Tag Archives | @philo_quotes

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? While this appears to be an interesting German to English translation, the core of the quote remains the same, and a longer version is included at the bottom of the post. […]

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If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.

If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience. – William James What does that mean? This quote is part of a larger discussion of the way we make decisions and determine what we think is good for us or the proper way to live. This quote specifically says that […]

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Beware of the person of one book.

Beware of the person of one book. – Thomas Aquinas What does that mean? These words have been used in many different ways, from a warning regarding the narrow nature of such a person (ie not broadly educated). But in the original sense, it is a warning about one who has devoted their life to […]

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Your descendants shall gather your fruits.

Your descendants shall gather your fruits. – Virgil What does that mean? also translated as “your grandchildren shall gather your fruits,” it is part of a discussion of the times of harvesting, and of the planting of fruit trees (pears, in this case). Fruit trees take a long time to grow and then mature to […]

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The whole is more than the sum of its parts

The whole is more than the sum of its parts – Aristotle What does that mean? Also translated as “The whole is greater than the part,” this quote is about how much better things are together than as pieces. The idea is used heavily in Synergy and Gestalt as well as in non-linear fields. It […]

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Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.

Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason. – Saint Thomas Aquinas What does that mean? To me, this quote is about the difference between sense (sensations), and reason (logic). Living according to sense is about feelings, and the sensations which provide pleasure. This is, according to the quote’s observation of the […]

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Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.

Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide. – Cicero What does that mean? Excess is often synonymous with too much of something. But you can also have an excess of caution, or in other words, you can also have too little of something. The quote asks us to consider a middle path, […]

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What is permissible is not always honorable.

What is permissible is not always honorable. – Cicero What does that mean? As many large societies are based on laws, we tend to focus on what is permissible and what is proscribed, without much thought in regards to why. Yet all groups within any society have things they adhere to because of their beliefs […]

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Ability without honor is useless.

Ability without honor is useless. – Cicero What does that mean? A similar quote is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said “Ability without honor has no value,” so it appears to be a popular thought. Ability, in this quote, is talking about the capacity to do something. It doesn’t matter how impressive it is, […]

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He who has great power should use it lightly.

He who has great power should use it lightly. – Seneca What does that mean? This quote is from a play by Seneca, wherein the Greek heroes Pyrrhus (son of Achilles) and Agamemnon are discussing the fate (death) of a prisoner. Pyrrhus says no law forbids it, but Agamemnon cautions that the victor should be […]

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Whatever one of us blames in another, each one will find in his own heart.

Whatever one of us blames in another, each one will find in his own heart. – Seneca What does that mean? This is a translator’s version of “And so each man will find in his own breast the fault which he censures in another.” Yet, however one chooses to word it, the blame or fault […]

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Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? To me, this quote is a bit of a double edged sword. If your soul (to me, this means our inner self, our mind) isn’t calm, then it might not be an ideal […]

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A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts. – Seneca What does that mean? This is also alternately translated in the following manner: “Unjust rule never abides continually.” This quote is an interesting observation of the basics of human nature. Humans are a resilient bunch, and we are often willing to put up with a great […]

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For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.

For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them. – Seneca What does that mean? This is a meta-quote, with Seneca quoting Epicurus : “The acquisition of riches has been for many men, not an end, but a change, of troubles.” In the quote, he is talking about […]

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To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation. – Saint Augustine What does that mean? This is an interesting quote. Can you do just a little? Do you know what is the correct amount for you, and for the situation? Conversely, do you avoid the issue altogether and simply abstain? But is your will-power […]

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