Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Favorite quotes

I'm still working on finding primary sources for each quote...

by Socrates 469-399 BC  About

"The unexamined life is not worth living."
"I know that I know nothing." Source
by Johannes Kepler 1571-1630  About
"I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses."
by Edmund Burke 1729-1797  About
"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
"You can never plan the future by the past.". Source
by William Godwin 1756-1836  About
"If a thing be really good, it can be shown to be such." Source
"As the true object of education is not to render the pupil the mere copy of his preceptor, it is rather to be rejoiced in, than lamented, that various reading should lead him into new trains of thinking."
by Albert Einstein 1879-1955  About
"My pencil and I are more clever than I." 
“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Source

“I believe the most important mission of the state is to protect the individual and make it possible for him to develop into a creative personality…” Source
“There could be no fairer destiny for any. . . theory than that it should point the way to a
more comprehensive theory in which it lives on, as a limiting case.”

by Ludwig Von Mises 1881-1973  About
"Men cannot be made happy against their will." Source

"Modern society, based as it is on the division of labor, can be preserved only under conditions of lasting peace." Source
"It is not from a disdain of spiritual goods that liberalism concerns itself exclusively with man’s material well-being, but from a conviction that what is highest and deepest in man cannot be touched by any outward regulation. It seeks to produce only outer well-being because it knows that inner, spiritual riches cannot come to man from without, but only from within his own heart. It does not aim at creating anything but the outward preconditions for the development of the inner life." Source
by Ayn Rand 1902-1982  About

"I am, therefore I'll think." | Atlas Shrugged

"In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit." | Atlas Shrugged

"Philosophy is a necessity for a rational being: philosophy is the foundation of science, the organizer of man's mind, the integrator of his knowledge, the programmer of his subconscious, the selector of his values."

‎"For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it." | Atlas Shrugged
"The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt."
"A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving."
"A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others."
"These two — reason and freedom — are corollaries, and their relationship is reciprocal: when men are rational, freedom wins; when men are free, reason wins."
"Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."
“The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.”
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)."
"Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think."
check source, The Virtue of Selfishness
 "Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man’s genetic lineage—the notion that a man’s intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors."

"Man—every man—is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life." | The Ayn Rand Column

"Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator. A mystic craves obedience from men, not their agreement. He wants them to surrender their consciousness to his assertions, his edicts, his wishes, his whims - as his consciousness is surrendered to theirs. He wants to deal with men by means of faith and force - he finds no satisfaction in their consent if he must earn it by means of facts and reason." | Atlas Shrugged

“The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence... The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law.” | P3C7

by Richard Feynman 1918-1988  About
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
"Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars - mere globs of gas atoms. I, too, can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more?"
by Karl Popper 1902-1994
"All life is problem solving."
"Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite."
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood."
"No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude."
"Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell."
“The problem 'Which comes first, the hypothesis (H) or the observation (O)?' is soluble; as is the problem, 'Which comes first, the hen (H) or the egg (O)?' . The reply to the latter is, 'An earlier kind of egg'; to the former, 'An earlier kind of hypothesis'. It is quite true that any particular hypothesis we choose will have been preceded by observations- the observations, for example, which it is designed to explain. But these observations, in their turn, presupposed the adoption of a frame of reference: a frame of expectations: a frame of theories. If they were significant, if they created a need for explanations and thus gave rise to the invention of a hypothesis, it was because they could not be explained within the old theoretical framework, the old horizon of expectations. There is no danger here of infinite regress. Going back to more and more primitive theories and myths we shall in the end find unconscious, inborn expectations.”
Karl Popper, Conjectures an Refutations.

“Reason, like science, grows by way of mutual criticism; the only possible way of 'planning' its growth is to develop those institutions that safeguard the freedom of this criticism, that is to say, the freedom of thought.”  Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies.

“I have decided to preach intellectual modesty for the rest of my days. There is a tradition, a monstrously strong tradition of intellectual immodesty and irresponsibility. I have said this around 1930 as a joke: many students don't go to university assuming that it is a great empire of knowledge, in the hope to gain some understanding; but they go to university to learn how to speak in an impressive and incomprehensible way. This is the tradition of intellectualism. At the time I thought it was a joke. But having become a university professor myself, I have perceived with horror that it is a reality. That's the way things are, unfortunately. In universities there is a tradition that legitimizes this attitude, it is the tradition of hegelianism. Especially in Germany, Hegel is extraordinarily admired. People really believe that Hegel was a great philosopher because he used big words. And it is exactly this incredible immodesty that destroys so much in and between intellectuals. I would like to spend my last years fighting against this. I want to start a new fashion. I have always fought against fashions, and I have never followed any fashion, and I have never tried to start one. But I would love to start a new fashion of intellectual modesty, of permanent thought of everything we don't know.“
Karl Popper in “Karl Popper and Konrad Lorenz: L'Avenir est Ouvert”. This is a translation of the original German “Die Zukunft is offen”.

by Thomas Szasz 1920-2012
"Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is."
"People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates."
"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."
"Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum."
"Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic."
"The proverb warns that 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself."
"Narcissist: psychoanalytic term for the person who loves himself more than his analyst; considered to be the manifestation of a dire mental disease whose successful treatment depends on the patient learning to love the analyst more and himself less."
"Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions."
"He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself."
"If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic."
by David Deutsch 1953-  About
"So it is fallibilism, not mere rejection of authority, that is essential for the initiation of unlimited knowledge growth – the beginning of infinity." Source
"...everything that is not forbidden by laws of nature is achievable, given the right knowledge." Source
"The overwhelming majority of theories are rejected because they contain bad explanations, not because they fail experimental tests." Source
"Biological evolution was merely a finite preface to the main story of evolution, the unbounded evolution of memes." Source
by Penn Jillette 1955-
"Every problem we have should be solved with more freedom, not less."
by Elliot Temple
"All knowledge is created by guesses and criticism." Source
"Emotions embody traditional knowledge which we don't have a full, conscious understanding of. Emotions are also fallible and possible to change." Source
"Do not do anything to your child that would be a crime to do to someone else." Source
And here's some of my own
"We are all fallible -- anyone of us can be wrong about any one of our ideas. So shielding any one of my ideas from criticism means irrationally believing that I have the truth."
"Being judgmental means not hiding from the truth. Its a good thing!"
"I don't reject the collective. I reject the attempts of the collective to enforce its will against my will."
"All knowledge is connected in a network."
"I am my ideas, no more no less."

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