, that I do not think that the human spirit may know anything with greater evidence and certitude. – René Descartes
Motivational Philosophical Quotes to Inspire You
Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.
There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.
Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.
Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.
You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.
It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others. This is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided.
The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.
The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.
I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.
Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.