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Philosophy is tested and characterised by the way in
by Karl Jaspers

Philosophy is tested and characterised by the way in
which it appropriates its history.
- Karl Jaspers

Only then, approaching my fortieth birthday,
I made philosophy my life's work.
- Karl Jaspers

The more determinedly I exist, as myself,
within the conditions of the time, the more clearly
I shall hear the language of the past,
the nearer I shall feel the glow of its life.
- Karl Jaspers

Philosophic meditation is an accomplishment by which
I attain Being and my own self,
not impartial thinking which studies a subject with indifference.
- Karl Jaspers

 

As a universal history of philosophy,
the history of philosophy must become one great unity.
- Karl Jaspers

To decide to become a philosopher seemed as foolish
to me as to decide to become a poet.
- Karl Jaspers

Only as an individual can man become a philosopher.
- Karl Jaspers

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Philosophy as practice does not mean its restriction
to utility or applicability,
that is, to what serves morality or produces serenity of soul.
- Karl Jaspers

Philosophy can only be approached with the most concrete comprehension.
- Karl Jaspers

Reason is like an open secret that can become known to anyone at any time;
it is the quiet space into which everyone can enter through his own thought.
- Karl Jaspers

At the present moment, the security of coherent philosophy,
which existed from Parmenides to Hegel,
is lost.
- Karl Jaspers

The study of law left me unsatisfied,
because I did not know the aspects of life which it serves.
I perceived only the intricate mental juggling with
fictions that did not interest me.
- Karl Jaspers

My own being can be judged by the depths I reach in
making these historical origins my own.
- Karl Jaspers

I discovered that the study of past philosophers is
of little use unless our own reality enters into it.
Our reality alone allows the thinker's questions to become comprehensible.
- Karl Jaspers

Everything depends therefore on encountering thought at its source.
Such thought is the reality of man's being,
which achieved consciousness and understanding of itself through it.
- Karl Jaspers

The great philosophers and the great works are standards
for the selection of what is essential.
Everything that we do in studying the history of philosophy
ultimately serves their better understanding.
- Karl Jaspers

The history of philosophy is not, like the history of the sciences,
to be studied with the intellect alone.
That which is receptive in us and that which impinges
upon us from history is the reality of man's being,
unfolding itself in thought.
- Karl Jaspers

I began the study of medicine, impelled by a desire
for knowledge of facts and of man.
The resolution to do disciplined work tied me to both
laboratory and clinic for a long time to come.
- Karl Jaspers

Even scientific knowledge, if there is anything to it,
is not a random observation of random objects;
for the critical objectivity of significant knowledge
is attained as a practice only philosophically in inner action.
- Karl Jaspers

If philosophy is practice, a demand to know the manner
in which its history is to be studied is entailed:
a theoretical attitude toward it becomes real only
in the living appropriation of its contents from the texts.
- Karl Jaspers

The community of masses of human beings has produced
an order of life in regulated channels which connects
individuals in a technically functioning organisation,
but not inwardly from the historicity of their souls.
- Karl Jaspers

There is nothing with which every man is so afraid
as getting to know how enormously much
he is capable of doing and becoming.
- Soren Kierkegaard

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily.
Not to dare is to lose oneself.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
- Soren Kierkegaard

If I am capable of grasping God objectively,
I do not believe, but precisely because
I cannot do this I must believe.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Face the facts of being what you are,
for that is what changes what you are.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste
that they hurry past it.
- Soren Kierkegaard

At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.
- Soren Kierkegaard

People hardly ever make use of the freedom which they have,
for example, freedom of thought;
instead they demand freedom of speech as a compensation.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Far from idleness being the root of all evil,
it is rather the only true good.
- Soren Kierkegaard

People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand
my complaint about them not understanding me.
- Soren Kierkegaard

A man who as a physical being
is always turned toward the outside,
thinking that his happiness lies outside him,
finally turns inward and
discovers that the source is within him.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Pleasure disappoints, possibility never
- Soren Kierkegaard

