Index:

Michel De Montaigne

1.2 Death
1.3 On how to live a proactive life
1.4 Even a base soul can attain the calm virtue from Socrates
1.5 Upon the highest throne in the world, we are seated, still upon our asses.
1.6 We are never the same person
1.7 Appreciate your memories 
1.8 Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of discords as well as of different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud.
1.9 Our most great and glorious achievement is to live our life fittingly
1.10 On beliefs
1.11 The human side
1.12 The pleasure of uncertainty
1.13 How he lives day by day
1.14 Diversity is the essence of humans

1.15 We are but blockheads
1.16 The difficulty to educate children
1.17 The qualities a kid must have
1.18 The will
1.19 First you master then you talk
1.20 On how age can affect us. Puts more wrinkles in the mind than in the face
1.21 On death
1.22 The length of life
1.23 Sleep
1.24 Virtue is achieved by control and no effort
1.25 The hardest virtue is in everyday actions
1.26 
Truth is no wiser for being ancient
1.27 Joy with the acceptance of a stoic
1.28 On the right way to feel pleasure
1.29 In lonely places be a crowd inside yourself.
1.30 Love is knowing how to seize an opportunity.
1.31 The cure of ignorance
1.32 There are more books on books than on any other subject: all we do is gloss each other.
1.33 There is no true merit
1.34 The famous Architect 
1.35 What indigenous people thought from civilization at that time 
1.36 On Alexander age 

1.37 On Labineus
1.38 A example of courage and endurance
1.39 The king of Peru
1.40 Priest who changed sexes
1.41 How you swear
1.42 Year shorten

Lucretius 

1.1Nothing comes from nothing
1.2 Nature resolves all things back into their elements and never reduces anything to nothing
1.3 Motion
1.4 Shapes, color, and weight
1.5 Aliens
1.6 Change
1.7 To explore or not
1.8 The true face of a friend
1.9 
On a wasteful life person
1.10 
The never-ending unsatisfaction of humans
1.11 
Lvinin is the same through all ages
1.12 
Relationship with good and evil
1.13 
Language
1.14 
Anxiety
1.15 
Fear
1.16 
How is the image in our mind formed? 
1.17 Creativity
1.18 
Death

Nicoolo Machiavelli

1.1 Avoid
1.2 Bad Fortune is bliss for reputation
1.3 Learn how not to be good
1.4 Better to be bad than good
1.5 An example of the fear that worked 
1.6 How to avoid flattery?
1.7 On how the prince is judged
1.8 How the prince should act in good and bad moments
1.9 
How to know the nature of people?
1.10 
People  are simple-minded
1.11 
The fall of Alexander

 

Aquinas

1.1 Reason - How does it work?
1.2 Happiness from philosophy
1.3 Virtue is in choice 
1.4 What is philosophy?
1.5 Life meaning
1.6 It comes from nothing
1.7 What they are? 
1.8 Principles of life Of Humans 
1.9 The active power 
1.10 What is Eternity
1.11 What is the present time? 
1.12 How God perceives Time
1.13 God
1.14 A critic of God’s existence
1.15 A defense on gods existence
1.16 Why God allows Evil
1.17 A critic of God’s given evil acts 
1.18 Knowing God 
1.19 Where is the divine
1.20 Divine is in imagination

1.1 Death

We are born for action: When I die, may I be in the midst of my work. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.27)

1.2 On how to live a proactive life

What is us of providing yourself with pain if you do not know what to paint? No man sketches out a definite plan for his life; we only determine bits of it. The bowman must first know what he is aiming at: then he has to prepare hand, bow, bowstring, arrow, and his drill to that end. Our projects go astray because they are not addressed to a target. No wind is right for a seaman who has no predetermined harbor. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.130)

1.3 Even a base soul can attain the calm virtue from Socrates

All remain human. Montaigne accepts that view. So even a mediocre human soul and a splendid one remain, as it were, in touch with each other. Each can understand the other. Even a base soul can, in some circumstances, attain momentarily the calm virtue which Socrates could sustain throughout his adult life. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.XiV)

1.4 Upon the highest throne in the world, we are seated, still upon our asses.

Upon the highest throne in the world, we are seated, still upon our asses. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.xxi)
A fine thing to get up on stilts: for even on stilts we must ever walk with our legs! And upon the highest throne in the world, we are seated, still, upon our asses. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.426)

1.5 Plato and I see and understand the same way

Truth and reason are common to all: they no more belong to the man who first put them into words than to him who last did so. Plato and I see and understand the same way. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P. 44)

1.6 We are never the same person

We are entirely made up of bits and pieces, woven together so diversely and so shapelessly that each one of them pulls its own way at every moment. And there is as much difference between us and ourselves as there is between us and other people. [Let me convince you that it is a hard task to be always the same man. ] (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.131)

1.7 Appreciate your memories 

[To be able to enjoy your former life again is to live twice.] (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.262)

1.8 Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of discords as well as of different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud.

