Saturday, 24 January 2015

Top 10 Philosophical Quotes

Dedicated to the philisophical teachings uttered in short sentences, musings that will change your outlook on life in the blink of an eye and quips to equip you to face the hardships of life, this list will open your eyes to some of the great brains to have graced this Earth. I will be focusing on short quotes rather than longer ones - the snappier the better for those looking for that quick injection of knowledge and wisdom.

10. Heraclitus - "One cannot step twice in the same river."

Meaning that everything is in a constant flow of change - from each passing moment the water of that river passes through before being replaced with more water, the river has changed. This definition reaffirms Heraclitus when he argues that the only thing we can call permanent is change.

9. Nietzsche - "God is dead!"

Not in the literal sense, but in an ideological one. Nietzsche's works display concepts of nihilism, in which he warns us that the growing detachment from religion in the western world could lead to chaos. Often debated, but the true meaning is thought to be foreboding the movement away from the morals expounded in religious verse.

8. Einstein - "The real sign of intelligence isn't knowledge, it's imagination."

Einstein questioned the scientific conventions at the time and moved away from the acceptance of said conventions. This philosophy is perhaps the ethos behind how Einstein was able to imagine new concepts which changed the formerly accepted notions of science and the way we perceive the world. Want to know what Einstein thought about God? Click here!

7. Socrates - "I only know one thing, and that is I know nothing."

Perhaps tying in well with Einstein's own ideas - no matter how much we learn we will be eternally in the depths of what we don't know. There is too much in this universe which we will always struggle to explain, but Socrates' words are what many people look to to inspire questions about the world we live in.

6. Descartes - "I think, therefore I am."

Descartes' rational behind his own existence was that he thought, therefore he was. The age-old concept of whether or not you exist is something that plagued Descartes' mind, but this quote was his only way of putting into words that he knew he must exist, even if that didn't necessarily mean other people did...

5. Kant - "Morality is not the doctrine of how we make ourselves happy, but how we make ourselves worthy of happiness."

A lot of his philosophy was based around morality, and indeed Kant changed western philosophy and is probably one of the most influential philosophers to have ever lived. On questioning whether or not God exists, Kant came to the conclusion that morality was proof of God's existence.

4. Aristotle - "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies."

Don't hate me, it's valentines day soon! Besides, isn't love one of the biggest concepts we all grapple with from time to time? A classic from Aristotle nonetheless.

3. Rousseau - "Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains."

Social class, wealth, and poverty are all things that trap us, but none of these are of a natural creation, they are consequences of everything man-made. Rousseau isn't known to be the greatest but he did write a good line! This one working in some capacity to inspire the French Revolution.

2. Gandhi - "Live simply so that others may simply live."

With only 1% of the world's population owning almost half of the entire world's wealth, perhaps this idiom has never rang so true throughout the world. Living simply would be to not exhaust the world's resources, and passing on luxuries would improve the lives of those less fortunate - an ideal thought amid the less than ideal surroundings.

1. Socrates - "The unexamined life is not worth living."

The only person to make it twice on the list, although others could have easily shoehorned themselves on here somehow. Without examining life would any of the previous nine quotes ever have been uttered?

So there you have it, a list of bite-sized philosophical teachings to keep you ticking over on the philosophy front. Please have a share, and if you think I've missed any off, let me know below!

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