Philosophical Questions And Quotes

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Philosophical Questions And Quotes

I think one reason is that philosophers are more insecure to speak accessibly because non-philosophers are skeptical that philosophers have any special expertise. After all, all people - not just philosophers - have attitudes and points of view on various philosophical questions, and they rather resent being told that there are professionals who can think about these things better.
— Rebecca Goldstein —

David Hume Quotes: Where am i or what from what causes do i
Where am I, or what? From what causes do I derive my existence, and to what condition shall I return? ... I am confounded with all these questions, and begin to fancy myself in the most deplorable condition imaginable, environed with the deepest darkness, and utterly deprived of the use of every member and faculty.
Most fortunately it happens, that since Reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, Nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends. And when, after three or four hours' amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther.

— David Hume

Ted Chiang Quotes: Science fiction is very well suited to
Science fiction is very well suited to asking philosophical questions; questions about the nature of reality, what it means to be human, how do we know the things that we think we know.

— Ted Chiang

Brian Greene Quotes: There is but one truly philosophical
There is but one truly philosophical problem, and that is suicide," the text began. I winced. "Whether or not the world has three dimensions or the mind nine or twelve categories," it continued, "comes afterward"; such questions, the text explained, were part of the game humanity played, but they deserved attention only after the one true issue had been settled. The book was The Myth of Sisyphus and was written by the Algerian-born philosopher and Nobel laureate Albert Camus. After a moment, the iciness of his words melted under the light of comprehension. Yes, of course, I thought. You can ponder this or analyze that till the cows come home, but the real question is whether all your ponderings and analyses will convince you that life is worth living. That's what it all comes down to. Everything else is detail.

— Brian Greene

I can't wait to have words with the Gray King when this shit is all finished," Locke whispered. "There's a few things I want to ask him. Philosophical questions. Like, 'How does it feel to be dangled out a window by a rope tied around your balls, motherfucker?

— Scott Lynch

Adults discourage children from asking philosophical questions, first by being patronizing to them and then by directing their inquiring minds towards more "useful" questions. Most adults aren't themselves interested in philosophical questions. They may be threatened by some of them. Moreover, it doesn't occur to most adults that there are questions that a child can ask that they can't provide a definitive answer to and that aren't answered in a standard dictionary or encyclopedia either.

— Gareth B. Matthews

Sogyal Rinpoche Quotes: Dont let us take doubts with exaggerated
Don't let us take doubts with exaggerated seriousness nor let them grow out of proportion, or become black-and-white or fanatical about them. What we need to learn is how slowly to change our culturally conditioned and passionate involvement with doubt into a free, humorous, and compassionate one. This means giving doubts time, and giving ourselves time to find answers to our questions that are not merely intellectual or "philosophical," but living and real and genuine and workable. Doubts cannot resolve themselves immediately; but if we are patient a space can be created within us, in which doubts can be carefully and objectively examined, unraveled, dissolved, and healed. What we lack, especially in this culture, is the right undistracted and richly spacious environment of the mind, which can only be created through sustained meditation practice, and in which insights can be given the change slowly to mature and ripen. 129-130

— Sogyal Rinpoche

Godshawk looked surprised, the way that people generally do when you ask them philosophical questions in shrubberies in the middle of the night.

— Philip Reeve

In asking philosophical questions, we use a reason shaped by the body, a cognitive unconscious to which we have no direct access, and metaphorical thought of which we are largely unaware. The fact that abstract thought is mostly metaphorical means that answers to philosophical questions have always been, and always will be, mostly metaphorical. In itself, that is neither good nor bad. It is simply a fact about the capacities of the human mind. But it has major consequences for every aspect of philosophy. Metaphorical thought is the principal tool that makes philosophical insight possible and that constrains the forms that philosophy can take.

— George Lakoff

Ask yourself your own questions and go after what might answer them. Before life, you must maintain a philosophical and scientific stance. Always.

— Camilo Gomes Jr.

Shelly Kagan Quotes: If you put it as complex nervous systems
If you put it as 'complex nervous systems' it sounds pretty deflationary. What's so special about a complex nervous system? But of course, that complex nervous system allows you to do calculus. It allows you to do astrophysics ... to write poetry ... to fall in love. Put under that description, when asked 'What's so special about humans ... ?', I'm at a loss to know how to answer that question. If you don't see why we'd be special ... because we can do poetry [and] think philosophical thoughts [and] we can think about the morality of our behavior, I'm not sure what kind of answer could possibly satisfy you at that point.
... I could pose the same kinds of questions of you ... So God says, 'You are guys are really, really special.' How does his saying it make us special? 'But you see, he gave us a soul.' How does our having a soul make us special? Whatever answer you give, you could always say ... 'What's so special about that?

— Shelly Kagan

Why did a demon who possessed the savage strength of a werewolf also need such compelling beauty?
It was one of those philosophical questions that had no answer.
Like why Firefly had been canceled after just one season.

— Alexandra Ivy

One such accident had turned the librarian into an ape, since when he had resisted all attempts to turn him back, explaining in sign language that life as an orangutan was considerably better than life as a human being, because all the big philosophical questions resolved themselves into wondering where the next banana was coming from. Anyway, long arms and prehensile feet were ideal for dealing with high shelves.

