Top Ten Greatest Philosophical Quotes


The Top Ten

1 Albert Einstein: Real sign of intelligence isn't knoweldge, it's imagination

No words of mine can ever do any justice to this man... All I can say is the quote shown above reflects what a great man he truly was and still is. I wonder what he would say if he lived in this world right now. Would he be disgusted or amazed?

Almost as reminiscent of what would Jesus say if he were to have seen what has been done in his name.

Maybe einstein doesn't have the greatest knowledge, but have the greatest imagination of all :D

Much recpect for this great man, more known for his scientific discoveries, I know him as the man he his


V 23 Comments
2 Gandhi: Live simply that others may simply live

These are words to live by in this world of extremes. We need to be more mindful of how our choices and acts affects people we have never met.

short in reading, deep in grasping, deeper in understanding and deepest in implemenation

It show's gratefulness; something which human's desperately need.

Agree with you back there.

V 9 Comments
3 Socrates: I only know one thing, and that is I know nothing

It is natural truth that no one knows everything but it is really very difficult to confess that. But one who accept that, his such a sentence reflect that he knows more than others.

Empty glass has space for more...

More true than some of the others, and definitely smarter than some movie quote that just sounds cool, because you saw the movie.

It cannot be truer and simpler than this.

V 30 Comments
4 The Book of Job: Remember: life is a breath; Soon I will vanish from your sight. The eye that looks will not see me; You may search but I will be gone. Like a cloud fading in the sky, Man dissolves into death. And never comes home again.

You ask how one may write so well?
This is done by divine inspiration. The Bible in all of it's entirety was written in this way. From the earliest text to the newest; from Genesis to Revelation. The Book, or rather "Volume", that is the Holy Bible was constructed by the very hand of God, orchestrated through time.

This is so pretty and beautiful. The trick is that now we say "ooh how nicely said! " but if anybody nowadays would say anything like that we would be like "what's he talking about? Is he crazy? "

The inevitable can never be defined greater - MatrixGuy

This happens with the passes of time to welcome the upcoming. It's wonderful and shall continue for ever in universe. Ranajit Chattopadhyay. Howrah.

V 10 Comments
5 Socrate: My advice to you is to get married: Iif you find a good wife you'll be happy; If not, you'll become a philosophe

Get married with good wife = imagination

getting married is to share our love and affection, no one is complete without a wife or a husband for that matter

this is very correct as philosophers our mostly full of negative energy and this is humorous to me...

He who finds a wife finds a good thing.And obtains favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 18:22

V 5 Comments
6 Pascal: It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not the reason

People push reason aside when it comes to God.
Humanity and God are like lovers, and love can make people blind.

God is whatever you want it to be, perceived by your Mind and soul, therefore, God is only a perception... "He" is not the creator of the universe, nor can he be compared in an analogy to a lover.

Faith comes first before reason, although both are necessary to perceive God.

The heart doesn't perceive anything it is an organ that pumps blood around the body, nothing more, nothing less.

A truth borne out by life experienced.

V 4 Comments
7 Aristotle: Happiness is something final and complete in itself, As being the aim and end of practical activities whatever... Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind In conformity with perfect goodness or virtue

Happiness is fleeting, elusive, and temporary. The best a person can do is to not suffer excessively and unnecessarily.

The definition of happiness... - MatrixGuy

Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the aim and end of one's existence.

Happiness is the ultimate reason why I live, only that man could not understand.

8 Albert Camus: It was previously a question Of finding out whether or not life Has to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear, on the contrary That it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning

That's the basics of existentialism. They ask no questions of the meaning of something but they ask questions like " what means it to me? ". It's also more a way of life and attitude than a real philosophy. But it's also known that this attitude ( how admirable it may be ) stops progressions in the search of the absolute truth.

It's an opinion on the finiteness of life. From nothing we came, and to nothing we return. I guess it's up to you what you do with your time, plus your attitude to what happens with your time.

Nice philosophical quotes...
Extra ordinary...
Must be followed in a persons life...

Man came from nothing who lives for something.
-John Jay

V 1 Comment
9 Plato: There will be no end to the troubles of states,Or of humanity itself,Till philosophers become kings in this world,Or till those we now call kings and rulers really And truly become philosophers,

Plato is one of the greatest thinkers in the history of mankind. Although some of his thoughts are derailed by the age in which he lived and the things he thus took for granted, he was ever so right to present this thought. By a philosopher Plato means the person who searches for the origin of human thoughts and action with the aim of knowing what choices to make in life. Many people who currently govern the world are more than capable intellectually and posses the right knowledge to make right decisions, but lack the knowledge of the origin of thoughts and are therefore unable to distinguish right from wrong.

