Bertrand Russell Quotes on Man (46 Quotes)


    Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth - more than ruin, more even than death.

    There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths.

    Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. When a man tells you that he knows the exact truth about anything, you are safe in inferring that he is an inexact man.

    The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilised men.

    What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.


    The three main extra-rational activities in modern life are religion, war, and love all these are extra-rational, but love is not anti-rational, that is to say, a reasonable man may reasonably rejoice in its existence

    With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway about the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

    Male superiority in former days was easily demonstrated, because if a woman questioned her husband's he could beat her. From superiority in this respect others were thought to follow. Men were more reasonable than women, more inventive, less swayed b

    Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.

    The need for prostitution arises from the fact that many men are either unmarried or away from their wives on journeys, that such men are not content to remain continent, and that in a conventionally virtuous community they do not find respectable women.

    The idea that men are God's children is one which cannot be conveyed to the Trobriand Islanders, since they do not think that anybody is the child of any male

    There is no need to worry about mere size. We do not necessarily respect a fat man more than a thin man. Sir Isaac Newton was very much smaller than a hippopotamus, but we do not on that account value him less.

    It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go.

    Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.

    Man, condemned today to lose his dearest, tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness

    It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.

    Men who allow their love of power to give them a distorted view of the world are to be found in every asylum one man will think that he is the Governor of the Bank of England, another will think he is the King, and yet another will think he is God.

    Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

    The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice.

    In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.

    William James describes a man who got the experience from laughing-gas whenever he was under its influence, he knew the secret of the universe, but when he came to, he had forgotten it. Atlast, with immense effort, he wrote down the secret before the vision had faded. Whencompletely recovered, he rushed to see what he had written. Itwas 'Asmell of petroleum prevailsthroughout'.

    Owing to the identification of religion with virtue, together with the fact that the most religious men are not the most intelligent, a religious education gives courage to the stupid to resist the authority of educated men.

    Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who'll get the blame.

    Law in origin was merely a codification of the power of dominant groups, and did not aim at anything that to a modern man would appear to be justice

    Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.

    Man is a feeble creature, to whom only submission and worship are besoming. Pride is insolence, and belief in human power is impiety.

    Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one.

    The frequency with which a man experiences lust depends upon his own physical condition, whereas the occasion which rouse such feelings in him depend upon the social conventions to which he is accustomed

    By self-interest, Man has become gregarious, but in instinct he has remained to a great extent solitary hence the need of religion and morality to reinforce self-interest

    Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, the chief glory of man.


    More Bertrand Russell Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - World - Life - Philosophy - Facts - Happiness - Wisdom & Knowledge - Mind - Love - Power - Mathematics - People - Mankind - Belief & Faith - Science - Opinions - Youth - Education - Religions & Spirituality - View All Bertrand Russell Quotations

    Related Authors


    Karl Marx - John Stuart Mill - Jean-Paul Sartre - Heraclitus - Theodor Adorno - Leo Strauss - Guru Nanak - Baruch Spinoza - Baron de Montesquieu - Amartya Sen


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