Bertrand Russell Quotes

A quotes list created by Lee Sonogan


An English Polymath of the 19th century, his an underrated personality with notable ideas list too long to compile right here. Considering himself as a passivist and a liberal this does not discredit any of his wisdom in the following quotes. Some so good and others sorta sarcastic, I am happy that I found this guy because of how central his ideas are. Championing his ideals regarding freedom of thought, a lot of his stuff is easy to resonate with.

  • “There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” ― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
  • “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”― Bertrand Russell
  • “To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already 3-parts dead.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “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.” ― Bertrand Russell,
  • “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.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” ― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
  • “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” ― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays
  • “There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.” ― Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy
  • “My desire and wish is that the things I start with should be so obvious that you wonder why I spend my time stating them. This is what I aim at because 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.” ― Bertrand Russell, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism
  • “Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid … Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” ― Bertrand Russell, Why Men Fight
  • “Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of happy mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power.” ― Bertrand Russell
  • “No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.” ― Bertrand Russell, On Education

There are both social and logical implications at play worthy of considering and we can learn from the previous tools between the words. Cross-referencing my search bar this must be the second time mentioning his name. Expecting a third, Wikipedia explaining his history is just fascinating…

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