Great Throughts Treasury

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

Related Quotes

Stephen A. Erickson

An important way to distinguish philosophy from religion is that philosophy, at its best, raises questions, whereas religion provides answers. Answers can sometimes lose their force, however, if the questions to which they provide answers have somehow been lost, muted, or superseded. But philosophy can never end. As long as we live, we are going to ask ourselves about the meaning of life. Some have written about the “end of philosophy.” It has been thought that philosophy exists only if you can construe life as a journey traveling to a new and different dimension. Some have said that the cognitive sciences, linguistics, neuroscience, and so forth will advance so much that traditional technical problems of philosophy will diminish. Insofar as philosophy is a pursuit of the art of living providing (often conflicting) guidance for living, there is a future for philosophy.

Art | Distinguish | Force | Future | Guidance | Important | Journey | Life | Life | Meaning | Philosophy | Problems | Religion | Thought | Will | Guidance | Art | Thought |

Eric Gill, fully Arthur Eric Rowton Gill

Without philosophy man cannot know what he makes; without religion he cannot know why.

Man | Philosophy | Religion |

Sydney J. Harris

The idea of growth for its own sake is precisely the philosophy of the cancer cell.

Growth | Philosophy |

Abraham Joshua Heschel

This is the difference between religion and philosophy. Religion begins with the sense of the ineffable; philosophy ends with the sense of the ineffable. Religion begins where philosophy ends.

Ends | Philosophy | Religion | Sense |

John Locke

We have mistaken our abstractions for concrete realities… The enormous success of the scientific abstractions, yielding on the one hand matter with its simple location in space and time, on the other hand mind, perceiving, suffering, reasoning, but not interfering, has foisted onto philosophy the task of accepting them as the most concrete rendering of fact. Thereby, modern philosophy has been ruined. It has oscillated in a complex manner between three extremes. There are the dualists who accept matter and mind on an equal basis, and the two varieties of monists, those who put mind into matter and those who put matter inside mind. But this juggling with abstractions can never overcome the inherent confusion introduced by the ascription of misplaced concreteness to the scientific scheme of the seventeenth century.

Mind | Philosophy | Space | Success | Suffering | Time | Yielding |

Jacob Needleman

To approach the living question with the mind alone is impossible. The intellect must be coupled with feeling in order to stir a person to authentic inquiry. Real philosophy recognizes that ideas have sensations and emotions connected with them, and that one responds to them with the whole of oneself.

Emotions | Ideas | Inquiry | Mind | Order | Philosophy | Question | Intellect |

Jeanette Rankin

What one decides to do in a crisis depends upon one’s philosophy of life, and that philosophy cannot be changed by an incident. If one hasn’t any philosophy in a crisis, others make the decision.

Decision | Life | Life | Philosophy | Crisis |

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Since everything that comes into the human minds enters through the gates of sense, man’s first reason is a reason of sense-experience. It is this that serves as a foundation for the reason of the intelligence; our first teachers in natural philosophy are our feet, hands, and eyes. To substitute books for them does not teach us to reason, it teaches us to use the reason of others rather than our own; it teaches us to believe much and know little.

Books | Experience | Intelligence | Little | Man | Philosophy | Reason | Sense | Teach |

Fritz A. Rothschild

It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion, its message becomes meaningless.

Authority | Blame | Compassion | Creed | Discipline | Faith | Habit | Love | Past | Philosophy | Religion | Science | Society | Worship | Crisis |

Fritz A. Rothschild

The roots of ultimate insights are found not on the level of discursive thinking, but on the level of wonder and radical amazement, in the depth of awe, in our sensitivity to the mystery, in our awareness of the ineffable. It is the level on which the great things happen to the soul, where the unique insights of art, religion, and philosophy come into being.

Art | Awareness | Awe | Mystery | Philosophy | Religion | Soul | Thinking | Unique | Wonder | Awareness |

Jeanette Rankin

The most disappointing feature of working for a cause is that so few people have a philosophy of life.

Cause | Life | Life | People | Philosophy |

Albert Schweitzer

In the world He appears to me as the mysterious, marvelous creative Force; within me He reveals Himself as ethical Will. In the world He is impersonal Force; within me He reveals Himself as Personality. The God who is known through philosophy and the God whom I experience as ethical Will do not coincide. They are one; but how they are one I do not understand.

Experience | Force | God | Personality | Philosophy | Will | World | God |

Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

As for the necessity of coining new names for God, it is incomprehensible that philosophy and civilization can be enriched by ceasing to think of God as Life, Truth, Beauty, and Love, and beginning to think of Him as a blind and whirling space-time configuration dancing dizzily in an Einstein universe, plunging forward along a path of which He is ignorant, toward a goal of which He knows nothing whatever.

Beauty | Beginning | Civilization | God | Life | Life | Love | Necessity | Nothing | Philosophy | Space | Time | Truth | Universe | God | Think |

Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

It is easier to write ten volumes of philosophy than to put one principle into practice.

Philosophy | Practice |

William H. Whyte, Jr., fully William Hollingsworth "Holly" Whyte

A sense of “belonging,” a sense of meaningful association with others, has never required that one sacrifice his individuality as part of the bargain. Why, then, do so many rush to embrace a philosophy which tells them it is necessary.

Association | Individuality | Philosophy | Sacrifice | Sense | Association |

Elie Wiesel, fully Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel

What does mysticism really mean? It means the way to attain knowledge. It’s too close to philosophy, except in philosophy you go horizontally while in mysticism you go vertically.

Knowledge | Means | Mysticism | Philosophy |

William H. Whyte, Jr., fully William Hollingsworth "Holly" Whyte

[Groupthink] is rationalized conformity – an open, articulate philosophy which holds that group values are not only expedient but right as and good as well.

Conformity | Good | Philosophy | Right |