EVERYTHING FLOWS AND stays. You can't step twice into the same river.
Heraclitus, quoted in Plato, Cratylus

IT IS NEVER RIGHT to do wrong or to requite wrong with wrong, or, when we suffer evil, to defend ourselves by doing evil in return.
Socrates, quoted in Plato, Crito

IS THAT WHICH IS HOLY loved by the gods because it is holy, or is it holy because it is loved by the gods?
Plato, Euthyphro

WHERE SOME PEOPLE are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or desperation will come from either of those excesses.
Aristotle, Politics

IN THE COUNTRY of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Desiderius Erasmus, Adages

NEW OPINIONS are always suspected and usually opposed without any other reason but because they are not already common.
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

WHAT REALLY COUNTS in life is that at some time you have seen something, felt something, which is so great, so matchless, that everything else is nothing by comparison, that even if you forgot everything, you would never forget this.
Søren Kierkegaard, Journals and Papers

IT IS GOD who is the ultimate reason of things, and the knowledge of God is no less the beginning of science than his essence and will are the beginning of beings.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Letter on a General Principle Useful in Exploring the Laws of Nature

SO ACT as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as a means only.
Immanuel Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics

HE WHO FIGHTS with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

WHAT CAN BE SAID at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

BUT IT IS ONLY here that speaking becomes worthwhile.
Franz Urbach, in response to Wittgenstein (above), quoted in Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations

THE ART OF BEING WISE is the art of knowing what to overlook.
William James, The Principles of Psychology

WHEN PEOPLE ARE FREE to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind

Related Elsewhere:

More quotes from philosophers are available from EpistemeLinks.

Past Reflections columns include:

Ponder These Things (May 17, 2006)
Article continues below
Holy Week (April 4, 2006)
Evening Prayer (March 10, 2006)
Morning Prayers (Feb. 6, 2006)
Hope (Jan. 16, 2006)
Christmas (Dec. 19, 2005)
Poetry (Dec. 12, 2005)
Grace that Surprises (Oct. 3, 2005)
Friendship (August 31, 2005)
Wisdom That Sticks (August 8, 2005)
His Body, His Blood (June 08, 2005)
On Baptism (April 25, 2005)
Discovering God (April 07, 2005)
Welcoming the Stranger (Feb. 22, 2005)
The Church and Mission (Feb. 02, 2005)
The Church (Jan. 11, 2005)
Word Made Flesh (Dec. 20, 2004)
The Way of Salvation (Nov. 08, 2004)
Sin and Evil (Oct. 18, 2004)
Teaching and Learning (Sept. 15, 2004)
Wisdom for the Road (Aug. 02, 2004)
Discipleship (July 13, 2004
Conversion (June 09, 2004)
The Outpoured Spirit (May 03, 2004)
He Is Risen (April 08, 2004)
Jesus' Cross (March 15, 2004)

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