The late F. W. H. Myers used to tell how he asked a man at a dinner table what he thought would happen to him when he died. The man tried to ignore the question, but, on being pressed, replied: "Oh well, I suppose I shall inherit eternal bliss, but I wish you wouldn't talk about such unpleasant subj
The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them. We all feel instinctively, that our children's success reflect glory upon ourselves, while their failures make us feel shame. Unfortunately, the successes which cause us to swell w
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.
Emphatic and reiterated assertion, especially during childhood, produces in most people a belief so firm as to have a hold even over the unconscious.
Stupidity and unconscious bias often work more damage than venality.
Love is a little haven of refuge from the world.
Philosophy, for Plato, is a kind of vision, the 'vision of truth'...Everyone who has done any kind of creative work has experienced, in a greater or less degree, the state of mind in which, after long labour, truth or beauty appears, or seems to appear, in a sudden glory - it may only be about some
After ages during which the earth produced harmless trilobites and butterflies, evolution progressed to the point at which it generated Neros, Genghis Khans, and Hitlers. This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.
... mathematical knowledge ... is, in fact, merely verbal knowledge. "3" means "2+1", and "4" means "3+1". Hence it follows (though the proof is long) that "4" means the same as "2+2". Thus mathematical knowledge ceases to be mysterious.
Human life, its growth, its hopes, fears, loves, et cetera, are the result of accidents
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.
The more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs.
The rules of logic are to mathematics what those of structure are to architecture.
The time has come, or is about to come, when only large-scale civil disobedience, which should be nonviolent, can save the populations from the universal death which their governments are preparing for them.
The puritanism of Christianity has played havoc with the moderation that an enlightened and tolerant critical spirit would have produced. I've noticed that in whatever country, county, town, or other region there is a regulation enjoining temperance, the population seems to be entirely composed of t
One of the main causes of trouble in the world is dogmatic and fanatical belief in some doctrine for which there is no adequate evidence
It is essential to happiness that our way of living should spring from our own deep impulses and not from the accidental tastes and desires of those who happen to be our neighbors, or even our relations.
There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge. Bertrand Russel
Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give.
Happiness, as is evident, depends partly upon external circumstances and partly upon oneself.
The examination system, and the fact that instruction is treated mainly as a training for a livelihood, leads the young to regard knowledge from a purely utilitarian point of view as the road to money, not as the gateway to wisdom.
Those whose lives are fruitful to themselves, to their friends, or to the world are inspired by hope and sustained by joy: they see in imagination the things that might be and the way in which they are to be brought into existence.
Remote from human passions, remote even from the pitiful facts of nature, the generations have gradually created an ordered cosmos [mathematics], where pure thought can dwell in its natural home...
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.
Education ought to foster the wish for truth, not the conviction that some particular creed is the truth.
The wise man will be as happy as circumstances permit, and if he finds the contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead.
In the visible world, the Milky Way is a tiny fragment; within this fragment, the solar system is an infinitesimal speck, and of this speck our planet is a microscopic dot. On this dot, tiny lumps of impure carbon and water, of complicated structure, with somewhat unusual physical and chemical prope
Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country. Bertrand Rus
The tendency of our perceptions is to emphasise increasingly the objective elements in an impression, unless we have some special reason, as artists have, for doing the opposite.