Monday, July 26, 2004

Best Known Philosophical Sentences

Jonathan Dresner at Cliopatria has an interesting post on well-known philosophical sentences. He proposes several plausible ones. Here's my list:

1. I think therefore I am. (Descartes)
2. Virtue is its own reward. (Cicero)
3. I proclaim that might is right, and justice, the interest of the stronger. (Plato, but not his own view)
4. God is dead. (Nietzsche)
5. The unexamined life is not worth living for man. (Plato)
6. It [the just state] will be possible when, and only when, kings are philosophers and philosophers are kings. (Plato)
7. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. (Emerson)
8. Man is by nature a political animal. (Aristotle)
9. To us, probability is the very guide to life. (Butler)
10. All men desire to know. (Aristotle)
11. Philosophy begins in wonder. (Plato)
12. Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth. (Aristotle)
13. Reason is, and only ought to be, the slave of the passions. (Hume)
14. Man is born free, and he is everywhere in chains. (Rousseau)
15. What is time, then? If nobody asks me, I know; if I have to explain it to someone who has asked me, I do not know. (Augustine)
16. Give me chastity and continence, but not yet. (Augustine, describing the real meaning of his prayers for chastity after his conversion)
17. Love and do what you will. (Augustine)
18. The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. (Pascal)
19. Why is there something rather than nothing? (Liebniz)
20. It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be a Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. (John Stuart Mill)
21. That action is best which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers. (Hutcheson - although it was due to Bentham that it became popular)
22. Everything is what it is, and not another thing. (Butler)
23. Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few. (Berkeley)
24. To be is to be perceived. (Berkeley, of ideas)
25. God and nature do nothing in vain. (Aristotle)
26. There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it. (Cicero)
27. We go to war in order to live in peace. (Aristotle)
28. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. (Marx)
29. Religion is the opiate of the people. (Marx)
30. Justice is rendering each person his due. (Plato, quoting Simonides)

I had originally intended to put them in order from most popular to least; but it became far too difficult. Do you have anything to add?

2 comments:

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