British Philosopher Quotes
The art of dharma practice requires commitment, technical accomplishment, and imagination. As with all arts, we will fail to realize its full potential if any of these three are lacking. The raw material of dharma practice is ourself and our world, which are to be understood and transformed according to the vision and values of the dharma itself. This is not a process of self- or world- transcendence, but one of self- and world- creation.
The best figurative poetry speaks not to the frivolous intellect, but (if anything does) straight to the heart; and does it better than plain prose. There seems then to be something which is better said with metaphor than without, which goes straighter to its mark by going crooked, and hits its aim exactly by flying off at tangents.
I loved the opportunity to think about the big questions philosophy asks, and the rigorous way in which philosophy trains the mind to answer them. What is ultimately real? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is there a necessary being or are all beings contingent? What is knowledge and what can we know? Is there something which is objectively right or wrong, or is everything relative? Most people, at some point, will be confronted with some of these questions and will try to answer them in a more or less informal way. Philosophy has been tackling them over the centuries in a formal, rigorous way, engaging in a deep, fascinating, and exciting conversation which continues nowadays.
How far our position is a minority one will differ from person to person here. If we are against factory farms, we are morally condemning widespread and perfectly legal practices involving perhaps the majority of the human community. If we are vegetarians, we hold a position which is very much a minority one. If we are pretty radical anti-vivisectionists, we also hold what seems to be a minority position, involving as it does a radical criticism of the law and the establishment of this country.
Wittgenstein imagined that the philosopher was like a therapist whose task was to put problems finally to rest, and to cure us ofbeing bewitched by them. So we are told to stop, to shut off lines of inquiry, not to find things puzzling nor to seek explanations. This is intellectual suicide.
However far back we may be able to trace the - so to speak - internal history of the Universe, there can be no question of arguing that this or that external origin is either probable or improbable. We do not have, and we necessarily could not have, experience of other Universes to tell us that Universes, or Universes with these particular features, are the work of Gods, or of Gods of this or that particular sort.
The most passionate, consistent, extreme and implacable enemy of the Enlightenment and... all forms of rationalism... was Johann Georg Hamann. His influence, direct and indirect, upon the romantic revolt against universalism and scientific method... was considerable and perhaps crucial.
For Kant, the predisposition to good (like Calvin's 'seed of goodness') is in one way more fundamental to us than the overlying propensity to evil, and in one way it is less fundamental. The predisposition to good is more fundamental because it is essential to us; we cannot lose it without ceasing to be human. The propensity to evil is in that way less fundamental, because we can lose it, and indeed we should lose it, without ceasing to be human. On the other hand, the propensity to evil is in a different way more fundamental. It is our root maxim when we are born.
We've got to reinterrogate our relationship with the EU on the movement of labour. The EU has gone from being a sort of pig farm subsidised bloc to the free movement of labour and capital. Britain is not an outpost of the UN. We have to put the people in this country first.
This swallowing up of life in nothingness, this obliteration of life by nothingness is what the emotion of malice ultimately desires. The eternal conflict between love and malice is the eternal contest between life and death. And this contest is what the complex vision reveals, as it moves from darkness to darkness.