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Bertrand Russell Quotes and Quotations


Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
- Bertrand Russell | Ability and Achievement Quotes
The more we realize our minuteness and our impotence in the face of cosmic forces, the more astonishing becomes what human beings have achieved.
- Bertrand Russell | Ability and Achievement Quotes
The central problem of our age is how to act decisively in the absence of certainty.
- Bertrand Russell | Action Quotes
It is only in marriage with the world that our ideals can bear fruit; divorced from it, they remain barren.
- Bertrand Russell | Action Quotes
The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
- Bertrand Russell | Arguments and Quarrels Quotes
Mathematics possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of a sculpture.
- Bertrand Russell | Beauty Quotes
Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
- Bertrand Russell | Bores and Boredom Quotes
'Change' is scientific, 'progress' is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy.
- Bertrand Russell | Change and Transience Quotes
Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
- Bertrand Russell | Conviction and Belief Quotes
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly, I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
- Bertrand Russell | Crime and Punishment Quotes
The average man's opinions are much less foolish than they would be if he thought for himself.
- Bertrand Russell | Crowds and the Masses Quotes
Cynicism such as one finds very frequently among the most highly educated young men and women of the West, results from the combination of comfort and powerlessness.
- Bertrand Russell | Cynicism Quotes
Most people would die sooner than think; in fact, they do.
- Bertrand Russell | Death and Dying Quotes
Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.
The true spirit of delight, the exultation, the sense of being more than Man which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry.
- Bertrand Russell | Enjoyment and Pleasure Quotes
To be able to use leisure intelligently will be the last product of an intelligent civilization.
- Bertrand Russell | Enjoyment and Pleasure Quotes
If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships.
- Bertrand Russell | Friends and Friendship Quotes
One must care about a world one will not see.
- Bertrand Russell | The Future Quotes
No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
- Bertrand Russell | Gossip and Gossips Quotes
Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
- Bertrand Russell | Happiness Quotes
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
- Bertrand Russell | Happiness Quotes
Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.
- Bertrand Russell | Hatred Quotes
A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation.
- Bertrand Russell | Human Relations Quotes
There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.
- Bertrand Russell | Knowledge Quotes
In all affairs, love, religion, politics or business, it's a healthy idea, now and then, to hang a question mark on things you have long taken for granted.
- Bertrand Russell | Knowledge Quotes
Real life is to most men, a long second best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.
- Bertrand Russell | Life Quotes
The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good.
- Bertrand Russell | Life Quotes
There was never any reason to believe in any innate superiority of the male, except his superior muscle.
- Bertrand Russell | Men Quotes
We have two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice, and the other which we practice but seldom preach.
- Bertrand Russell | Morality and Ethics Quotes
One should respect public opinion in so far as it is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
- Bertrand Russell | Opinion Quotes
It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.
- Bertrand Russell | Ownership and Possession Quotes
The fundamental defect of fathers is that they want their children to be a credit to them.
- Bertrand Russell | Parenthood Quotes
Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know.
- Bertrand Russell | Philosophy Quotes
To teach how to live with uncertainty, 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 | Philosophy Quotes
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
- Bertrand Russell | Philosophy Quotes
I do not believe that any peacock envies another peacock his tail, because every peacock is persuaded that his own tail is the finest in the world. The consequence of this is that peacocks are peaceable birds.
- Bertrand Russell | Pride Quotes
What men want is not knowledge, but certainty.
- Bertrand Russell | Proof and Certainty Quotes
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
- Bertrand Russell | Sorrow Quotes
All movements go too far.
- Bertrand Russell | Time Quotes
Simpson succeeded in proving that there was no harm in giving anaesthetics to men, because God put Adam into a deep sleep when He extracted his rib. But male ecclesiastics remained unconvinced as regards the sufferings of women, at any rate in childbirth.
- Bertrand Russell | Women Quotes
No matter how eloquently a dog may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were poor but honest.
- Bertrand Russell | Words and Language Quotes
Work is of two kinds: first, altering a position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill-paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid.
- Bertrand Russell | Work Quotes
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
- Bertrand Russell | Happiness Quotes
Whenever one finds oneself inclined to bitterness, it is a sign of emotional failure.
- Bertrand Russell | Unhappiness Quotes
If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances, it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.
- Bertrand Russell | Happiness Quotes
Continuity of purpose is one of the most essential ingredients of happiness in the long run, and for most men this comes chiefly through their work.
- Bertrand Russell | Happiness Quotes
Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
- Bertrand Russell | Happiness Quotes
A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.
- Bertrand Russell | Happiness Quotes
Real life is, to most men ... a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.
- Bertrand Russell | Acceptance Quotes
Beggars do not envy millionaires, though of course they will envy other beggars who are more successful.
- Bertrand Russell | Other Side Quotes
A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not endured with patient resignation.
- Bertrand Russell | Friendship Quotes
Self-respect will keep a man from being abject when he is in the power of enemies, and will enable him to feel that he may be in the right when the world is against him.
- Bertrand Russell | Self-Confidence Quotes
The habit of looking into the future and thinking that the whole meaning of the present lies in what it will bring forth is a pernicious one. There can be no value in the whole unless there is value in the parts.
- Bertrand Russell | The Present Quotes
Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half of the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
- Bertrand Russell | Boring Days Quotes
What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life.
- Bertrand Russell | Enthusiasm Quotes
Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
- Bertrand Russell | Hope Quotes
Extreme hopes are born of extreme misery.
- Bertrand Russell | Hope Quotes
Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
- Bertrand Russell | Change Quotes
Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.
- Bertrand Russell | Decisions Quotes
Real life is, to most men ... a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.
- Bertrand Russell | Realistic Expectations Quotes
Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
- Bertrand Russell | Fear Quotes
All forms of fear produce fatigue.
- Bertrand Russell | Fear Quotes
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.
- Bertrand Russell | Fear Quotes
Those who fear life are already three parts dead.
- Bertrand Russell | Anxiety about the Future Quotes
To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
A great many worries can be diminished by realizing the unimportance of the matter which is causing anxiety.
- Bertrand Russell | Worry Quotes
To teach how to live with uncertainty, yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy can do.
- Bertrand Russell | Doubts and Uncertainties Quotes
Unless a man has been taught what to do with success after getting it, the achievement of it must inevitably leave him a prey to boredom.
- Bertrand Russell | Success Quotes
To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.
- Bertrand Russell | Concentration Quotes
Continuity of purpose is one of the most essential ingredients of happiness in the long run, and for most men this comes chiefly through their work.
- Bertrand Russell | Work Quotes
Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy.
- Bertrand Russell | Beginnings Quotes
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
- Bertrand Russell | Life Quotes
The secret of happiness is this: Let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
- Bertrand Russell | Lighten up Quotes
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
- Bertrand Russell | Lighten up Quotes
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is very important.
- Bertrand Russell | Professions and Work Quotes
Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.
- Bertrand Russell | Drinking Quotes


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