Throughout the centuries, great philosophers such as Aristotle or Socrates have left meaningful quotes and phrases for history . Phrases that, although they are from other times, still inspire us thanks to their great message.
Philosophical phrases are thoughts that make us reflect and allow us to delve into the interior of our being and our inner life. They make us question our values and our beliefs and remind us of the path we must follow to be happy.
The best philosophical phrases and Meaningful Quotes
In today’s text we have compiled the best quotes of the most famous philosophers of history , so that they allow you to reflect on different topics: happiness, freedom, love, life, … So do not miss them and apply them to your life!
1. The most difficult thing is to know ourselves; the easiest is to speak ill of others (Tales of Miletus)
It is difficult to reflect on ourselves and to know ourselves because it always costs less to look for defects in others. To grow as people and to be happy, self-knowledge is necessary .
2. I can not teach anything to anyone. I can only make you think (Socrates)
Socrates was known for his Socratic method of teaching, which was characterized by making his disciples reflect . He just gave the tools so that they themselves will arrive at the solutions. In fact, Socrates has been the inspiration for Coaching . Coaches are facilitators of personal development that make their clients develop their full potential and overcome their limiting beliefs.
3. We do not judge the people we love (Jean-Paul Sartre)
When we are in love we do not see the defects of the person we love. Love blinds us and we become vulnerable and weak . Luckily, over time we can realize that this is happening.
4. Knowledge is power (Francis Bacon)
Learning new things allows us to grow as human beings and makes us more prepared people to adapt to the environment. Knowledge makes us wise people .
5. Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.” The mature says: “I need you because I love you” (Erich Fromm)
With this phrase, Erich Fromm speaks first of a toxic love , in which one of the actors is dependent on the other. On the other hand, in the second case, Fromm refers to the love of someone mature, who wants to be with a person because he is okay with her, not because he needs her.
6. The worst fight is the one that is not fought (Karl Marx)
Karl Marx, a great German philosopher, sociologist and economist, means by this phrase that if we do not fight for something we want, it is impossible for us to achieve our purpose and objective . Marx, with this famous sentence, referred to the socio-economic context and the class struggle in which he has been a very influential thinker. Even so, this phrase can be used in the day to day of people.
7. Poverty does not come by the diminution of riches, but by the multiplication of desires (Plato)
This phrase is similar to another one that says: “it is not richer who has more, but the one who needs less”. A totally certain phrase that affirms that if we want too much, we will never be happy. Happiness is in the little things and acceptance .
8. Do not hurt others with what causes you pain (Buddha)
One of the wisest things we can do in this life is not to do to others what we do not want them to do to us. You have to treat others with respect because you never know what the future holds.
9. Expect yourself a lot and expect little from others. This way you will save yourself trouble (Confucius)
It is a serious mistake to expect others to do things for us , because if they do not we can take great illusions. That is something that is not under our control. Now, what is under control is the possibility of working on us every day to improve.
10. Our deepest convictions, more indubitable, are the most suspicious. They constitute our limit, our borders, our prison (José Ortega y Gasset)
When we have an overly rigid mentality, it can be detrimental to our well-being , since, on many occasions, we are unable to be objective. In the end, these thoughts become limiting beliefs.
11. The heart has reasons that reason ignores (Blaise Pascal)
Sometimes we want to be so rational that we overlook the importance of emotions . Like it or not, emotions move us. When we are in love we can lose our heads. There are things that reason will never understand.
12. Those who educate children well should be more honored than those who produce them; the first ones only give them life, the second ones the art of living well (Aristotle)
The task of a father is not only to give life to a child, but, for its development, it is necessary to educate it . Properly educating a child will make him a healthy and happy adult. Therefore, people who do this well deserve a prize.
13. We rarely think about what we have; but always in what we lack (Schopenhauer)
Human beings have the bad habit of not valuing what we have and wishing what is not within reach . To be happy, it is necessary to value what you have and not give so much importance to what you do not have.
