The problem of finding a collection of wise men and leaving the government to them is thus an insoluble one. That is the ultimate reason for democracy.

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: British

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If the collective intelligence of mankind were to degenerate, the kind of technique and daily life which science has produced would nevertheless survive, in all probability, for many generations, but it would not survive for ever, because, if seriously disturbed by a cataclysm, it could not be reconstructed.

Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.

Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.

To understand an age or a nation, we must understand its philosophy, and to understand its philosophy we must ourselves be in some degree philosophers. There is here a reciprocal causation: the circumstances of men's lives do much to determine their philosophy, but, conversely, their philosophy does much to determine their circumstances.

The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.

It is the part of courage, when misfortune comes, to bear without repining the ruin of our hopes, to turn away our thoughts from vain regrets. This degree of submission to Power is not only just and right: it is the very gate of wisdom.

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.

The centre of me is always and eternally in terrible pain ... A searching for something beyond what the world contains, something transfiguring and infinite.

Drunkenness is temporary suicide.

In a world where there were no specifically mental facts, is it not plain that there would be a complete impartiality, an evenly diffused light, not the central illumination fading away into outer darkness, which is characteristic of objects in relation to a mind?

We all start from naive realism, i.e., the doctrine that things.

The man who can centre his thoughts and hopes upon something transcending self can find a certain peace in the ordinary troubles of life, which is impossible to the pure egoist.

Curious learning not only makes unpleasant things less unpleasant but also makes pleasant things more pleasant.

A man is rational in proportion as his intelligence informs and controls his desires.