Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Reason

"I consider the subordination of reason to the authority of any person to be idolatry." - Maier NULL

"Since man is endowed with intelligence and determines his own ends, it is up to him to put himself in tune with the ends necessarily demanded by his nature. This means that there is, by very virtue of human nature, an order or a disposition which human reason can discover and according to which the human will must act in order to attune itself to the necessary ends of the human being. The unwritten law, or natural law, is nothing more than that." - Jacques Maritain

"To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name." - Thomas Merton

"It is not enough to begin; continuance is necessary. Mere enrollment will not make one scholar; the pupil must continue in the school through the long course, until he masters every branch. Success depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance." - J. R. Miller, fully James Russell Miller

"It is not reason that governs love." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Perfect reason avoids all extremes." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Reason at its best shuns all extremes: even in wisdom we must exert restraint." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that reason is weak." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Here is a wonder: we have many more poets than judges and interpreters of poetry. It is easier to create it than to understand it. On a certain low level it can be judged by precepts and by art. But the good, supreme, divine poetry is above the rules and reason." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Love hates people to be attached to each other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is. Connections and means have, with reason, as much weight in it as graces and beauty, or more. We do not marry for ourselves, whatever we say; we marry must as much or more for our posterity, for our family. The practice and benefit of marriage concerns our race very far beyond us. Therefore I like this fashion of arranging it rather by a third hand than by our own, and by the sense of other rather than by our own. How opposite is all this to the conventions of love!" - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge. We try all the ways that can lead us to it. When reason fails us, we use experience.. which is a weaker and less dignified means. But truth is so great a thing that we must not disdain any medium that will lead us to it." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Vice leaves repentance in the soul like an ulcer in the flesh, which is always scratching and lacerating itself; for reason effaces all other griefs and sorrows, but it begets that of repentance, which is so much the more grievous, by reason it springs within, as the cold and hot of fevers are more sharp than those that only strike upon the outward skin." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Without speech no reason, without reason no speech." - Madame de Motteville, Françoise Bertaut de Motteville

"The man who is a drunkard has no intellectual freedom. Science declares that alcohol seeks the intellectual faculties, clogs the brain cells, distorts the reason, vitiates the mind, shatters the nerve centres, and he who is diseased with inebriety cannot enjoy intellectual freedom." - Thomas C. Murphy

"Reason is God's gift, but so are the passions. Reason is as guilty as passion." -

"Many a man fails to become a thinker for the sole reason that his memory is too good." -

"We are unknown, we knowers, ourselves to ourselves: this has its own good reason. We have never searched for ourselves - how should it then come to pass, that we should ever find ourselves?" -

"The all-round liberally educated man, from Paleolithic times to the time when the earth shall become a cold cinder, will always be the same, namely, the man who follows his standards, of truth and beauty, who employs his learning and observation, his reason, his expression, for purposes of production, that is, to add something of his own to the stock of the world's ideas." -

"Passion may not unfitly be termed the mob of the man, that commits a riot on his reason." - William Penn

"The goal of wisdom is laughter and play - not the kind that one sees in little children who do not yet have the faculty of reason, but the kind that is developed in those who have grown mature through both time and understanding. If someone has experienced the wisdom that can only be heard from oneself, learned from oneself, and created from oneself, he does not merely participate in laughter: he becomes laughter itself." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"The health of the soul is to have its faculties - reason, high spirit, and desire - happily tempered, with reason in command, and reining in both the other two, like restive horses. The special name of this health is temperance." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"Knowledge has three degrees: opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. To the last I subordinate reason. It is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known." - Plotinus NULL

"Those divinely possessed and inspired have at least the knowledge that they hold some greater thing within them, though they cannot tell what it is; from the movements that stir them and the utterances that come from them they perceive the power, not themselves, that moves them: I the same way, it must be, we stand towards the Supreme when we hold nous pure; we know the Divine Mind within, that which gives Being and all else of that order: but we know, too, that other, know that it is none of these, but a nobler principle than anything we know as Being; fuller and greater; above reason, mind and feeling; conferring these powers, not to be confounded with them." - Plotinus NULL

"Strength of mind is Exercise, not Rest: The rising tempest puts in act the soul, parts it may ravage, but preserves the whole. On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail. Reason the card, but Passion is the gale... The Mind’s disease, its ruling Passion came." - Alexander Pope

"The ruling passion conquers reason still." - Alexander Pope

"The ruling passion, be it what it will, the ruling passion conquers reason still." - Alexander Pope

"An angry man is again angry with himself when he returns to reason." - Publius Syrus

"If thou desire to see thy child virtuous, let him not see his father’s vices; thou canst not rebuke that in children that they behold practiced in thee; till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts; such as thy behavior is before they children’s faces, such commonly is theirs behind their parents backs." - Francis Quarles

