Wisdom & Philosophy Quotes: The Importance of Wisdom & Philosophy

We are all seeking wisdom throughout philosophy. This is the tie that binds the community together. We all seek to use different avenues of philosophy to arrive at wisdom and thus transform ourselves and the world around us. 

Philosophy is often denigrated as something up in the clouds, with no practical application to the world around us. However, we believe that philosophy is something that helps us to make sense of both ourselves and the world in which we live. It is the only candle that we have to light the darkness. 

One of the most important questions in philosophy is what actually constitutes true wisdom. What’s more, philosophy is deeply concerned with how one attains wisdom. Neither of these questions have obvious answers and have been wrestled over by some of the greatest minds in human history. 

We urge you to wrestle with these questions yourself. For we believe that wisdom isn’t something that one receives from outside, but rather something that one arrives at through the process of carefully considering difficult questions. It is in this spirit that we present the following quotes on the subjects of philosophy and wisdom. It is our wish that these will spark the kinds of thoughtful reflections that will have you arriving at your own place of wisdom.

Quotes About Wisdom

“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”

Thomas Paine

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

Socrates

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

Socrates

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their true names.”

Chinese proverb

“A wise man gets more from his enemies than a fool does from his friends.”

Chinese proverb

“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.”

Proverbs 11:29

“To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.”

Proverbs 19:8

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, not even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live, according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.”

Henry David Thoreau

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Confucius

“The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”

H.L. Mencken

“Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.”

Francis Bacon

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.” 

Joseph Addison

“Anyone who is not at least trilingual is a hick.”

Karl Lagerfeld

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Rumi

“When the beard (or hair) is black, heed the reasoning, but ignore the conclusion. When the beard is gray, consider both reasoning and conclusion. When the beard is white, skip the reasoning, but mind the conclusion.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page.”

St. Augustine

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

William Shakespeare, As You Like It

“May you live every day of your life.”

Johnathan Swift

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We make our fortunes and we call them fate.”

Benjamin Disraeli

Quotes About Philosophy

“Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck.”

Immanuel Kant

“Science used to be called natural philosophy. Aristotle once said that “The beginning of philosophy is wonder.” Philosophy is man’s expression of curiosity about everything and his attempt to make sense of the world primarily through his intellect; that is to say, his faculty for thinking.”

Alan Watts

“What’s really heavy but weighs nothing at all? Nihilism.”

Unknown

“I think therefore I am.” 

René Descartes

“One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.”

René Descartes

“Even while they teach, men learn.”

Seneca the Younger

“Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits.”

William James

“Leisure is the mother of philosophy.”

Thomas Hobbes

“Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know.”

Bertrand Russell