— Terry Pratchett

So, when I write a piece of fiction I select my characters and settings and so on because they have a bearing, at least to me, on the old unanswerable philosophical questions. And as I spin out the action, I'm always very concerned with springing discoveries
actual philosophical discoveries. But at the same time I'm concerned
and finally more concerned
with what the discoveries do to the character who makes them, and to the people around him. It's that that makes me not really a philosopher, but a novelist.

— John Gardner

Elie Metchnikoff Quotes: Science it is said no doubt has
Science, it is said, no doubt has ameliorated the material conditions of human life, but is powerless to solve those moral and philosophical questions that interest cultured people so deeply.

— Elie Metchnikoff

What I've found I really like about sci-fi is it can look at philosophical questions about humanity but in a different context. It can really make you think. That's what 'Doctor Who' does, even if it's a bit silly some other times.

— Sarah Snook

I can get very philosophical and ask the questions Keats was asking as a young guy. What are we here for? What's a soul? What's it all about? What is thinking about, imagination?

— Jane Campion

Most of the propositions and questions to be found in philosophical works are not false but nonsensical.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein Quotes: Most propositions and questions that
Most propositions and questions, that have been written about philosophical matters, are not false, but senseless ... (They are of the same kind as the question whether the Good is more or less identical than the Beautiful.)

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

He had never been particularly inclined to philosophical meditation. He had never felt a need to delve into himself. Life was a continual interplay among various practical questions awaiting a solution. Whatever was out there was something inescapable which he could not affect no matter how much he worried about some meaning that probably didn't even exist. Having a few minutes of solitude was another thing altogether. It was the vast peace that lay hidden in not having to think at all. Just listen, observe, sit motionless.

— Henning Mankell

I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs.

— Pete Seeger

One of the peculiar features of philosophical questions is how eager people are to offer solutions that miss the point of the questions. Sometimes these failed solutions are scientific, and sometimes they are religious, and sometimes they are based on what is called plain common sense.

— Rebecca Goldstein

Fundamentally, all art is about human beings. You're always showing larger moral questions through the smaller moral, philosophical, or political choices through one character in the book.

— Philipp Meyer

[T]he whole undertaking of philosophical inquiry requires a prior understanding of the conceptual system in which the undertaking is set. That is an empirical job for cognitive science and cognitive semantics ... Unless this job is done, we will not know whether the answers philosophers give to their questions are a function of the conceptualization built into the questions themselves.

— George Lakoff

To be more precise: although philosophical questions concern us all, we do not all become philosophers.

— Jostein Gaarder

From my undergraduate days, I've always been interested in the major philosophical questions that don't seem to have an answer that everyone agrees on.

— E.L. Doctorow

Quite early on, and certainly since I started writing, I found that philosophical questions occupied me more than any other kind. I hadn't really thought of them as being philosophical questions, but one rapidly comes to an understanding that philosophy's only really about two questions: 'What is true?' and 'What is good?'

— Tom Stoppard

No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.

— Richard Feynman

As a filmmaker, I ask questions but don't have answers. Moviemaking is a philosophical exploration. I invite the audience to come on the journey and discover what they think and feel.

— David Cronenberg

What is at stake is civilization and humanity, nothing less. The idea that everything is permitted, as Nietzsche put it, rests on the premise of nihilism and has nihilistic implications. I will not pretend that the case against nihilism and for civilization is an easy one to make. We are here confronting the most fundamental of philosophical questions, on the deepest levels. In short, the matter of pornography and obscenity is not a trivial one, and only superficial minds can take a bland and untroubled view of it.

— Irving Kristol

[Genesis] is not myth. It is not history in the conventional sense, a mere recording of events. Nor is it theology: Genesis is less about God than about human beings and their relationship with God. The theology is almost always implicit rather than explicit. What Genesis is, in fact, is philosophy written in a deliberately non-philosophical way. It deals with all the central questions of philosophy: what exists (ontology), what can we know (epistemology), are we free (philosophical psychology), and how we should behave (ethics). But it does so in a way quite unlike the philosophical classics from Plato to Wittgenstein. To put it at its simplest: philosophy is truth as system. Genesis is truth as story. It is a unique work, philosophy in the narrative mode.

— Jonathan Sacks

Camus said there is only really one serious philosophical question, which is whether or not to commit suicide. I think there are four or five serious philosophical questions:
The first one is: Who started it?
The second is: Are we going to make it?
The third is: Where are we going to put it?
The fourth is: Who's going to clean up?
And the fifth: Is it serious?
Out Of Your Mind (2004), Audio lecture 1: The Nature of Consciousness: A Game That's Worth The Candle.

— Alan W. Watts

Richard Rorty Quotes: You read the pragmatists and all you
You read the pragmatists and all you know is: not Descartes, not Kant, not Plato. It's like aspirin. You can't use aspirin to give yourself power, you take it to get rid of headaches. In that way, pragmatism is a philosophical therapy. It helps you stop asking the unhelpful questions.

