Bertrand Russel, a British mathematician and philosopher, is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy and is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians. Like all great philosophers he had a few words of wisdom for the rest of us, the commoners. Here are ten best quotes from him.
1. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
2. All movements go too far.
3. Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.
4. To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
5. The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
6. Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
7. One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
8. In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
9. Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.
10. The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.
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