"If even one remains uncorrupted in a community which is prepared to obey him, then that is enough: everything that is now open to doubt would become a full-fledged reality. "

Philosophy means love for wisdom or knowledge. What Plato really means here( if you can read the greek text it would be better to understand ) is that a state should be run by people who have wisdom and knowledge and not by people with intelligence to exploit others ( the Sophists ). In a today context you can compare it with the people who are now in governments just to get the power to exploit the society and to get better themselves. A Sophist ( not a Philosopher ) of today is someone like for instance Donald Trump ( intelligent in a way but not wise to run a country ).

Plato is an absolute great thinker. Great nations are built through the reflection on the words of a man like Plato. My worry is that literal minded men do not recognize such great minds in history.

The end of true philosopher is not to be regarded as superior in reason but humility in action.
-John Jay

V 5 Comments
10 Bruce Lee: I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

I have heard it so many times, it's so epic - Ananya

So much truth in this quote.

Decadently grand!

That is true kbx

V 7 Comments

The Contenders

11 Forrest Gump: Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get

Life is like a box of chocolates. It doesn't last long for fat people.

Sorry, I couldn't resist - CityGuru

its actually pretty true.

That's cheap philosophy ( if you can call it philosophy? ). If I get a box of chocolates I know I get chocolates with different kind of flavors or one kind of flavor but I still know it's chocolate! Put this stupid quote out of this list!

I do...I open the box before I buy it.

V 11 Comments
12 Epicurus: Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

Very true. So many of us endlessly complained about the things that we don't have at the moment. The fact is, we already got so much of what once was a burning need.

Be content today. Let the time do its thing. When you meet tomorrow - look back. Thick those unchecked box from yesterday. But tomorrow only adds to the stock - the unchecked boxes. So you be content again! Toady!

I never asked for life, so I'm not grateful or ungrateful for it. My parents copulated, conceived, and here I am in the middle of nowhere responding to a philosophical thread. I don't recall ever signing up got life.

So many people I know would be happier if they took this to heart. - Caleb9000

V 5 Comments
13 Bruce Lee: Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.

Perhaps those who don't experience life without enduring struggle and adversity, may not truly and wholly embrace, celebrate and or appreciate the smaller, simpler things that matter or are missed when not there and the epic personal triumphs humans achieve and strive for. For all he achieved he still displayed humility which I admire. For me that's what I get from this. Thanks Bruce.

Bruce acknowledging the harsh realities of life. Succinctly put, too.

Wow... What a Quotation Man... Awesome. Bruce lee. We miss you Man...!

Wo this one is really nice - Toucan

V 4 Comments
14 Henry David Thoreau: To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, Nor even to found a school, But so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, A life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust

Who decides what Philosophy is and isn't? Philosophers aren't here to please and make us all feel better, they're here to make us question our beliefs, our ideals, and the endless paradox' that life presents. If you want to feel better, go hug a tree - while they're still here.

I'm a smart ass, but I can't argue with this one. He has encapsulated my life and aspirations in a nutshell.

I find this to be one or more of the phyl quotes

Fancy words to explain the greek meaning of philosophy. Wisdom ( sophia ) and love ( philo ) for it!

15 Yoda: Do or do not, there is no try.

George Lucas tried, and came up with Jar Jar Binks. Do not do or try ever again please, George.

A little bit stupid ( what do you expect from a Hollywood movie ). Sometimes we can learn from our mistakes while we're trying to do right afterwards.

I believe that what Yoda is saying is that when we are doing something difficult, we should not "try" to do it, we should just do it. - GrimmShady

Basically either do it or don't, don't half ass anything. Great quote

The rest just make me feel worthless, this makes me determined...

V 4 Comments
16 John F. Kennedy: Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

President Kennedy is overrated as being one of the best presidents of the US. He announced the discovery of the installation in Cuba of nuclear missiles and proclaimed that any nuclear attack from Cuba would be regarded as an attack of the Soviet Union and would be responded accordingly. Cuba dismantled its nuclear missile to keep relations at peace but on the other hand president Kennedy had no problem by install nuclear missiles in Turkey. This man was " creating " enemies because of his " paranoia " and starting almost a nuclear war. Forgive your enemies by putting millions of people in danger? Was that his wise philosophy?

Forgiving them is good... And their names in this context is the lesson... So if something related to their names (lessons) comes up in future, you take the necessary precautions... It's a good one

So stupid! Why I have to forgive my enemies? If for instance someone would kill my mother why should I forgive a bastard like that?