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The highest and most beautiful things in life
are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but,
if one will, are to be lived.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Life can only be understood backwards;
but it must be lived forwards.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The truth is a snare:
you cannot have it, without being caught.
You cannot have the truth
in such a way that you catch it,
but only in such a way that it catches you.
- Soren Kierkegaard

During the first period of a man's life
the greatest danger is not to take the risk.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The minority is always stronger than the majority,
because the minority is generally formed by those
who really have an opinion.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Be that self which one truly is.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Prayer doesn't change God, but changes him who prays
- Soren Kierkegaard

It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks,
that we concentrate only
on what is most significant and important.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The more a man can forget, the greater the number
of metamorphoses which his life can undergo,
the more he can remember, the more divine his life becomes.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The tyrant dies and his rule is over,
the martyr dies and his rule begins
- Soren Kierkegaard

Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here?
What is this thing called the world?
How did I come into the world?
Why was I not consulted?
And If I am compelled to take part in it,
Where is the director? I want to see him.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Faith is the highest passion in a human being.
Many in every generation may not come that far, but none comes further.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live
that his happiness shall depend
as little as possible on external things.
- Epictetus

Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him,
for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low,
could still be saved; the bitterest enemy
and also he who was your friend could again be your friend;
love that has grown cold can kindle
- Soren Kierkegaard

Ordinary people seem not to realize
that those who really apply themselves
in the right way to philosophy
are directly and of their own accord
preparing themselves for dying and death.
- Socrates

I never considered a difference of opinion
in politics, in religion, in philosophy,
as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
- Thomas Jefferson

A discussion of philosophy is like a cat chasing its tail -
it may be an amusing diversion but
it has no chance for a satisfying conclusion.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

One's philosophy is not best expressed in words;
it is expressed in the choices one makes...
and the choices we make
are ultimately our responsibility.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

If I am happy in spite of my deprivations,
if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith,
so thoughtful that it becomes a philosophy of life.
If, in short, I am an optimist,
my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing.
- Helen Keller
...
Helen Keller (1880-1968) overcame being both deaf and blind
to become a famous author, lecturer, and activist
for women's suffrage, workers' rights, and ending war.

The test of all beliefs is their practical effect in life.
If it be true that optimism compels the world forward,
and pessimism retards it, then it is dangerous to
propagate a pessimistic philosophy.
- Helen Keller

Truth always rests with the minority,
and the minority is always stronger than the majority,
because the minority is generally formed by those
who really have an opinion,
while the strength of a majority is illusory,
formed by the gangs who have no opinion -
and who, therefore, in the next instant
(when it is evident that the minority is the stronger)
assume its opinion... while truth again reverts to a new minority.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour
when every one has to throw off his mask?
Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked?
Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight
in order to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it?
I have seen men in real life who so long deceived others
that at last their true nature could not reveal itself;...
In every man there is something which to a certain degree
prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself;
and this may be the case in so high a degree,
he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life
which extend far beyond himself that he almost cannot reveal himself.
But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love,
and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.
- Soren Kierkegaard

There is no need for temples,
no need for complicated philosophies.
My brain and my heart are my temples;
my philosophy is kindness.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say.
Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful:
he makes saints out of sinners.
- Soren Kierkegaard

I begin with the principle that all men are bores.
Surely no one will prove himself
so great a bore as to contradict me in this.
- Soren Kierkegaard

The philosophy of the school room in one generation
will be the philosophy of government in the next.
- Abraham Lincoln

The self-assured believer is a greater sinner
in the eyes of God than the troubled disbeliever
- Soren Kierkegaard

I've developed a new philosophy...
I only dread one day at a time.
- the character Charlie Brown in Charles M. Schulz' Peanuts comic

This is my simple religion.
There is no need for temples;
no need for complicated philosophy.
Our own brain, our own heart is our temple;
the philosophy is kindness.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy,
like art...
It has no survival value; rather it is one of those
things that give value to survival.
- C. S. Lewis

I must study politics and war that my sons may have
liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
- John Adams

All philosophy lies in two words,
sustain and abstain.
- Epictetus

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
- Ludwig van Beethoven


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