Bertrand Russell Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old bertrand russell quotes, bertrand russell sayings, and bertrand russell proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


The pure mathematician, like the musician, is a free creator of his world of ordered beauty.     

Bertrand Russell

Vanity is a motive of immense potency.     

Bertrand Russell

What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life.      

Bertrand Russell

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

Bertrand Russell

What men want is not knowledge, but certainty.     

Bertrand Russell

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.     

Bertrand Russell

Calculus required continuity, and continuity was supposed to require the infinitely little; but nobody could discover what the infinitely little might be.     

Bertrand Russell

Dread of disaster makes everybody act in the very way that increases the disaster.     

Bertrand Russell

When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others.     

Bertrand Russell

Something of the hermit's temper is an essential element in many forms of excellence, since it enables men to resist the lure of popularity, to pursue important work in spite of general indifference or hostility, and arrive at opinions which are opposed to prevalent errors.     

Bertrand Russell

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

Bertrand Russell

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.     

Bertrand Russell

Dread of disaster makes everybody act in the very way that increases the disaster.     

Bertrand Russell

Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.     

Bertrand Russell

In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.     

Bertrand Russell

It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals.     

Bertrand Russell

To the primitive mind, everything is either friendly or hostile; but experience has shown that friendliness and hostility are not the conceptions by which the world is to be understood.     

Bertrand Russell

To the primitive mind, everything is either friendly or hostile; but experience has shown that friendliness and hostility are not the conceptions by which the world is to be understood.     

Bertrand Russell

The very best proof that something can be done is that someone has already done it.     

Bertrand Russell

Mystery is delightful, but unscientific, since it depends upon ignorance.     

Bertrand Russell

Half the useful work in the world consists of combating the harmful work.     

Bertrand Russell

An irrational fear should never be simply let alone, but should be gradually overcome by familiarity with its fainter forms.     

Bertrand Russell

Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery.     

Bertrand Russell

Machines have altered our way of life, but not our instincts. Consequently, there is maladjustment.     

Bertrand Russell

Machines deprive us of two things which are certainly important ingredients of human happiness, namely, spontaneity and variety.     

Bertrand Russell

The saviors of the world, society's last hope.     

Bertrand Russell

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.     

Bertrand Russell

The most savage controversies are about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.     

Bertrand Russell

We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: one which we preach, but do not practice, and another which we practice, but seldom preach.     

Bertrand Russell

Ants and savages put strangers to death.     

Bertrand Russell