14. I would never die for my beliefs because I could be wrong (Bertrand Russell)
We can not affirm that what we think is always true . Sometimes our prejudices can dominate them or we can see reality from our point of view only. Maybe another person does not see it the same.
15. Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts (Søren Kierkegaard)
We can pretend to be something that we are not and pretend that we are as others want us to be, but in the end we are what we think .
16. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are (Machiavelli)
People usually stay with the image you give, with the superficial aspects . Unfortunately, there are few people who just enter your heart or take the trouble to get to know you thoroughly.
17. There is often more to learn from a child’s unexpected questions than from a man’s speeches (John Locke)
Children do not spend hours thinking about what they are going to say, they are spontaneous and curious explorers, and they always have witty questions on the tip of their tongues. Sometimes we should continue to have this perspective and see the world as if it were all new.
18. Desire is the true essence of man (Spinoza)
Luckily or unfortunately, people are always longing for something, wanting something . This is the pure essence of man and what makes us move forward. Sometimes, but, these desires can be irrational, and for our good we must touch with our feet on the ground.
19. It is not what happens to you, but how you react what matters (Epithet)
Life is complicated and sometimes unexpected situations arise that destabilize us . But when a period has passed in which we get used to the new situation, it is our perception of the facts that causes us suffering.
20. The secret of happiness is not always do what you want, but always want what you do (Tolstoy)
This great phrase of Tolstoy comes to say that it is not a matter of doing what we want at any time to be happy, but that what we really like and motivates us, if we carry it out, allows us to be in “state”. of flow “ . This is key to our well-being and our happiness.
21. Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
This phrase is similar to other phrases like “Patience is the mother of science” or “Good thing makes you wait”. That is, that patience is a great virtue of being human or and usually has its positive consequences.
22. Our envy always lasts longer than the happiness of the one we envy (Heraclitus)
This phrase comes to say that both envy and rancor are bad choices , because who is harming is ourselves.
23. The measure of love is to love without measure (Saint Augustine)
Love must be experienced and lived with all its intensity , because depriving ourselves of this great feeling can make us crazy. Love is one of the great experiences of life.
24. It takes a life to learn to live (Seneca)
Life is a continuous learning and you never know enough . One of the great mistakes of the human being is to think that he already knows everything, and it is not precisely an act of humility.
25. He who has a reason to live can face all the “hows” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
He who has realistic goals in life and something to fight for, is so motivated that he is able to overcome the great obstacles that can be encountered throughout his life .
26. Living without philosophizing is, properly, having your eyes closed, without trying to open them ever (René Descartes)
It can be very comfortable to live life without stopping to think about what we do, simply living life to the minute, but this can become something that hurts us if we do not reflect from time to time, especially when we come across problematic situations. Also, do not philosophize and try to find the answers about what happens around us, it’s like being blindfolded . It is being alienated, living a lie.
27. I must find a truth that is true for me (Søren Kierkegaard)
Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, is the most important antecedent of existentialism and, in fact, he invented the word “existentialist.” With this phrase he refers to what one seeks for his truth, that is, the idea for which he must fight and die .
28. If you approach each situation as a matter of life or death, you will die many times (Adam Smith)
Life or death situations generate stress and are exhausting . Therefore, if we take everything to heart and without ironing the matter when possible, we will end emotionally badly.
29. In general, nine tenths of our happiness are based on health (Arthur Schopenhauer)
Physical and mental health determines our degree of happiness . Unfortunately, this does not always depend on us, because there are diseases that affect us without being able to do much about it. Even so, you have to draw strength even in the worst situations.
30. The past has no power over the present moment (Eckhart Tolle)
It is common for many people to live anchored in the past and, in particular, in bad memories. There is good news, changing this depends on us, because it is not the past that has the power over the present moment, but us.
