skepticism

Unfortunately, at present, practically no one under thirty goes to workshops. It's a system of education entirely for the middle aged.

The proper method of philosophy consists in clearly conceiving the insoluble problems in all their insolubility and then in simply contemplating them, fixedly and tirelessly, year after year, without any hope, patiently waiting.

Skepticism's bad rap arises from the impression that, however necessary the activity, it can only be regarded as a negative removal of false claims. Not so... Proper debunking is done in the interest of an alternate model of explanation, not as a nihilistic exercise. The alternate model is rationality itself, tied to moral decency--the most powerful joint instrument for good that our planet has ever known.

Though I shall for convenience often speak of two standpoints, the subjective and the objective, and though the various places in which this opposition is found have much in common, the distinction between more subjective and more objective views is really a matter of degree, and it covers a wide spectrum.

To regard the successful experiences which ensue from a belief as a criterion of its truth is one thing--and a thing that is sometimes bad and sometimes good--but to assume that truth itself consists in the process by which it is verified is a different thing and always bad.

In general, scientific progress calls for no more than the absorption and elaboration of new ideas— and this is a call most scientists are happy to heed.

There can indeed be little doubt that for nearly two hundred years after its establishment in Europe, the Christian community exhibited a moral purity which, if it has been equaled, has never for any long period been surpassed. Completely separated from the Roman world that was around them, abstaining alike from political life, from appeals to the tribunals, and from military occupations; looking forward continually to the immediate advent of their Master, and the destruction of the Empire in which they dwelt, and animated by all the fervor of a young religion, the Christiana found within themselves a whole order of ideas and feelings sufficiently powerful to guard them from the contamination of their age.

In the future my name ought to be put in the catalogue as I sign it on the canvas, namely Vincent and not Van Gogh, for the simple reason that they do not know how to pronounce the latter name here.

Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to them. Once the chorus of cultural values was full of ministers, teachers, neighbors, leaders. They demanded more conformity, but offered more support. Now the messengers are violent cartoon characters, rappers and celebrities selling sneakers. Parents are considered "responsible" only if they are successful in their resistance. That's what makes child-raising harder. It's not just that American families have less time with their kids; it's that we have to spend more of this time doing battle with our own culture.

The greatest power in the world is the power our thought, for it is Creative Mind in action.

The great curse of modern philosophy is the almost universally prevailing rebellion against intellectual self-discipline. Where loose thinking obtains, truth cannot possibly be grasped, whence the conclusion naturally follows that there is no truth.