Man has existed for about a million years. He has possessed writing for about 6,000 years, agriculture somewhat longer, but perhaps not much longer. Science, as a dominant factor in determining the belief of educated men, has existed for about 300 years; as a source of economic technique, for about
The whole realm of thought and opinion is utterly unsuited to public control; it ought to be as free, and as spontaneous as is possible. The state is justified in insisting that children shall be educated, but it is not justified in forcing their education to proceed on a uniform plan and to be dire
To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.
Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.
All's well that ends well; which is the epitaph I should put on my tombstone if I were the last man left alive.
The scientific attitude of mind involves a sweeping away of all other desires in the interests of the desire to know-it involves suppression of hopes and fears, loves and hates, and the whole subjective emotional life, until we become subdued to the material, able to see it frankly, without preconce
I resolved from the beginning of my quest that I would not be misled by sentiment and desire into beliefs for which there was no good evidence.
A generation educated in fearless freedom will have wider and bolder hopes than are possible to us
Some care is needed in using Descartes' argument. "I think, therefore I am" says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we are quite sure of being the same person to-day as we were yesterday, and this is no doubt true in some sense. But the real Self is as hard to arrive at as
It's not what you have lost, but what you have left that counts.
Indemnity for the past and security for the future.
I suppose the advocates of unreason think that there is a better chance of profitably deceiving the populace if they keep it in a state of effervescence.
Most political leaders acquire their position by causing large numbers of people to believe that these leaders are actuated by altruistic desires
Mystery is delightful, but unscientific, since it depends upon ignorance.
There are infinite possibilities of error, and more cranks take up fashionable untruths than unfashionable truths.
Science tells us what we can know but what we can know is little and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive of many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance and by doing so genera
Gradually, ... the aspect of science as knowledge is being thrust into the background by the aspect of science as the power of manipulating nature. It is because science gives us the power of manipulating nature that it has more social importance than art. Science as the pursuit of truth is the equa
Punctuality is a quality the need of which is bound up with social co-operation. It has nothing to do with the relation of the soul to God, or with mystic insight, or with any of the matters with which the more elevated and spiritual moralists are concerned.
One of the chief triumphs of modern mathematics consists in having discovered what mathematics really is.
Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithm
When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides, a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself.
Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.
In the daily lives of most men and women, fear plays a greater part than hope: they are more filled with the thought of the possessions that others may take from them, than of the joy that they might create in their own lives and in the lives with which they come in contact. It is not so that life s
The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice. If you take your children for a picnic on a doubtful day, they will demand a dogmatic answer as to whether it will be fine or wet, and be disappointed in you when you cannot be sure.
America ... where laws and customs alike are based on the dreams of spinsters.
No other organization rouses anything like the loyalty aroused by the national State. And the chief activity of the State is preparation for large-scale homicide.
Orthodoxy is the grave of intelligence, no matter what orthodoxy it may be.
The supreme maxim in scientific philosophising is this: wherever possible, logical constructions are to be substituted for inferred entities.
I think it would be just to say the most essential characteristic of mind is memory, using this word in its broadest sense to include every influence of past experience on present reactions.