31. Believe that your life is worth living and that belief will help create the fact (William James)
This phrase refers to how our thoughts affect our behavior . To think that you can not get something will surely prevent you from getting it, on the contrary, to press that you are qualified for something and that you will achieve what you propose will be positive in your behavior.
32. Great results require great ambitions (Heraclitus)
This sentence is ideal for any entrepreneur . It makes reference to that if we want to reach ambitious objectives, we must think big.
33. We see things, not as they are, but as we are (Kant)
People interpret the world not how it is, but how we think it is . That is to say, we have previous experiences recorded in our minds and prejudices that determine how we are going to evaluate the events that happen in our daily life.
34. The select culture is the opium of the democratic people (Gustavo Bueno)
The Spanish thinker Gustavo Bueno had a special interest in knowing the cultural limitations of contemporary societies .
35. When we look for someone, we look for in our environment something that is within everyone (Hermann Hesse)
A good reflection that alludes to the game of mirrors that is the search for external recognition , in this case through friendships.
36. The more I know people, the more I love my dog (Diogenes the Cynic)
Diogenes of Sinope , one of the most acclaimed Greek thinkers, leaves us this curious reflection.
37. Follow the least, and not the vulgar (Petrarca)
In the line of the previous famous quote, the Italian poet Petrarca emphasizes that only in a few is virtue found .
38. Who knows pain, knows everything (Dante Alighieri)
The author of “The Divine Comedy” leaves us thinking with this phrase. Who has known pain closely, perhaps knows much better what is this to live .
39. Philosophy is a struggle against the bewitchment of our intelligence through the use of language (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
The Englishman Wittgenstein unravels one of the main tasks of philosophy: to unite all chaotic human thoughts .
40. Your natural forces, those that are inside you, will be the ones that will cure your illnesses (Hippocrates)
The one considered as the father of Medicine exhorts us to be aware that the vital attitude is key when it comes to avoiding illness .
41. Where quietness and meditation reign, there is no place for worry or for dissipation (Francis of Assisi)
The father of Franciscanism reveals to us the importance of meditation and tranquility .
42. Vanity pursues us even on the deathbed. We support it with integrity because we want to overcome its terrible greatness and captivate the admiration of the spectators (Santiago Ramón y Cajal)
The Nobel Prize in Medicine reflects on vanity , one of the worst defects of human beings.
43. There is no revolutionary theory without revolutionary practice (Lenin)
The Soviet revolutionary warns us of the importance of moving from paper to action .
44. Creativity, imagination and intuition, more than the basis of the half game, are indispensable, as well as the firm character; the triumph arrives only with the fight (Gari Kaspárov)
Although Kasparov was referring to the game of chess, this phrase can be applied to any area of life .
45. Man is the measure of all things (Protagoras)
Protagoras left us this phrase that refers to the anthropocentrism with which humans approach existence .
46. Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought (Henri-Louis Berson)
This is one of those philosophical phrases in which the dialectic between thought and practice is expressed. For Bergson, the best thing is to make each of these two aspects of our life have a little of each .
47. The roots of education are bitter, but their fruits are sweet (Aristotle)
The famous philosopher reminds us that education is not based on short-term pleasures and that its potential has to do with the future opportunities it offers us.
48. The map is not the territory (Alfred Korzybski)
A reminder to the style “ceci n’est pas une pipe” that our representations of something, no matter how hard they are, are far from fitting 100% with reality and, the closer they get to it, the less value they have as a representation .
49. Life is very simple, but we insist on making it complicated (Confucius)
Confucius related the value of the good with simplicity, the transparent. Life was, for him, a reflection of this fact .
50. The obstacle is the way (Zen proverb)
A short philosophical phrase in which an idea is also very simple: in the most important projects there are no shortcuts .
51. Some people consider themselves perfect, but it is only because they demand less of themselves (Hermann Hesse)
The German philosopher leaves us this valuable reflection on narcissism and self-demand.
52. Those that lead and drag the world are not machines, but ideas (Victor Hugo)
The human imagination is the engine of history and of our search for a better future.
