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 Rene Descartes Quotes 

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Report
Total 239
Level0 169
Level1 45
Level2 25
Level3 0
Phrasal Verbs 7
Idioms 2

If you would be a real seeker seeker after truth, it is necessary necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

Common sense is the most widely widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.

And thus, the actions of life often often not allowing any delay, it is a truth very certain certain that, when it is not in our power to determine determine the most true opinions opinions we ought to follow the most probable. probable.

Conquer Conquer yourself rather rather than the world.

Except Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely absolutely in our power.

The greatest minds are capable capable of the greatest vices vices as well as of the greatest virtues. virtues.

It is only prudent prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived. deceived.

There is nothing more ancient ancient than the truth.

For I found myself embarrassed embarrassed with so many doubts and errors that it seemed seemed to me that the effort effort to instruct myself had no effect effect other than the increasing discovery of my own ignorance

In order to improve the mind, we ought less to learn than to contemplate. contemplate.

...it is a mark of prudence prudence never to place our complete trust in those who have deceived deceived us even once.

At last I will devote myself sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition demolition of my opinions. opinions.

Because reason...is the only thing that makes us men, and distinguishes distinguishes us from the beasts, I would prefer to believe that it exists, in its entirety, entirety, in each of us...

But I cannot forget that, at other times I have been deceived deceived in sleep by similar similar illusions; illusions; and, attentively considering considering those cases, I perceive perceive so clearly that there exist exist no certain certain marks by which the state of waking can ever be distinguished distinguished from sleep, that I feel greatly astonished; astonished; and in amazement amazement I almost persuade persuade myself that I am now dreaming.

Good sense is the most equitably equitably distributed of all things because no matter how much or little a person has, everyone feels so abundantly abundantly provided provided with good sense that he feels no desire for more than he already possesses. possesses.

But in my opinion, opinion, all things in nature occur occur mathematically.

So blind is the curiosity by which mortals are possessed, possessed, that they often often conduct conduct their minds along unexplored routes, having no reason to hope for success, but merely merely being willing to risk the experiment of finding whether the truth they seek seek lies there.

I am accustomed accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics lunatics imagine when awake.

It is best not to go on for great quest quest for truth , it will only make you miserable

Bad books engender engender bad habits, but bad habits engender engender good books.

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible feasible and necessary necessary to resolve resolve it.

I am thing that thinks: that is, a things that doubts,affirms, denies, denies, understands a few things, is ignorant of many things, is willing, is unwilling, unwilling, and also which imagines and has sensory sensory perceptions. perceptions.

I knew that the languages which one learns there are necessary necessary to understand the works of the ancients; and that the delicacy of fiction fiction enlivens the mind; that famous famous deeds deeds of history ennoble it and, if read with understanding, aid in maturing one's judgment; that the reading of all the great books is like conversing conversing with the best people of earlier times; it is even studied conversation in which the authors show us only the best of their thoughts; that eloquence eloquence has incomparable powers and beauties; that poetry has enchanting enchanting delicacy and sweetness; that mathematics has very subtle subtle processes which can serve as much to satisfy the inquiring inquiring mind as to aid all the arts and diminish diminish man's labor; that treatises treatises on morals contain contain very useful teachings and exhortations exhortations to virtue; virtue; that theology theology teaches us how to go to heaven; that philosophy teaches us to talk with appearance appearance of truth about things, and to make ourselves admired admired by the less learned; learned; that law, medicine, and the other sciences bring honors and wealth to those who pursue pursue them; and finally, that it is desirable to have examined all of them, even to the most superstitious and false in order to recognize their real worth and avoid being deceived deceived thereby

Whence then come my errors? They come from the sole sole fact that since the will is much wider in its range and compass than the understanding, I do not restrain restrain it within the same bounds, but extend extend it also to things which I do not understand: and as the will is of itself indifferent indifferent to these, it easily falls into error and sin, and chooses the evil evil for the good, or the false for the true.

This result could have been achieved either by his [God] endowing endowing my intellect with a clear and distinct distinct perception perception of everything about which I would ever deliberate, deliberate, or simply by impressing the following rule so firmly firmly upon my memory that I could never forget it: I should never judge anything that I do not clearly and distinctly distinctly understand.

I suppose therefore that all things I see are illusions; illusions; I believe that nothing has ever existed existed of everything my lying memory tells me. I think I have no senses. I believe that body, shape, extension, motion, location are functions. What is there then that can be taken as true? Perhaps Perhaps only this one thing, that nothing at all is certain certain ... But I cannot forget that, at other times I have been deceived deceived in sleep by similar similar illusions; illusions; and, attentively considering considering those cases, I perceive perceive so clearly that there exist exist no certain certain marks by which the state of waking can ever be distinguished distinguished from sleep, that I feel greatly astonished; astonished; and in amazement amazement I almost persuade persuade myself that I am now dreaming ... I am accustomed accustomed to sleep and in my dreams to imagine the same things that lunatics lunatics imagine when awake ... There is nothing more ancient ancient than the truth.

[...] the diversity diversity of our opinions, opinions, consequently, does not arise from some being endowed endowed with a larger share of reason than others, but solely from this, that we conduct conduct our thoughts along different ways, and do not fix our attention on the same objects For to objects For to be possessed possessed of a vigorous vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite requisite is rightly to apply it. The greatest minds, as they are capable capable of the highest excellences, excellences, are open likewise to the greatest aberrations; aberrations; and those who travel very slowly may yet make far greater progress, provided provided they keep always to keep always to the straight road, than those who, while they run, forsake forsake it.

