Philosophical Friday

It seems that philosophy and philosophers have been around since man first walked the earth and they have all had something to say about life. Recently I came across a site that listed the 11 Most Important Philosophical Quotations. Here are three of them and my reflections concerning them:
  • “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
    I find that it is so easy to live without passion and simply eke out an existence. In truth these past few years have been some of the hardest for me. Life has been tough and passion has seemed so hard to lay hold of. Lately there have glimmers of passion arising in my soul. I am thankful for that.
  • “The life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” – Thomas Hobbes
    The older I get the more that I understand what this is saying. Sometimes I feel so alone. Looking back life has seemed to be short. Yet I continue to awake with hope in my heart. Even in hard times beauty is there.
  • “I think therefore I am.” – René Descartes
    Sadly, I embraced this thought for most of my life and lived mostly from my mind. If life has taught me any thing it has taught me that life is all about the inner heartfelt stuff. In my opinion brainy logic and knowledge are no match for the wisdom and compassion of the heart. I am glad that I finally got it.
Philosophically speaking I think that our lives are entwined with the good and the bad. How we deal with the good times speaks much about how we will handle the bad. If we are self focused during our good times we may find it difficult to deal with the bad times. But if during the good times we find ways to direct our focus away from ourselves we may experience something different in the bad times.

Many of us live lives wrapped up in hedonism and narcissism and it is very difficult to change. I think that the time to change is during the good times but, alas, there is often little motivation to change when things are going well. A benefit of going through bad times is that we are often forced to change - not that it is a pleasant experience.

What do you think? Any philosophical thoughts to share on the Friday?


  1. I am no Philosopher ~~ Leave that to you and Don ~~ But I do believe in Self Examination on a daily basis.

    The last verse in Psalm 139 says "Search me O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

    I'm a simple woman ~~ But if this prayer is prayed in faith daily, the Lord reveals the changes we need to make, the the things we are doing right.

    I agree, examining out hearts in difficult times is harder! But in the good times, I'm often convicted of pride.

    I really enjoyed these quotes, and especially your comments.

    Have a great weekend, Bob.

  2. Mmm, hedonism. I love it. It's second only to morality and the people I love in my life. :)

    Interesting post. I've read both the Socrates (well, really Plato on Socrates since Socrates didn't write) and Descartes works that contained those quotes. The Hobbes one is from Leviathan, which is on my shelf and my reading list. I find it particular that you associate an examined life with having passion. I think what Socrates was talking about at his sentencing was allowing one's self and others to question one's own beliefs - especially what we believe about our own virtues. "Am I good person", "What do I really know", "Is there anything I'm truly good at?" Based on what I occasionally read on your blog, I would venture to guess that you do, indeed, live an examined life in the Socratic sense.

    Descartes' "Cogito ergo sum," is an oft misunderstood quote. What it means that if one wonder's about one's own existence, then the very act of wondering proves that one exists! After all, what is doing the wondering if there's nothing there. It actually has nothing to do with how one thinks (logically, emotionally, etc.), but that one is thinking. That insight - the proof of one's self even in the face of the possibility of all else being false and illusionary - has underpinned all of Western epistemology since.

    I'll get back to you on Hobbes. :)

  3. @Wanda - Love that verse in Psalm 139.

    @sid - I think that my thought about passion was probably more about my own self examination at that moment than it was about the quote itself. Look forward to your thoughts on the Hobbes quote. :)


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