V 3 Comments
17 Walt Disney: Too many people grow up. Thats the trouble with the world... They don't remember what its like to be twelve years old.

Some people are too serious 24/7/365 and need to remember what is was like to have no worries once in a while is a perspective I see here

Children are quick to forgiveness and they are innocent! Who wouldn't want that?

Lol! If I want children I'll go to a club and, if I get lucky, I can impregnate a woman. How miraculous. I want adults in this world, not children. There's far too many people on the planet as it is, and the one's that are here behave exactly like children.

Ah, so. Remember yelling for joy and leaping skyward because of that joy?
That' glee!

18 Albert Camus: If there is one thing one can always yearn for And sometimes attain, it is human love

It's a shame that we fail to love one another when love is rated so high and its for free!

I like the 'sometimes' addition, because it's rare as gold.

19 Tupac: Remember through every dark night, there's a brighter day after that.

Just another equivalent of the old saying " After rain comes the Sunshine ". Nice saying but no originality in Tupac's equivalent.

Don't give up on your difficults you can still find a better way

No matter how hard it get. One should keep goingm

That's so true

20 Lewis Carrol: It is the privilege of true genius, And especially genius who opens up a new path, To make great mistakes with impunity

The Atom Bomb anyone?

It's true in a way what he's saying. About the atom bomb? Well, nobody was punished for it. He just don't say of the privilege is right or wrong. If he tought that it was wrong then you can concider this quote as a sarcastic critic against geniuses who thinks they can do anything they want and get away with it. I know that Lewis Carrol had a romantic nature, so I believe that he tought that privilege of geniuses was a wrong thing.

21 You must sacrifice your comforts of today for your greater tomorrow

To live life to the fullest, sacrifices has to be made

Just clever for clever's sake. I'm not sacrificing jack today because my tomorrow will be enriched by not sacrificing it.

Stupid! Like you know what day will be tomorrow? You can be dead tomorrow. I say ; Carpe Diem!

22 René Descartes: I think therefore I am

The comment about the " olympic runner " is the comment that doesn't make sense. If you think that you are a olympic runner it proves that you exist otherwise you wouldn't be able to think your own lie. The quote of Descartes is about existence because you think ( no matter what you are thinking ) and not about your thoughts of something. If you understood the quote ( and I'm sure you don't ) you would have said " Just because you think you are an olympic runner, doesn't mean you exist ". Does that make sense to you?

After analysed every radical doubt he came to the conclusion that one thing is sure ; that he exist. His saying " I think therefore I am " was true even if he was dreaming, even when his senses played tricks with his mind.It was even necessarily true because it's impossible to deny it without being in contradiction with yourself ( if you're saying that you have doubts about your existence it proves in fact that you exist otherwise you wouldn't have a doubt to begin with ). You can't ignore the existence of your thinking because it's with your thinking that you can get doubts. Therefore thinking and I ( my existence ) are the same. A proven selfidentity that has a body and mind.

Doesn't even make sense. Just because you think you are an Olympic runner, doesn't mean you are.

Pretty bland sentiment on sentience. Most life forms have it.

V 1 Comment
23 It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. - Lm10

I have spent my life being hated for what I am but as Socrates said in Apology, "and I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live." I would rather be hated for what I am and hope that someone out there loves me for what I truly am than deceive someone by having them love me for what I am not.

I'll take whatever love is thrown my way before whatever hate is thrown my way any day of the week.

I am a wally

24 I like your Christ, but I don't like your Christians because your Christians are unlike your Christ - Gandhi

Whoa. Never heard of that one, but it's a good one to explain how people can do evil in the name of good.

25 Not all things we don't see aren't there - Mauka Ramsy

Everything is controlled by the brain. Everything! The reason people talk about 'heart and soul' is because the heart is a palpable organ that you can feel at work. You might as well say liver or pancreas instead.

It is evident that we can not see God and His angels also the prince of darkness cannot be seen though we see the effects of this powers

The existence of reality doe not depend on sight

This is one of those sayings that you have to believe in blind faith because the quote itself doesn't prove anything true. Medical science knows for instance when you take a substance like LSD what mechanism in your brains does you see things that aren't really there. Bodychemicals like dopamine, serotonine, adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and neurotransmitters of glutamate will alterate your toughts, memories, imagination etc.. Even when the substance is not in your body anymore you can have afterwards imaginary toughts ( flashbacks ). In other words, we know how the mechanism in our brains works for the things we see or imagine to see.

