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

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: British

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All disenchantment is to me a malady, which, it is true, certain circumstances may render inevitable, but which none the less, when it occurs, is to be cured as soon as possible, not to be regarded as a higher form of wisdom.

Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.

The bulk of the population of every country is persuaded that all marriage customs other than its own are immoral, and that those who combat this view only do so in order to justify their own loose lives.

This [Hegel's philosophy] illustrates an important truth, namely, that the worse your logic, the more interesting the consequences to which it gives rise.

Collective wisdom, alas, is no adequate substitute for the intelligence of individuals. Individuals who opposed received opinions have been the source of all progress, both moral and intellectual. They have been unpopular, as was natural.

Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.

The mind is a strange machine which can combine the materials offered to it in the most astonishing ways.

The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.

To the primitive mind, everything is either friendly or hostile; but experience has shown that friendliness and hostility are not the conceptions by which the world is to be understood.

The psychology of adultery has been falsified by conventional morals, which assume, in monogamous countries, that attraction to one person cannot coexist with affection for another. Everybody knows that this is untrue.

One obvious palliative of the evils of democracy in its present form would be to encourage much more publicity and initiative on the part of civil servants. They ought to have the right, and, on occasion, the duty, to frame Bills in their own names, and set forth publicly the arguments in their favor.

Grammar and ordinary language are bad guides to metaphysics. A great book might be written showing the influence of syntax on philosophy.

How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?

Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.