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Get a quote or short passage from a classic work of philosophy delivered to your inbox each day along with related articles, videos, and podcasts to help you easily learn more. The first five quotes in the series are listed below:


Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know. Among the most necessary knowledge is the knowledge of how to live well, that is, how to produce the least possible evil and the greatest goodness in one’s life. At present, people study useless sciences, but forget to study this, the most important knowledge.

– Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom, March 16, trans. Peter Sekirin

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The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the cooperation or consent of his deliberate reason.

– Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy, XV

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Philosophy ought to question the basic assumptions of the age. Thinking through, critically and carefully, what most of us take for granted is, I believe, the chief task of philosophy, and the task that makes philosophy a worthwhile activity.

– Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, VI

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What is most of our boasted so-called knowledge but a conceit that we know something, which robs us of the advantage of our actual ignorance.

– Henry David Thoreau, Walking

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Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

– J. K. Galbraith, A Contemporary Guide to Economics, Peace, and Laughter, Ch. 3

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