Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Francis Herbert Bradley

British Idealist Philosopher

"In religion fear and approval to some extent must always combine... In religion approval implies devotion, and devotion seems hardly possible, unless there is some fear, if only the fear of estrangement."

"To be free from everything is to be - nothing. Only nothing is quite free, and freedom is abstract nothingness."

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

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

"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."

"An aphorism is true where it has fixed the impression of a genuine experience"

"Another occupation might have been better."

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

"I am glad to think my work has been of use to anyone. But that it deserves the time & trouble involved in an elaborate study I find difficult to believe. In other words the same pains bestowed on one of the well-known masters in the subject would in my opinion be better rewarded."

"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."

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

"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."

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

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

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

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

"The propriety of some persons seems to consist in having improper thoughts about their neighbors"

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

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

"The whole book was rather crude & hasty but how far it really was less useful on that account I don't know."

"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."

"There are those who understand everything till one puts it into words."

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

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