— Richard Rorty

This is a major, wide-ranging, and comprehensive book. A philosophical investigation that is also a literary and historical study, Truth and Truthfulness asks how and why we have come to think of accuracy, sincerity, and authenticity as virtues. Bernard Williams' account of their emergence is as detailed and imaginative as his defense of their importance is spirited and provocative. Williams asks hard questions, and gives them straightforward and controversial answers. His book does not simply describe and advocate these virtues of truthfulness; it manifests them.

— Alexander Nehamas

I take on a philosophical and postmodernist approach to the art-making process, investigating problems on a personal and intuitive level. This process is what fuels my mind and informs me, raises new questions, and gives my work resonance.

— Michael Bell

Slavoj Žižek Quotes: For me stalinism was even a greater
For me, Stalinism was even a greater philosophical problem than Nazism. Under Nazism, if you were a Jew, you were simply killed, no questions asked, you had nothing to prove. Under Stalinism, of course, most [victims] were on trial for false accusations; most of them were not traitors. There is one interesting feature: that they were tortured or through some kind of blackmail forced to confess to being traitors.

— Slavoj Žižek

Philosophical questions are not by their nature insoluble. They are, indeed, radically different from scientific questions, because they concern the implications and other interrelations of ideas, not the order of physical events; their answers are interpretations instead of factual reports, and their function is to increase not our knowledge of nature, but our understanding of what we know.

— Susanne Katherina Langer

Chauncey Wright Quotes: Science asks no questions about the
Science asks no questions about the ontological pedigree or a priori character of a theory, but is content to judge it by its performance; and it is thus that a knowledge of nature, having all the certainty which the senses are competent to inspire, has been attained
a knowledge which maintains a strict neutrality toward all philosophical systems and concerns itself not with the genesis or a priori grounds of ideas.

— Chauncey Wright

If a specific question has meaning, it must be possible to find operations by which an answer may be given to it ... I believe that many of the questions asked about social and philosophical subjects will be found to be meaningless when examined from the point of view of operations.

— Percy Williams Bridgman

I was occupied by a range of questions, often different from those fashionable in the professional philosophy of the past half century, that have sometimes troubled philosophers in the past. It's taken me several decades to work out my own philosophical agenda, and it is wide.

— Philip Kitcher

Isn't it really quite extraordinary to see that, since man took his first step, no one has asked himself why he walks, how he walks, if he has ever walked, if he could walk better, what he achieves in walking .. questions that are tied to all the philosophical, psychological, and political systems which preoccupy the world.

— Honore De Balzac

Tariq Ramadan Quotes: We have to reconcile ourselves with
We have to reconcile ourselves with philosophical questions in every field. Every field should be open to inquiry and knowledge.

— Tariq Ramadan

Terry Pratchett Quotes: One of the recurring philosophical
One of the recurring philosophical questions is: 'Does a falling tree in the forest make a sound when there is no one to hear?' Which says something about the nature of philosophers , because there is always someone in a forest. It may only be a badger, wondering what that cracking noise was, or a squirrel a bit puzzled by all the scenery going upwards, but someone.

— Terry Pratchett

Jonathan Lethem Quotes: Im not a sociologist and the novel has
I'm not a sociologist, and the novel has often concerned itself with sociology. It's one of the generating forces that's made fiction interesting to people. But that's not my concern. I'm interested in psychology. And also certain philosophical questions about the world.

— Jonathan Lethem

Mann was profoundly influenced by two philosophers, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, who returned to the most ancient of all philosophical questions - "How to live?" - and whose writings offered novel perspectives for considering that question (much more perspective-offering than rigorous argument!)

— Philip Kitcher

In the end, we learn about the most basic philosophical questions - like "How to live?" - from a broad mixture of sources, including literature and philosophy, history and anthropology. These sources can guide our reflections on our own experiences, as we explore and reconsider. Mann contributed to such explorations in a distinctive way, and I hope my book brings that out.

— Philip Kitcher

In a sense these are questions that most people ask themselves to some extent. They become philosophical when asked with a persistence and rigour that pushes past conventional or evasive answers. It's nothing to do with acquiring a technical facility in an academic discipline.

— George Pattison

I'm not sure that I 'am' a philosopher - but I do engage with questions that are generally recognized as philosophical questions, such as the character of human existence and what makes for a good human life.

— George Pattison

So Socrates was a kind of gadfly. He was a sort of philosophical urban gorilla hanging around in the middle of Athens, asking these peculiar questions of everybody - important people, young men, slaves - questions that had to do with ultimately what's the life that's worth living. And Plato was one of the young men who hung around him, a very aristocratic young man, came from a very old, important family.

— Rebecca Goldstein

I think one reason is that philosophers are more insecure to speak accessibly because non-philosophers are skeptical that philosophers have any special expertise. After all, all people - not just philosophers - have attitudes and points of view on various philosophical questions, and they rather resent being told that there are professionals who can think about these things better.

— Rebecca Goldstein

There is a worry that many have expressed that, on the naturalistic way of approaching philosophical questions, philosophy will somehow be co-opted by science. I'm not much worried about this.

— Hilary Kornblith

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