“There is nothing permanent except change.” — Heraclitus
- So true — I’ve been walking around with one of those $1 Sacagawea coins in my pocket for, like, three months now.
“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.” — A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
- Only because society frowns on those who sacrifice their children.
“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” — Niccolo Machiavelli
- And if you can, then throw “… and really rich” into the mix.
“Learning never exhausts the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci
- Then why do teachers look so drained at the end of the school day?
“The only journey is the one within.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
- The only tedious journey is the one within a bus.
“Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.” — William Blake
- When am I supposed to binge-watch “Game of Thrones”?
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop
- And yet the look I get when I tell my wife I finished off the last of the ice cream so she wouldn’t be tempted to cheat on her diet…
“It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.” — George Washington
- Especially once they started touring on the same bill with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.” — Sigmund Freud
- I avoid exercise. Honest.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien
- Some of them are just trying to find a restroom.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin
- And then — it’s time for you to go home already.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” — Plato
- Where does compulsive tweeting fit into this?
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” — Soren Kierkegaard
- Sorry, I was scrolling through Facebook on my phone — what did you say?
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- But not around your neck.
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
- The examined life generally doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny, either.
“Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.” – William of Ockham
- Good advice if you want to avoid having your taxes audited.
“The life of man (in a state of nature) is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” – Thomas Hobbes
- I think Hobbes meant to say this about life in the state of Kentucky.
“He who thinks great thoughts, often makes great errors.” – Martin Heidegger
- For the rest of us thinking merely mediocre thoughts, there’s spell check.
“We live in the best of all possible worlds.” – Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
- That’s like saying I came in first out of a field of one.
“God is dead! He remains dead! And we have killed him.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
- On the bright side, this frees up your Sunday mornings.
“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” – Albert Camus
- Mostly because it’s very difficult to share any insights gained once committing it.
“One cannot step twice in the same river.” – Heraclitus
- But that pile of dog poop right in the middle of the sidewalk…
“To be is to be perceived.” (“Esse est percipi.”) – Bishop George Berkeley
- To pee is to be relieved. (“Esse est perpipi.”)
“Liberty consists in doing what one desires.” – John Stuart Mill
- John Stuart Mill, earliest casualty of the #MeToo movement.
“Even while they teach, men learn.” – Seneca the Younger
- Mostly, they learn they aren’t paid enough for going into teaching.
“There is only one good: knowledge, and one evil: ignorance” – Socrates
- Somewhere in the middle of those two is the sweet spot.
“One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.” – René Descartes
- It’s like I always say: one cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.
“Leisure is the mother of philosophy.” – Thomas Hobbes
- Leisure suits are a mother of a fashion statement.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.” – William James
- Not true!
“The mind is furnished with ideas by experience alone.” – John Locke
- End tables and accent lighting not included.
“Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward.” – Søren Kierkegaard
- But when life goes sideways, you’re on your own.
“Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck.” – Immanuel Kant
- Metaphorically speaking.
“Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits.” – William James
- I guess he’s never watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
“He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.” – Aristotle
- Couldn’t he just be a grouchy sort?
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato
- And yet our CEO insists on a weekly all-hands conference call.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – mistakenly attributed to Edmund Burke
- Burke didn’t say this? Does that mean I have to do something else to ensure the triumph of evil?
“Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man’s?” – Friedrich Nietzsche
- The important thing to remember is that somebody screwed up somewhere.
“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” – Bertrand Russell
- You, however, should go right ahead and jump off that cliff.
“Happiness is the highest good.” – Aristotle
- But a corned beef sandwich is a close second.
“Man is condemned to be free.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
- And I am free to condemn Sartre.
“I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
- Every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you…
“That man is wisest who, like Socrates, realizes that his wisdom is worthless.” – Plato
- Ooh, burn!
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” – René Descartes
- I’m not sure about this.
“Happiness lies in virtuous activity, and perfect happiness lies in the best activity, which is contemplative.” – Aristotle
- Lends credence to the rumors that Aristotle was asexual.
“I can control my passions and emotions if I can understand their nature.” – Spinoza
- I bet no one ever got a Valentine’s Day card from him.
“It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” – W. K. Clifford
- Hear that, Fox News watchers?
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” — Socrates
- Then I must be the wisest man on the face of the planet.
“We are too weak to discover the truth by reason alone.” – St. Augustine
- In that case, let’s order a pizza.
“The life of man (in a state of nature) is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” – Thomas Hobbes – And this is why I don’t go camping! Fun with philosophy, John.