V 5 Comments
26 The easiest way to live a simple life is just to put God first and believe that there is certainly a day when you gonna meet Him and held accountable for all your deeds.

Surely there us judgement day. We'd better search for God in Jesus Christ.

It sounds like a side-swipe at religion to me.

Sounds like a cop-out to me.

This is one of those quotes that Nietzsche would reply as " Christianity is the religion of slaves, sheeps who follows the flock ".

27 Karl Marx: Religion is the opium for people.

So true. It's a shame that Lenin has tried to eliminate the " opium " with radical acts. Karl Marx was a pacifist and wrote this just to make a point about organised religion that was part of the political structure at that time which people followed blindly without thinking about the hypocrisy of it. It prove that he was right after all when you see that nowadays most of the confrontations in this world are still religious conflicts.

Karl Marx was at the first place a theoritician. His writings about the revolution was not about starting a war but about a unite of the proleterian class ( the working class ) through unions ( those were still theories ) and that once the united class would be big enough it would be inevitable that a transistion of power would accure. Organised Religion had much power over people and in politics in those days. An atheist like Karl Marx was aware that as long people believed in " organised religion " a lot of people would never follow his theories about socialism just because he knew that religion works like a very addictive drug ( opium in this case ) in the mind of those " addicted or brainwashed to god-theories " people. The alienation ( Hegel ) of yourself and worship of a outside-human power created by the people works like a drug, like opium ( Feuerbach ). We all know that those two philosophers were a major influence in Marx's writings ( dialectic materialism as opposed to ...more

Not a pacifist, more to the contrary. He believed that a revolution, which is a forceful transition, was inevitable, and the only right continuation of society. Religion dulled the workers pain and postponed this transition, most the same way a drug like opium would have.

This is much similar to Nietzsches way of thinking regarding both religion but also alcohol, as these things work as anti-catalysts to change - they make oppression and bad situations tolerable and delays change.

28 I am more afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion than an army of lions led by a sheep - Alexander the Great

"he described what kind of leader he was.

29 Ichigo: If fate is a millstone, then we are the grist. There is nothing we can do. So I wish for strength. If I cannot protect them from the wheel, then give me a strong blade, and enough strength... to shatter fate.

Yes! It is idealistic, but how I would live complete control over my destiny.

30 Always smile, that is the best way to cover the troubles behind your face.

Hmm... N never share your troubles in front of anyone except your CREATURE...

Hmm... That almost broke my heart... - Britgirl

You can run all you want, but you cannot hide.

That's true...but I don't like it

V 1 Comment
31 Know your true enemy, for it is no one else but you yourself, do the right thing. - Chaitach .S

And the right thing is? More ponderous nothingness that doesn't take into account life's complexities and diversity of opinions on what is right and wrong. I think the world desperately needs to go nuclear, but watch the opposition. What about gun laws? Drug use and decriminalisation?


Ths worst enemie and battle is fighting with yourself, exactly do the rigbt choice.

32 You were born inside your skin, so you might as well make yourself comfortable
33 Seneca: Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Written more than two Thousand years ago but it still apply for today.

Too true.

34 What goes around comes around

In other words : Karma. But does it really exist or is it really true? I've never had any proof of it. A nice quote but also a fantasy.

I wish it were true.

35 Jonathan Franzen - What you haven't done by 30, you're probably never going to do

That is not true. Examples could be cited, but really, do you not have enough imagination to understand that the opportunity to grow and achieve is not limited to the age of 30?

So stupid! Life doesn't stop after 30!

Very correct!

36 Socrates : What you don't know will not harm you

That's a classic! It's like all those questions for instance about god. Nobody can't proof his existence ( even if you believe in god ). So, why bother? Why should you fear if he exist or if he doesn't exist? You don't know, so, don't know the truth will not affect you or do you harm.

37 The past is history; tomorrow a mystery; today is a gift - that's why it's called the present
38 When dwelling on the negative, never entertain your thoughts. Let the thoughts entertain you.

But negative thoughts aren't generally entertaining. Critical thoughts can be entertaining, but they just get moved to the Comments section, or deleted all together.

Killed it that's a master piece prince garreth mokoena and tapiwa takavarasha

39 What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Well, Quantum Physicisists claim that if you miraculously had infinite lives and infinite attempts you could jump from the Empire State Building and free fall through the concrete ground below, so all Quantum Physicists should start literally putting this theory to the test. Hint: Concrete is ALWAYS as hard as concrete, no matter what.

Ponderous and pointless. There's plenty of things that you can't determine the outcome of.

