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Bertrand Russell Quotes


British mathematician, philosopher and logician.
(1872 - 1970)

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...it [is] possible to suppose that, if Russia is allowed to have peace, an amazing industrial development may take place, making Russia a rival of the United States.
 

...The universe is just there, and that's all.
 

A great many worries can be diminished by realizing the unimportance of the matter which is causing anxiety.
[Worry]
 

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
 

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live
[Happiness]
 

A large proportion of the human race, it is true, is obliged to work so hard in obtaining the necessaries that little energy is left over for the other purposes; but those whose livelihood is assured do not, on that account, cease to be active
 

A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short.
 

A man may feel so completely thwarted that he seeks no form of satisfaction, but only distraction and oblivion. He then becomes a devotee of "pleasure." That is to say, he seeks to make life bearable by becoming less alive. Drunkenness, for example, is temporary suicide.
 

A process which led from the amoeba to man appeared to the philosophers to be obviously a progress though whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known.
 

A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation.
[Friendship]
 

A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
 

A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is.
 

Admiration of the proletariat, like that of dams, power stations, and aeroplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age.
 

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.
 

After ages during which the earth produced harmless trilobites and butterflies, evolution progressed to the point at which it generated Neros, Genghis Khans, and Hitlers. This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.
 

Against my will, in the course of my travels, the belief that everything worth knowing was known at Cambridge gradually wore off. In this respect my travels were very useful to me.
[Against]
 

All exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation.
 

All forms of fear produce fatigue.
[Fear]
 

All human activity is prompted by desire
 

All men are scoundrels, or at any rate almost all. The men who are not must have had unusual luck, both in their birth and in their upbringing
 


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