53. Religion is excellent for keeping ordinary people quiet (Frank Zappa)
The musician Frank Zappa reflects on the instrumentalization of certain religions as part of the cultural and ideological hegemony of power.
54. It is important to teach students to study on their own, to look for themselves, to be amazed (Mario Bunge)
On the importance of being proactive and curious.
55. Those who believe that money does everything end up doing everything for money (Voltaire)
The French philosopher surprises us with this paradox. Certainly, money can end up dominating us .
56. Happiness does not come from reason but from imagination (Immanuel Kant)
A magnificent philosophical phrase that reveals the importance of letting the imagination fly.
57. Only by education can man become a man. Man is nothing more than what education makes of him (Immanuel Kant)
Another famous quote by the German philosopher, in which he emphasizes the importance of education .
58. Justice has been invented by man; but what is right is born with man (Dario Lemos)
The Colombian poet expresses his particular vision of justice, in a paradox that can make you think.
59. We are more sincere when we are angry than when we are calm (Cicero)
Sincerity is not a widespread virtue in our time . Perhaps, as Cicero says, we are only completely honest when our mood is altered.
60. True character always appears in great circumstances (Napoleon Bonaparte)
Do you have a tough personality? According to the French military, only in hard circumstances do the great leaders appear.
61. The over there is a negative mirror. The traveler recognizes the little that is his to discover how much he has not had and will not have (Italo Calvino)
The Cuban writer leaves us this reflection on life and expectations.
62. Who thinks big has to make a big mistake (Martin Heidegger)
Great works always have a point of madness . If they go well, everyone applauds, but if they go wrong …
63. A lot of intelligence is required to disguise as an artifice one’s own emotions (Arturo Pérez-Reverte)
A somewhat complex phrase that can be interpreted in different ways.
64. A non-paradoxical thought is almost unbearable, a thought that is closed in on itself, coherent, that does not admit the paradox (Fernando Savater)
The logic, in the point of view of the Spanish philosopher.
65. There are parents, brothers, children, who go out every day to fight and lose their lives in wars around the world. Modern politics tries to maintain that notion of “we” and “them” with a wall in between (Roger Waters)
The leader of the legendary band Pink Floyd , in a date full of pain for the cruelty with which wars and battles are fought around the world.
66. Accepting and respecting difference is one of those virtues without which listening can not be given (Paulo Freire)
The Brazilian pedagogue leaves us this beautiful reflection on respect.
67. Every movement, whatever its cause, is a creator (Edgar Allan Poe)
Any action, no matter how small, generates a series of repercussions.
68. I have realized that hope is almost never linked to reason; he is deprived of good sense, I believe that he is born of instinct (Vasili Grossman)
The Russian journalist sees hope as an act of faith , characteristic of our “wanting to be”.
69. Joy, emotion or satisfaction are more important in the West than in the East, where calm is more appreciated (Daniel Kahneman)
A cultural difference in the expression of emotions detected by the American cognitive psychologist.
70. If an individual is intellectually passive, he will not be free morally (Jean Piaget)
Morality is born of curiosity to want to learn and enrich us culturally.
71. The greatest gift you can give to others is the example of your own life (Bertolt Brecht)
There is no point in talking much if the actions do not correspond to what we are trying to communicate.
72. Time gives everything and everything takes it away; everything changes but nothing perishes (Giordano Bruno)
The Italian philosopher tells us about the constant mutability of life , although with an important nuance: nothing dies, only transforms.
73. You must have confidence in yourself and that trust must be based on reality (Bobby Fischer)
The great American chess player gives us his opinion on how to build a good self-confidence.
74. I do not believe in death because one is not present to know that, in fact, it has happened (Andy Warhol)
Death can be a pure artifice if we conceive it as Andy Warhol.
75. Religion is something that a man made and right should not have. It’s like the Three Kings: for children (Javier Krahe)
A naked and controversial vision about the human need to believe in a supreme being.