Best thought-provoking quote ever.

Love this quote, so simple.
So many of the motivational words and phrases are aimed at the removal of the rusted shackles of inaction or depression draped over our beautiful silvery spirit.
Even when we are given the keys to freedom there is still a dark passage to traverse to arrive at the place we dream of.
The words are absorbed into our brains but need to connect with spirit, will, heart, desire and convert to action. These are all encountered in the dark passage. This is the most difficult part of the journey and the most rewarding.
Like most things in life it's only when you let go that you achieve your nirvana. It's not hard... You just need to believe that what we call fail is just another fork in the road.
Get on with it.

40 The Fourth Doctor: What's the point of being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes?

Well, go poop yourself at a party then.

41 Everything I do changes things, everything I don't do makes a difference.

One life, one chance, and this procrastinator implies you do nothing with it. Comedy gold.

Hey, I'm down with laziness and apathy.

42 Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. —Greg King

Lol! Funny. I don't mind arguing with idiots - it's good sport.

43 Kurt Cobain: I think I'm dumb, or maybe just happy

It was his response to Lithium treatment, but it's a fair question/proposal he put out there.

44 There is an inner logic, and we're taught to stay far from it. It is simple and elegant, but it's cruel and antithetic, and there is not effort to reveal it. . . - Unknown

Ok, instinct is at this core of this one. It's hard to put a lot of trust in it, because your instincts can be wrong or right. I guess its about whether you have the courage of your convictions, and can take winning or losing.

Such verbosity. What's this big inner secret? My parents had sex, so here I am.

whoa... - RecklessGreed

45 Anonymous- Life is like a song. It may be happy, or sad. When it ends, it basically means you're dead.

When you can't stand to hear the song it can be a sensation of freedom rather than dead when it ends.

Ah! A bittersweet symphony it is, too.

I just had to vote for this! - Turkeyasylum

46 Marilyn Manson: Enjoy your faults. That's what separates you from the rest of the world. And that's what makes you special.

There's nothing special about faults. Everyone has far too many of them, and their as common as a house fly.

47 Marilyn Manson: We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves.

Child abuse? Domestic violence? The vulnerable? The unwell? They are victims and can't stand up for though everyone on the planet is a Type A personality. Next!

She's not saying there are no victims she's saying that there are too many people who would rather be victims then stand for themselves

48 Marilyn Manson: I'm against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.

Good for you if you believe that god has a plan for you and that it saved your life but it still remains subjective. Philosophy, the search for truth with facts can be as powerful as believing in a religion. It's really a matter of choise what gives you a purpose, satisfaction or belief in this world. But questions like for instance " what does it mean to me? ", " what's the plan for me? " are more of existentialistic nature. They don't give you facts to understand the world outside of you. And that's a task for philosophy, not religion.

Religion gives people something to believe in and encourages good acts. (extremists not included) I can personally name 3peoplewho are only here today because they believed in Jesus Christ and believed that he had a plan for them. I myself would have committed suicide at the age of 15 if it were not for my belief that God has a plan for me. That my years of torment were not just the result of others' will to do evil but that god had a plan for me that involved me having experienced so much mental and emotional scarring.

Like he understands the world?

There is nothing wrong with not caring about understanding the world...
But religion often does promote ignorance, that is an undeniable fact.

V 1 Comment
49 Marilyn Manson: Marilyn Monroe wasn't even her real name, Charles Manson isn't his real name, and now, I'm taking that to be my real name. But what's real? You can't find the truth, you just pick the lie you like the best.

No-one goes by their real name. It's just a fame and fortune fad. The only exceptions are Johnny Rotten and Jello Biafra.

No, it's only a contradiction if you're religious.

51 contradicts 50
But, hey...
He's a PHILOSOPHER, after all.

50 James Hetfield: They see it right, they see it well, but they think that saves us from our hell.

The great young man taking a swipe at Psychology and/or Psychiatry.

PSearch List

Related Lists

Top Ten Philosophical Demons Top 10 Philosophical Lines from Blind Guardian Songs Greatest Philosophical Questions Top Ten Philosophical and Science Fiction Paradoxes Best Philosophical Songs of M.G. Ramachandran

List Stats

2,000 votes
91 listings
10 years, 146 days old

Top Remixes

1. Albert Einstein: Real sign of intelligence isn't knoweldge, it's imagination
2. Gandhi: Live simply that others may simply live
3. Socrates: I only know one thing, and that is I know nothing



Fact Check - Occam's Razor
Terrible Advice

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.

More Philosophy Lists

More Lifestyle Lists