Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

Bertrand
Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell
1872
1970

British Philosopher, Logician, Mathematician, Historian, Socialist, Pacifist and Social Critic

Author Quotes

Altogether it will be found that a quiet life is characteristic of great men, and that their pleasures have not been of the sort that would look exciting to the outward eye.

All human activity is prompted by desire.

A man who is to educate really well, and is to make the young grow and develop into their full stature, must be filled through and through with the spirit of reverence. It is reverence towards others that is lacking in those who advocate machine-made cast-iron systems.

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.

"Free thought" means thinking freely... To be worthy of the name [freethinker] he must be free of two things: the force of tradition and the tyranny of his own passions. No one is completely free from either, and in the measure of a man's emancipation he deserves to be called a free thinker.

We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power.

To teach how to live with uncertainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy in our age can still do for those who study it.

To realize the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.

To fear love is to fear life; and those who fear life are already three-parts dead.

Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.

There is no excuse for deceiving children. And when, as must happen in conventional families, they find that their parents have lied, they lose confidence in them and feel justified in lying to them.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

The more we realize our minuteness and our impotence in the face of cosmic forces, the more astonishing becomes what human beings have achieved.

The fundamental defect of fathers is that they want their children to be a credit to them.

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.

Perhaps the best hope for the future of mankind is that ways will be found of increasing the scope and intensity of sympathy.

Of course not. After all, I may be wrong. [when asked whether he would be prepared to die for his beliefs]

Of all the forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.

Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.

Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth: more than ruin, more even than death.

Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one.

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.

Author Picture
First Name
Bertrand
Last Name
Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell
Birth Date
1872
Death Date
1970
Bio

British Philosopher, Logician, Mathematician, Historian, Socialist, Pacifist and Social Critic