Whatever I have up till now accepted as most true and assured assured I have gotten either from the senses or through the senses. But from time to time from time to time I have found that the senses deceive, deceive, and it is prudent prudent never to trust completely those who have deceived deceived us even once.

And, in fine, of false sciences I thought I knew the worth sufficiently sufficiently to escape being deceived deceived by the professions of an alchemist, alchemist, the predictions predictions of an astrologer, the impostures of a magician, or by the artifices artifices and boasting boasting of any of those who profess profess to know things of know things of which they are ignorant.

It is thus quite quite certain certain that the constitution of the true religion, the ordinances ordinances of which are derived from God, must be incomparably superior to that of every other.

When I turn my mind's eye upon myself, I understand that I am a thing which is incomplete and dependent on another another and which aspires aspires without limit to ever greater and better things...

My third maxim maxim was to endeavor endeavor always to conquer conquer myself rather rather than fortune, and change my desires rather rather than the order of the world, and in general, accustom myself to the persuasion persuasion that, except except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely absolutely in our power; so that when we have done our best in things external to us, all wherein we fail of success is to be held, as regards regards us, absolutely absolutely impossible: and this single principle seemed seemed to me sufficient sufficient to prevent prevent me from desiring for the future anything which I could not obtain, obtain, and thus render render me contented

Just as faith teaches us that the sovereign sovereign felicity felicity of the other life consists in the contemplation contemplation of the divine divine majesty alone, so even now we can learn from experience that a similar similar meditation, although incomparably less perfect, allows us to enjoy the greatest happiness we are capable capable of feeling in this life.

The first precept precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt.

They do everything in do everything in their power to make fortune favor them in this life, but nevertheless nevertheless they think so little of it, in relation to eternity, eternity, that they view the events of the world as we do those of a play.

The destruction of the foundations necessarily brings down brings down the whole whole edifice. edifice.

The last rule was to make enumerations enumerations so complete, and reviews so comprehensive, comprehensive, that I should be certain certain of omitting omitting nothing.

that the grace of fable fable stirs stirs the mind"...and..."that the perusal perusal of excellent books is, as it were, to interview with the noblest men of past ages

I had become aware, aware, as early as my college days, that no opinion, opinion, however absurd absurd and incredible incredible can be imagined, that has not been held by one of the philosophers.

The majority of men is composed of two classes, for neither of which would this be at all a befitting resolution: resolution: in the first place, of those who with more than a due confidence in their own powers, are precipitate precipitate in their judgments and want the patience requisite requisite for orderly and circumspect circumspect thinking; whence it happens, that if men of this class once take the liberty liberty to doubt of their accustomed accustomed opinions, opinions, and quit the beaten highway, they will never be able able to thread the byway that would lead them by a shorter course, and will lose themselves and continue to wander wander for life; in the second place, of those who, possessed possessed of sufficient sufficient sense or modesty to determine determine that there are others who excel excel them in the power of discriminating discriminating between truth and error, and by whom they may be instructed, ought rather rather to content themselves with the opinions opinions of such than trust for more correct to their own reason.

It is useful to know something of know something of the manners of different nations, that we may be enabled enabled to form a more correct judgment regarding regarding our own, and be prevented prevented from thinking that everything contrary contrary to our customs customs is ridiculous ridiculous and irrational, irrational, a conclusion usually usually come to by those whose experience has been limited to their own country.

For to be possessed possessed of a vigorous vigorous mind is not enough; the prime requisite requisite is rightly to apply it.

Reading good books is like engaging in engaging in conversation with the most cultivated cultivated minds of past centuries who had composed them, or rather, rather, taking part taking part in a well conducted conducted dialogue in which such minds reveal reveal to us only the best of their thoughts.

The brutes, which have only their bodies to conserve, conserve, are continually occupied occupied in seeking seeking sources of nourishment; nourishment; but men, of whom the chief part is the mind, ought to make the search after wisdom their principal care, for wisdom is the true nourishment nourishment of the mind; and I feel assured, assured, moreover, moreover, that there are very many who would not fail in the search, if they would but hope for success in it, and knew the degree of their capabilities for it.

It cannot be denied denied that he has had many exceptional ideas, and that he is a highly intelligent man. For my part, however, I have always been taught to take a broad broad overview of things, in order to be able able to deduce deduce from them general rules, which might be applicable elsewhere.

The dreams we imagine when we are asleep asleep should not in any way make us doubt the truth of the thoughts we have when we are awake.

For indeed indeed when painters themselves wish to represent represent sirens and satyrs [20] by means means of especially especially bizarre bizarre forms, they surely cannot assign to them utterly utterly new natures. Rather, Rather, they simply fuse together the members of various various animals. Or if perhaps perhaps they concoct something so utterly utterly novel novel that nothing like it has ever been seen before (and thus is something utterly utterly fictitious fictitious and false), yet certainly certainly at the very least the colors from which they fashion it ought to be true. And

The first was never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such; that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, prejudice, and to comprise comprise nothing more in my judgment than what was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly distinctly as to exclude exclude all ground of doubt.

For the very fact that my knowledge is increasing little by little is the most certain certain argument for its imperfection.

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