Quotes By Complete Works

“What a strange thing that which men call pleasure seems to be, and how astonishing the relation it has with what is thought to be its opposite, namely pain! A man cannot have both at the same time. Yet if he pursues and catches the one, he is almost always bound to catch the other also, like two creatures with one head.”


“Knowledge is prior to any particular knowledge, and exists not in the previous state of the individual, but of the race. It is potential, not actual, and can only be appropriated by strenuous exertion.”


“There is no need, however, to be angry at this ambition of theirs-- which may be forgiven; for every man ought to be loved who says and manfully pursues and works out anything which is at all like wisdom: at the same time we shall do well to see them as they really are.”


“The clearest argument against Plato’s authorship is probably that Plato never wrote a work whose interpretation was as simple and straightforward as that of Alcibiades.”


“The ordinary logic is also jealous of the explanation of negation as relation, because seeming to take away the principle of contradiction. Plato, as far as we know, is the first philosopher who distinctly enunciated this principle; and though we need not suppose him to have been always consistent with himself, there is no real inconsistency between his explanation of the negative and the principle of contradiction. Neither the Platonic notion of the negative as the principle of difference, nor the Hegelian identity of Being and Not-being, at all touch the principle of contradiction. For what is asserted about Being and Not-Being only relates to our most abstract notions, and in no way interferes with the principle of contradiction employed in the concrete. Because Not-being is identified with Other, or Being with Not-being, this does not make the proposition 'Some have not eaten' any the less a contradiction of 'All have eaten.”


“To refer a subject to a negative class is unmeaning, unless the 'not' is a mere modification of the positive, as in the example of 'not honourable' and 'dishonourable'; or unless the class is characterized by the absence rather than the presence of a particular quality.”