Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

A Thought for This Day

December 3, 2016

Once Confucius and his disciples on the side of Mount T’Ai heard a woman wailing in mourning.  Confucius approached her and asked the reason why she wept. She replied, “My husband’s father was killed here by a tiger, my husband too, and now my son has met the same fate.”

“Then why do you stay in this dreadful place?” Confucius asked.

“Because there is no oppressive ruler here,” she replied.

Confucius turned to his disciples and said: “Learn from this that an oppressive ruler is crueler than a tiger.”

Quote: F. Scott Fitzgerald, about the rich.

October 24, 2016

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

—–F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quote: An Argument Against Comments

September 9, 2013

Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, recalled that when he started his online book review he forbade comments, wary of high-tech sociopaths.

“I’m not interested in having the sewer appear on my site,” he said. “Why would I engage with people digitally whom I would never engage with actually? Why does the technology exonerate the kind of foul expression that you would not tolerate anywhere else?”
This and more wisdom, entertainment and confusion are available at

A Quote from Kierkegaard

February 27, 2013

“It does not take nearly as much effort to achieve something with the support of an illusion as it does when all illusions are lost.  And just as scurvy is cured by green vegetables, so a person worn out in reflection perhaps does not need strength as much as a little illusion.”

S. Kierkegaard, Two Ages:  The Age of Revolution and the Present Age, a Literary Review; translated, with introduction and notes by Howard V Hong and Edna H. Hong (Princeton NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1978) pp. 66-67

Another of my favorite quotes

July 11, 2012

If you`re not outraged, you`re not paying attention.

Jack Carter, b. June 24, 1923



I’m a little unsure of the source, but two websites ( and say this.

Quote from Woody Guthrie

June 30, 2012

I never stopped to think of it before, but you know–a police–man will jest stand there an let a banker rob a farmer, or a finace man rob a workin man.  But if a farmer robs a banker–you wood have a hole dern army of cops out a shooting at him.  Robbery is a chapter in etiquette.  You mite say that Wall St. is the St. that keeps you off Easy St.  I ain’t a communist necessarily, but i been in the red all my life.


Woody Guthrie, in People’s Daily World (published in San Francisco)

A quote on the relationship between work and wealth

June 25, 2012

To make a hundred dollars into a hundred and ten dollars – this is work. To make a hundred million into a hundred and ten million, this is inevitable.

—-Joseph L. Mankiewicz, The Barefoot Contessa

Quote for the Week (June 8, 2012)

June 9, 2012

I’m still working on the next installment of “Philosophy and Work,” so here’s a quote to mull over in the meantime.


“In the long run men hit only what the aim at.  Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.”

—- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Quote for the Week

May 24, 2012

I’m still working on the next installment on “Work and Philosophy.”  In the meantime, here’s a thought I ran across:


“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers.  Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live.  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.  It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.”

—-Henry David Thoreau



Quote from Kierkegaard

March 30, 2012

It is taking me too long to finish the next stage in my essay on Hume and the philosophy of work, so I decided that I should post something at least.  This is one of my favorite quotes from Kierkegaard.  (Thanks to Jason Silverman for helping me find the exact wording):


“With existence, things go just as they did with me and my physician.  I complained about not feeling well.  He answered:  No doubt you are drinking too much coffee and don’t walk enough.  Three weeks later I speak with him again and say:  I really do not feel well, but now it cannot be from drinking coffee, because I do not touch coffee, nor can it be from a lack of exercise, because I walk all day long.  He answers:  Well, then the reason must be that you do not drink coffee and that you walk too much.  So it was:  my not feeling well was and remained the same, but when I drink coffee, it comes from my drinking coffee, and when I do not drink coffee, it comes from my not drinking coffee.

“And so it is with us human beings.  Our entire earthly existence is a kind of ill health.  If someone asks the reason, he is first asked how he has organized his life; as soon as he has answered that, he is told:  There it is—-that is the reason.  If someone else asks the reason, one goes about it in the same way, and if he answers the opposite, he is told:  There it is—-that is the reason.  Then the adviser leaves with the superior air of one who has explained everything—-until he has turned the corner, and then he sticks his tail between his legs and sneaks away.  Even if someone gave me ten rix-dollars, I would not take it upon myself to explain the riddle of existence.  Indeed, why should I?  If life is a riddle, in the end presumably the one who has proposed the riddle will himself explain it.  I have not invented temporality, but I have noticed that in Den Frisindede, Freischütz, and other papers that offer riddles the explanation follows in the next issue.  Now, of course, it usually happens that an old maid or pensioner is mentioned and congratulated for having guessed the riddle—-consequently knew the solution one day in advance—the difference is not so great.”[1]


[1] Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to the Philosophical Fragments v. 1 (Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ, 1992) pp. 450-51