"Of all vices to take heed of drunkenness; other vices are but fruits of disordered affections - this disorders, nay, banishes reason; other vices but impair the soul - this demolishes her two chief faculties, the understanding and the will; other vices make their own way - this makes way for all vices; he that is a drunkard is qualified for all vice." - Francis Quarles

"Reason itself... demands that we recognize the limited place of the virtues of cognition, inquiry, and the cerebral side of life. An adequate account of rationality must rightly stress its importance and primacy while recognizing that the intellectual virtues are only limited components of the good life." - Nicholas Rescher

"It is only reason that teaches silence; the heart teaches us to speak." -

"There are hosts of men, of the profoundest thought, who find nothing in the disclosures of science to shake their faith in the eternal virtues of reason and religion." - George Ripley

"Custom does often reason overrule." - John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

"Reason is like an officer when the King appears; the officer then loses his power and hides himself. Reason is the shadow cast by God; God is the sun." -

"Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible; but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative activity embodying in splendid edifices the passionate aspiration after the perfect from which all great works springs. Remote from human passions, remote even from the pitiful facts of nature, the generations have gradually created an ordered cosmos, where pure thought can dwell as in its natural home, and where one, at least, of our nobler impulses can escape from the dreary exile of the actual world." -

"Vanity is the quicksand of reason." -

"I would argue that a man or woman who cannot speak or write clearly cannot think and reason cogently either." -

"Reason is the triumph of the intellect, faith of the heart; and whether the one or the other shall best illumine the dark mysteries of our being, they only are to be despaired of who care not to explore." - James Schouler

"The principal reason for sex deification is loss of belief in God. Once men lose God, they lose the purpose of life; and when the purpose of living is forgotten, the universe becomes meaningless. Man then tries to forget his emptiness in the intensity of a momentary experience." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"To achieve something great in the world you need Passion To fulfill vision, a great leader’s courage comes from Passion Whatever it may be, you must find your Passion If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins Follow your passion and success will follow you! Never underestimate the power of passion Without passion religion is spiritless Without Passion history is meaningless Without Passion art is useless Follow your passion and success will follow you! When you take up a mission with passion There are no dreams too large No innovation unimaginable No frontiers beyond reach Follow your passion and success will follow you! Our passions are the winds that propel our vessel Our reason is the pilot that steers her Without winds the vessel would not move Without a pilot she would be lost Follow your passion and success will follow you! There is no end and there is no beginning There is only the passion of life Passion is universal humanity Passion is the genesis of genius Follow your passion and success will follow you! " - Pooja Natarajan

"Man has evil as well as good qualities peculiar to himself. Drunkenness places him as much below the level of the brutes as reason elevates him above them." - Sir G. Sinclair

"Fear arises from impotence of mind, and therefore is of no service to reason nor is pity, although it seems to present an appearance of piety." -

"He who lives according to the guidance of reason strives as much as possible to repay the hatred, anger, or contempt of others towards himself with love or generosity." -

"It is... most profitable to us in life to make perfect the intellect or reason as far as possible, and in this one thing consists the highest happiness or blessedness of man; for blessedness is nothing but the peace of mind which springs from the intuitive knowledge of God, and to perfect the intellect is nothing but to understand god, together with the attributes and actions of God, which flow from the necessity of His nature. The final aim, therefore, of a man who is guided by reason, that is to say, the chief desire by which he strives to govern all his other desires, is that by which he is led adequately to conceive himself and all things which can be conceived by his intelligence." -

"It will easily be seen in what consist the difference between a man who is led by affect or opinion alone and one who is led by reason. The former, whether he wills it or not, does those things of which he is entirely ignorant, but the latter does the will of no one but himself, and does those things only which he knows are of greatest importance in life, and which he therefore desires above all things. I call the former, therefore, a slave, and the latter free." -

"Men who are governed by reason... desire for themselves nothing which they do not also desire for the rest of mankind." -

"Pride is over-estimation of oneself by reason of self-love." -

"The body cannot determine the mind to thought, neither can the mind determine the body to motion nor rest, nor to anything else, if there be anything else... That is to say, that the mind and the body are one in the same thing, conceived at one time under the attribute of thought, and at another under that of extension. For this reason, the order or concatenation of things is one, whether nature be conceived under this or under that attribute, and consequently the order of the actions and passions of our body is coincident in nature with the order of the actions and passions of the mind." -

"To act absolutely in conformity with virtue is nothing but acting according to the laws of our own proper nature. But only in so far as we understand do we act. Therefore, to act in conformity with virtue is nothing but acting, living, and preserving our being as reason directs, and doing so from the ground of seeking our own profit." -

"True virtue is life under the direction of reason." -