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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 6. Despair over Philosophy

[view of the whole enterprise as hopeless]

42 ideas
Vulgar people are alert; I alone am muddled [Lao Tzu]
Reason is eternal, but men are foolish [Heraclitus]
Our ancient beliefs can never be overthrown by subtle arguments [Euripides]
Is a gifted philosopher unmanly if he avoids the strife of the communal world? [Plato]
Philosophers are always switching direction to something more interesting [Plato]
Most people are readier to submit to compulsion than to argument [Aristotle]
Don't even start, let's just stay put [Chuang Tzu]
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy [Paul]
Instead of prayer and charity, sinners pursue vain disputes and want their own personal scripture [Mohammed]
For there was never yet philosopher/ That could endure the toothache patiently [Shakespeare]
Philosophy is like a statue which is worshipped but never advances [Bacon]
Most things in human life seem vain and useless [Descartes]
Almost every daft idea has been expressed by some philosopher [Descartes]
The observation of human blindness and weakness is the result of all philosophy [Hume]
In ordinary life the highest philosophy is no better than common understanding [Kant]
What we think is totally dictated by the language available to express it [Nietzsche]
Deep thinkers know that they are always wrong [Nietzsche]
Words such as 'I' and 'do' and 'done to' are placed at the point where our ignorance begins [Nietzsche]
Pessimism is laughable, because the world cannot be evaluated [Nietzsche]
Is a 'philosopher' now impossible, because knowledge is too vast for an overview? [Nietzsche]
Philosophy is always secondary, because it cannot support a popular culture [Nietzsche]
It would better if there was no thought [Nietzsche]
Why do people want philosophers? [Nietzsche]
How many mediocre thinkers are occupied with influential problems! [Nietzsche]
Philosophers express puzzlement, but don't clearly state the puzzle [Wittgenstein]
What is your aim in philosophy? - To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle [Wittgenstein]
The 'Tractatus' is a masterpiece of anti-philosophy [Badiou on Wittgenstein]
I abandoned philosophy because it didn't acknowledge melancholy and human weakness [Cioran]
Great systems of philosophy are just brilliant tautologies [Cioran]
Originality in philosophy is just the invention of terms [Cioran]
The mind is superficial, only concerned with the arrangement of events, not their significance [Cioran]
To an absurd mind reason is useless, and there is nothing beyond reason [Camus]
People generalise because it is easier to understand, and that is mistaken for deep philosophy [Feynman]
If we can't check our language against experience, philosophy is just comparing beliefs and words [Rorty]
Philosophy has been marginalised by its failure in the Enlightenment to replace religion [MacIntyre]
Philosophy is a value- and attitude-driven enterprise [Fraassen]
There is nothing so obvious that a philosopher cannot be found to deny it [Lockwood]
Philosophers with a new concept are like children with a new toy [Fine,K]
Using a technical vocabulary actually prevents discussion of the presuppositions [Heil]
Philosophers are good at denying the obvious [Hawley]
Human knowledge may not produce well-being; the examined life may not be worth living [Gray]
Philosophy may never find foundations, and may undermine our lives in the process [Fogelin]