"Vain is the word of a philosopher by whom no suffering is cured."
"Things are everywhere and always just as they are in us now."
Leibniz to Lady Damaris Masham, 1704
"Neti neti (not this, not this.)"
"… the concept of ‘mere dead insentient matter’ is an appeal to invincible ignorance. At no time will this expression ever constitute knowledge. Long ago Leibniz saw this with wonderful clarity, but he hid the importance of his insight by interweaving it with some of the most extraordinary fantasies in intellectual history …"
Charles Hartshorne, Physics and Psychics: The Place of Mind in Nature
"Music, states of happiness, mythology, faces belabored by time, certain twilights and certain places try to tell us something, or have said something we should not have missed, or are about to say something; this imminence of a revelation which does not occur is, perhaps, the aesthetic phenomenon."
Jorge Luis Borges
"Das Ich ist unrettbar."
"So far we have spoken only on the level of physical inquiry; now we must move up to the metaphysical by making use of the great principle, not very widely used, which says that nothing comes about without a sufficient reason; that is, that nothing happens without its being possible for someone who understands things well enough to provide a reason sufficient to determine why it is as it is and not otherwise. Given that principle, the first question we are entitled to ask will be why is there something rather than nothing? After all, a nothing is simpler and easier than a something. And moreover, even if we assume that things have to exist, we must be able to give a reason why they have to exist as they are and not otherwise."
Leibniz, Principles of Nature and Grace
Fashionable philosophers: Hume and Leibniz
"An electron, like a disembodied spirit, has no bodily parts – some physicists say it has no spatial extension at all hence its intimates, if any, will be its equals, its neighbor particles, or the larger wholes which they and it constitute. It will be an organic democrat and proletarian, but not an organic aristocrat.
[…] We, on the contrary, feel chiefly our bodies, and through these, other things. Just this indirectness of feeling, mediated by entities of lesser power and complexity than oneself, is what is meant by having a body. To have no body is to have no inferior servants immediately bound to one’s own purposes and feelings."
Charles Hartshorne, Organic and Inorganic Wholes
"There is nothing that revolts our moral sense so much as cruelty. Every other offence we can pardon, but not cruelty. The reason is found in the fact that cruelty is the exact opposite of Compassion. When we hear of intensely cruel conduct, as, for instance, the act, which has just been recorded in the papers, of a mother, who murdered her little son of five years, by pouring boiling oil into his throat, and her younger child, by burying it alive; or what was recently reported from Algiers: how a casual dispute between a Spaniard and an Algerine ended in a fight; and how the latter, having vanquished the other, tore out the whole of his lower jaw bone, and carried it off as a trophy, leaving his adversary still alive; — when we hear of cruelty like this, we are seized with horror, and exclaim : “How is it possible to do such a thing?” Now, let me ask what this question signifies. Does it mean: “How is it possible to fear so little the punishments of the future life?” It is difficult to admit this interpretation. Then perhaps it intends to say: “How is it possible to act according to a principle which is so absolutely unfitted to become a general law for all rational beings?” Certainly not. Or, once more: “How is it possible to neglect so utterly one’s own perfection as well as that of another?” This is equally unimaginable. The sense of the question is assuredly nothing but this: “How is it possible to be so utterly bereft of compassion?” The conclusion is that when an action is characterised by an extraordinary absence of compassion, it bears the certain stamp of the deepest depravity and loathsomeness. Hence Compassion is the true moral incentive."
Schopenhauer, On the basis of morality
"Will and understanding are one and the same."
"Don’t grieve for me, for I am about to satisfy my curiosity about things that even Leibniz was never able to explain—space, the infinite, being, and nothingness—and for my husband, the king, I am about to provide a funeral-spectacle that will give him a new opportunity to display his pomposity and splendor!"
Sophie Charlotte (Electress of Brandenburg, Queen Consort of Prussia) on her deathbed
"NO OBJECTS ARE CONTRARY TO EACH OTHER BUT EXISTENCE AND NON-EXISTENCE."
Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature