100 Famous Philosophy Quotes About Life, Love And Death

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Life can be tough, so you’ve got to be careful what you feed your mind and soul.

The study of philosophy can be a great source of inspiration, so what better place to look than to philosophical quotes from some of the world's most famous philosophers?

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In this digital age, we’re saturated with social media posts galore. Whether they're about getting over your ex, motivating yourself to get in the gym, motivating yourself to pursue your passions, separating your fake friends from your real ones, we see hundreds of quotes, memes and tweets each day, telling us each how to live our best life.

How can we know which pieces of advice are any good, and which we should probably just ignore?

Pastor Charles R. Swindoll once said that life is 10% action and 90% reaction. That’s always hit home for me because, when you think about it, life really is all about perception.

Some people believe that the quotes we see, read, and hear on a regular basis may subconsciously affect the way we perceive our lives, for better or for worse.

To help you find some much-needed healthy inspiration, we rounded up 100 of the best philosophy quotes from famous philosophers and great thinkers.

We hope you find them as inspiring, motivating, and hopeful as we do.

Philosophical Quotes About Happiness

1. “Happiness is the feeling that power increases — that resistance is being overcome.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

2. “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” — Aristotle

3. “Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.” — Immanuel Kant

4. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” — Mahatma Gandhi

5. “I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.” — John Stuart Mill

6. “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” — Henry David Thoreau

7. “Why should we build our happiness on the opinions of others, when we can find it in our own hearts?” — John-Jacques Rousseau

8. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” — the Dalai Lama

9. “The secret of happiness, you see is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” — Socrates

10. “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action." — William James

11. “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

12. “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” — Nicolas Chamfort

13. “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” — Aristotle

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Philosophy Quotes About Life

14. “The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” — Seneca

15. “May you live every day of your life.” — Jonathan Swift

16. “Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.” — Soren Kierkegaard

17. “The past has no power over the present moment.” — Eckhart Tolle

18. “If you hate a person, then you’re defeated by them.“ — Confucius

19. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

20. “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius

21. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” — Oscar Wilde

22. “Never form a friendship with a man who is not better than you.” — Confucius

23. “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw

24. “When it is obvious that goals can’t be reached, don’t adjust the goals, but adjust the action steps." — Confucius

25. “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” — William James

26. “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” — Confucius

27. “Give instructions only to those people who seek knowledge after they have discovered their ignorance.” — Confucius

28. “Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished.” — Confucius

29. “If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

30. “If they spit at you behind your back it means you’re ahead of them.” — Confucius

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31. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates

32. “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” — Alan Watts

33. “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.” — Elie Wiesel

34. “No valid plans for the future can be made can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” — Alan Watts

35. “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

36. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” — Aristotle

37. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” — J.K. Rowling

38. “Eyes and ears are poor witnesses to people if they have uncultured souls.” — Heraclitus

39. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

40. “Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.” — Karl Marx

41. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” — William Shakespeare

42. “Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” — Albert Einstein

43. “To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do rather than what they say.” — René Descartes

44. “We do not describe the world we see. We see the world we can describe.” — René Descartes

45. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Confucius

46. “A ‘no’ uttered from deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” — Mahatma Gandhi

47. “You only learn when you give your whole being to something.” — J. Krishnamurti

48. “The more sand had escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” — Niccolo Machiavelli

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Philosophical Quotes About Love

49. “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” — Bertrand Russell

50. “Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature.” — Plato

51. “This fire that we call Loving is too strong for human minds. But just right for human souls.” — Aberjhani

52. “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” — Robert A. Heinlein

53. “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” — Paulo Coelho

54. “Love is simply the name for the desire and pursuit of the whole.” — Plato

55. "Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” —​ Confucius

56. “The madness of love the greatest of heaven’s blessings.” — Plato

57. "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." — Aristotle

58. "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." — Lao Tzu

59. “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

60. "Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'" — Erich Fromm

61. "Forgiveness is the final form of love." — Reinhold Niebuhr

62. “In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.” ― Janos Arany

63. "There is no remedy for love but to love more." — Henry David Thoreau

64. "Where there is love there is life." — Mahatma Gandhi

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Philosophy Quotes About Mental Strength

65. “No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.” — Alan Watts

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66. “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.” — William James

67. “When anger arises, think of the consequences.” — Confucius

68. “When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.” — Friedrich Nietzche

69. “If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” — Lao Tzu

70. “Conquer yourself rather than the world.” — Rene Descartes

71. “Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.” — Alan Watts

72. "Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love." — Brené Brown

73. “Prejudices are what fools use for reason.” — Francois Voltaire

74. “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it, is committing another mistake.” — Confucius

75. “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” — the Dalai Lama

76. “Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

77. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle

78. “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” — Plato

79. “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” — Aristotle

80. “Thinking. The talking of the soul with itself.” — Plato

81. “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” — Confucius

82. “It’s strange how simple things become, once you see them clearly.” — Ayn Rand

83. “Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own intelligence.” — Immanuel Kant

84. “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” — William James

85. “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” — René Descartes

86. “He who thinks great thoughts, often makes great errors.” — Martin Heidegger

87. “I think; therefore I am.” — René Descartes

88. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” — Aristotle

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Philosophical Quotes About Art

89. “Nature is beautiful because it looks like Art; and Art can only be called beautiful if we are conscious of it as Art while yet it looks like Nature.” — Immanuel Kant

90. “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” — John-Jacques Rousseau

91. "If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." — Vincent van Gogh

92. “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” — Emile Zola

93. “Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.” — Ossie Davis

94. “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” — Aristotle

95. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” — Pablo Picasso

96. "Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” — Pablo Picasso

97. “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” — Chuck Klosterman

98. “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” — Thomas Merton

99. “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso

100. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” — Edgar Degas

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Eric Webb is a writer living in New Jersey. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Penn State, and he's passionate about sports and encouraging people to be themselves.