April 26

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Nothing is better than the unintended humor of reality. ~ Steve Allen
If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein (born 26 April 1889)
Search men's governing principles, and consider the wise, what they shun and what they cleave to. ~ Marcus Aurelius (born 26 April 121)
They say that each generation inherits from those that have gone before; if this were so there would be no limit to man's improvements or to his power of reaching perfection. But he is very far from receiving intact that storehouse of knowledge which the centuries have piled up before him; he may perfect some inventions, but in others, he lags behind the originators, and a great many inventions have been lost entirely. What he gains on the one hand, he loses on the other. ~ Eugène Delacroix (born 26 April 1798)
I had the good fortune and opportunity to come home and to tell the truth; many soldiers, like Pat Tillman... did not have that opportunity. The truth of war is not always easy. The truth is always more heroic than the hype. ~ Jessica Lynch (born 26 April 1983)
Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death.
If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
Our life has no end in just the way in which our visual field has no limits.
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein ~
If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine. ~ Morris West (born 26 April 1916)
It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price … One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return of love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying. ~ Morris West
There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
No man — prince, peasant, pope, — has all the light, who says else is a mountebank. I claim no private lien on truth, only a liberty to seek it, prove it in debate, and to be wrong a thousand times to reach a single rightness. It is that liberty they fear. They want us to be driven to God like sheep, not running to him like lovers, shouting joy!
~ Morris West ~
Philosophical problems can be compared to locks on safes, which can be opened by dialing a certain word or number, so that no force can open the door until just this word has been hit upon, and once it is hit upon any child can open it.
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein ~
To convince someone of the truth, it is not enough to state it, but rather one must find the path from error to truth.
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

  • If we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; if we begin with doubts, and are patient, we shall end in certainties. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


When you are outraged by somebody's impudence, ask yourself at once, "Can the world exist without impudent people?" It cannot; so do not ask for impossibilities. ~ Marcus Aurelius

  • 3 Kalki 00:22, 26 April 2006 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 00:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web. ~ Marcus Aurelius

  • 3 Kalki 00:22, 26 April 2006 (UTC) (date of birth) with a strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 00:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

If mind is common to us, then also the reason, whereby we are reasoning beings, is common. If this be so, then also the reason which enjoins what is to be done or left undone is common. If this be so, law also is common; if this be so, we are citizens; if this be so, we are partakers in one constitution; if this be so, the Universe is a kind of Commonwealth. ~ Marcus Aurelius

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 17:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 00:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I believe it safe to say that all progress must lead, not to further progress, but finally to the negation of progress, a return to the point of departure. ~ Eugène Delacroix (born April 26, 1798)

Nature creates unity even in the parts of a whole. ~ Eugène Delacroix

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 17:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 00:16, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Philosophy aims at the logical clarification of thoughts. Philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity. A philosophical work consists essentially of elucidations. Philosophy does not result in 'philosophical propositions', but rather in the clarification of propositions. Without philosophy thoughts are, as it were, cloudy and indistinct: its task is to make them clear and to give them sharp boundaries. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein (born April 26, 1889)

The following suggestion was originally suggested at May 16 and moved here to match the birthdate of Marcus Aurelius

Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself, and is complete in itself; praise forms no part of it. So it is none the worse nor the better for being praised. ~ Marcus Aurelius

  • 3 Aphaia 18:07, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 21:40, 14 May 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4, despite this not being actually related to the date
  • 1 Zarbon 05:20, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Perhaps the Marcus Aurelius quotes should be moved to April 26. - InvisibleSun 21:42, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

There are a few of us — madmen all! — who are in love with knowing, who would sell the last shirt from our backs for one small truth, one tiny star-fire to light up the murk and mystery of what we call our life… We may go blind before we see it, that's the haunting— ~ Morris West

If God be God and man a creature made in image of the divine intelligence, his noblest function is the search for truth. ~ Morris West

The hardest freedom to maintain is the freedom of making mistakes. ~ Morris West

My soul is full of whispered song,—
My blindness is my sight;
The shadows that I feared so long
Are full of life and light. ~ Alice Cary

Take, O boatman, thrice thy fee,—
Take, I give it willingly;
For, invisible to thee,
Spirits twain have crossed with me. ~ Ludwig Uhland

An entire mythology is stored within our language. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language.. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

People are deeply imbedded in philosophical, i.e., grammatical confusions. And to free them presupposes pulling them out of the immensely manifold connections they are caught up in.. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Genius is talent exercised with courage. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Man has to awaken to wonder — and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

What we are destroying is nothing but houses of cards and we are clearing up the ground of language on which they stood. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

My aim is: to teach you to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to something that is patent nonsense.~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

What has to be accepted, the given, is — so one could say — forms of life. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophizing is: rejecting false arguments. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

The difficulty in philosophy is to say no more than we know. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

One can mistrust one's own senses, but not one's own belief.
If there were a verb meaning "to believe falsely," it would not have any significant first person, present indicative. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

It seems to me that, in every culture, I come across a chapter headed Wisdom. And then I know exactly what is going to follow: Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ambition is the death of thought. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Never stay up on the barren heights of cleverness, but come down into the green valleys of silliness. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Don't for heaven's sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Man is the microcosm:
I am my world. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

The way you use the word "God" does not show whom you mean — but, rather, what you mean. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

A miracle must be, as it were, a sacred gesture. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

To believe in a God means to understand the question about the meaning of life.
To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter.
To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Weaknesses in men of genius are usually an exaggeration of their personal feeling; in the hands of feeble imitators they become the most flagrant blunders. Entire schools have been founded on misinterpretations of certain aspects of the masters. Lamentable mistakes have resulted from the thoughtless enthusiasm with which men have sought inspiration from the worst qualities of remarkable artists because they are unable to reproduce the sublime elements in their work. ~ Eugène Delacroix