Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

F. H. Bradley, fully Frances Herbert "F.H." Bradley

English Idealist Metaphysical Philosopher and Writer

"He who cannot forgive himself with regard to you will never forgive you."

"True penitence condemns to silence. What a man is ready to recall, he would be willing to repeat."

"The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring. And that is not happiness."

"The one self-knowledge worth having is to know one's own mind."

"The force of the blow depends on the resistance. It is sometimes better not to struggle against temptation. Either fly or yield at once."

"There are persons who, when they cease to shock us, cease to interest us."

"The deadliest foe to virtue would be complete self-knowledge. "

"The man who has ceased to fear has ceased to care. "

"Every possible idea therefore may be said to be used existentially, for every possible idea qualifies and is true of a real world. And the number of real worlds, in a word, is indefinite. Every idea therefore in a sense is true, and is true of reality. The question with every idea is how far and in what sense is it true. The question is always whether, qualifying reality in one sense, the idea qualifies reality in another sense also. For, true in one world, an idea may be false in another world."

"Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived. It is a pity that this is still the only knowledge of their wives at which some men seem to arrive."

"Another occupation might have been better."

"Eclecticism - every truth is so true that any truth must be false."

"It is by a wise economy of nature that those who suffer without change, and whom no one can help, become uninteresting. Yet so it may happen that those who need sympathy the most often attract it the least."

"It is good to know what a man is, and also what the world takes him for. But you do not understand him until you have learnt how he understands himself."

"Metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct; but to find these reasons is no less an instinct."

"One said of suicide, As long as one has brains one should not blow them out. And another answered, But when one has ceased to have them, too often one cannot."

"Our live experiences, fixed in aphorisms, stiffen into cold epigrams. Our heart's blood, as we write it, turns to mere dull ink."

"The mood in which my book was conceived and executed, was in fact to some extent a passing one."

"The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring."

"The world is the best of all possible worlds, and everything in it is a necessary evil."

"There are those who so dislike the nude that they find something indecent in the naked truth."

"Up to a certain point every man is what he thinks he is."

"We say that a girl with her doll anticipates the mother. It is more true, perhaps, that most mothers are still but children with playthings."

"Where everything is bad it must be good to know the worst."