Hatred is an affair of the heart; contempt that of the head.
There is no doubt that life is given us, not to be enjoyed, but to be overcome—to be got over.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone.
Patriotism, when it wants to make itself felt in the domain of learning, is a dirty fellow who should be thrown out of doors.
Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour.
Topics: Value of a Day, Change, Fortune, Time Management, Luck
There is no vice, of which a man can be guilty, no meanness, no shabbiness, no unkindness, which excited so much indignation among his contemporaries, friends and neighbors, as his success. This is the one unpardonable crime, which reason cannot defend, nor [can] humility mitigate.
Topics: Vice, Humility, Reason, Friend, Success, Kind, Kindness
It is a great piece of folly to sacrifice the inner for the outer man.
With people of limited ability modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy.
If people insist that honor is dearer than life itself, what they really mean is that existence and well-being are as nothing compared with other people’s opinions. Of course, this may be only an exaggerated way of stating the prosaic truth that reputation, that is, the opinion others have of us, is indispensable if we are to make any progress in the world.
Just as the largest library, badly arranged, is not so useful as a very moderate one that is well arranged, so the greatest amount of knowledge, if not elaborated by our own thoughts, is worth much less than a far smaller volume that has been abundantly and repeatedly thought over.
The longer a man’s fame is likely to last, the longer it will be in coming.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
My desire is for wisdom, not for the exercise of the will. The will is the strong blind man who carries on his shoulders the lame man who can see.
Topics: Wisdom, Willpower, Will Power, Will
There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.
A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants.
The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped.
To desire immortality is to desire the eternal perpetuation of a great mistake
The fundament upon which all our knowledge and learning rests is the inexplicable.
As the biggest library if it is in disorder is not as useful as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself.
Topics: Libraries, Knowledge, Disorder
In estimating the greatness of great men, the inverted law of the physical stands for the intellectual and spiritual nature—the former is lessened by distance, the latter increased.
Do not shorten the morning by getting up late; look upon it as the quintessence of life, and to a certain extent sacred.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Friedrich Nietzsche German Philosopher, Scholar
- Immanuel Kant Prussian German Philosopher
- Wilhelm von Humboldt German Statesman, Scholar
- Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi German Philosopher
- Martin Heidegger German Existential Philosopher
- Immanuel Hermann Fichte German Philosopher
- Johann Gottfried Herder German Poet, Literary Critic
- Moses Mendelssohn German Jewish Philosopher
- Friedrich Schiller German Poet
- Hannah Arendt German-American Political Theorist