The doctrine that all men are, in any sense, or have been, at any time, free and equal, is an utterly baseless fiction.
If a man cannot do brain work without stimulants of any kind, he had better turn to hand work it is an indication on Nature's part that she did not mean him to be a head worker.
No slavery can be abolished without a double emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom more than the freed-man.
I take it that the good of mankind means the attainment, by every man, of all the happiness which he can enjoy without diminishing the happiness of his fellow men.
The world is neither wise nor just, but it makes up for all its folly and injustice by being damnably sentimental.
My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don't get right.
In science, as in art, and, as I believe, in every other sphere of human activity, there may be wisdom in a multitude of counsellors, but it is only in one or two of them.
Proclaim human equality as loudly as you like, Witless will serve his brother.
Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.
The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us.
Science and literature are not two things, but two sides of one thing.
The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.
There is but one right, and the possibilities of wrong are infinite.
Surely there is a time to submit to guidance and a time to take one's own way at all hazards.
The great thing in the world is not so much to seek happiness as to earn peace and self-respect.
The only question which any wise man can ask himself, and which any honest man will ask himself, is whether a doctrine is true or false.
There is no sea more dangerous than the ocean of practical politics none in which there is more need of good pilotage and of a single, unfaltering purpose when the waves rise high.
There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued.
Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.
The scientific spirit is of more value than its products, and irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
Patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.
The ultimate court of appeal is observation and experiment... not authority.
I do not say think as I think, but think in my way. Fear no shadows, least of all in that great spectre of personal unhappiness which binds half the world to orthodoxy.
Freedom and order are not incompatible... truth is strength... free discussion is the very life of truth.
I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.
The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge. The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge.
Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against truth.
The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.
I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic'.
Books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science.
Teach a child what is wise, that is morality. Teach him what is wise and beautiful, that is religion!
Economy does not lie in sparing money, but in spending it wisely.
The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every conceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.
Nothing can be more incorrect than the assumption one sometimes meets with, that physics has one method, chemistry another, and biology a third.
It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance.
Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
The most considerable difference I note among men is not in their readiness to fall into error, but in their readiness to acknowledge these inevitable lapses.
My business is to teach my aspirations to confirm themselves to fact, not to try and make facts harmonize with my aspirations.
Only one absolute certainty is possible to man namely that at any given moment the feeling which he has exists.
Of moral purpose I see no trace in Nature. That is an article of exclusively human manufacture and very much to our credit.
Science reckons many prophets, but there is not even a promise of a Messiah.
I am content with nothing, restless and ambitious... and I despise myself for the vanity, which formed half the stimulus to my exertions. Oh would that I were one of those plodding wise fools who having once set their hand to the plough go on nothing doubting.
Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
It is because the body is a machine that education is possible. Education is the formation of habits, a superinducing of an artificial organization upon the natural organization of the body.