We must learn to suffer whatever we cannot avoid. Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of discords as well as of different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud. If a musician liked only some of them, what could he sing? He has got to know how to use all of them and blend them together. So too must we with good and ill, which are of one substance with our life. Without such blending, our being can be: one category is no less necessary than the other. To assay kicking against natural necessity is to reproduce the mad deed of Ctesiphon who, to a kicking match, challenged his mule. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.394)

1.9 Our most great and glorious achievement is to live our life fittingly

Our duty is to bring order to our morals, not to the materials for a book: not to win provinces in battle but order and tranquillity for the conduct of our life. Our most great and glorious achievement is to live our life fittingly. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.415)

1.10 On beliefs

A belief is like an impression stamped on our soul: the softer and less resisting the soul, the easier it is to print anything on it:[For just as a weight placed on a balance must weight it down, so the mind must yield to clear evidence.]. The more empty a soul is and the less furnished with counterweights, the more easily its balance will be swayed under the force of its first convictions. That is why children, the common people, women, and the sick are more readily led by the nose. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.74)

1.11 The human side

Those humor soaring to transcendence terrify me as do great unapproachable heights, and for me, nothing in the life of Socrates is so awkward to digest as his ecstasies and his demonizes, and nothing about Plato so human as what is alleged for calling him divine. [B] And of [C] our [B] disciplines it is those which ascend the highest which, it seems to me, are the most [C] base and [B] earthbound. I can find nothing so [C] abject [B] and so mortal in the life of Alexander as his fantasies about [C] his immobilization. [B] Philotas, in a retort, he made in a letter, showed his mordant wit when congratulating Alexander on his being placed among the gods by the oracle of Jupiter Ammon: ‘As far as you are concerned I’m delighted,’ he said, ‘but there is reason to pity those men who will have to live with a man, and obey a man, who [C] trespasses beyond, and cannot be content with, [B] the measure of a man’:
[Because you hold yourself lower than the gods, you hold imperial sway.]
(Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.425)

1.12 The pleasure of uncertainty

The understanding of lanaguage

Only fools have made up their minds and are certain: For doubting pleases me as much as knowing. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.44)

1.13 How he lives day by day

The brush-strokes of my portrait do not go away even though they do change and vary. The world is but a perennial see-saw. Everything in it - the land, the mountains of the Caucasus, the pyramids of Egypt - all waver with a common motion and their own. Constancy itself is nothing but a more languid rocking to and fro. I am unable to stabilize my subject: it staggers confusedly along with a natural drunkenness. I grasp it as it is now, at this moment when I am lingering over it. I am not portraying being but becoming: not the passage from one age to another (or, as the folk put it, from one seven-year period to the next) but from day to day, from minute to minute. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.232)

1.14 Diversity is the essence of humans

They hold to other notions or parties that, on the contrary, just as the most general style followed by Nature is variety - [C] even more in minds than in bodies, since minds are of a more malleable substance capable of accepting more forms - [ A ] I find it much rarer to see our humours and [C] purposes [A] coincide. In the whole world, there have never been two identical opinions any more than two identical [C] hairs or seeds. [A] Their most universal characteristic is diversity. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.231)

1.15 We are but blockheads

To learn that we have said or done a stupid thing is nothing: we must learn a more ample and important lesson: that we are but blockheads. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.376)

1.16 The difficulty to educate children

That the greatest and the most important difficulty known to human learning seems to lie in that area which treats how to bring up children and how to educate them. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.41)

1.17 The qualities a kid must have

As for our pupil’s talk, let his virtue and his sense of right and wrong shine through it and have no guide but reason. Make him understand that confessing an error which he discovers in his own argument even when he alone has noticed it is an act of justice and integrity, which are the main qualities he pursues; stubbornness and rancour are vulgar qualities, visible in common souls whereas to think again, to change one’s mind and to give up a bad case in the heat of the argument are rare qualities showing strength and wisdom. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.48)

1.18 The will

He should be able to do anything but want to do only what is good. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.61)
[There is a great difference between not wanting to do evil and not knowing how to. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.61)

1.19 First you master then you talk

The Athenians had to choose between two architects to take charge of a large building project. The first one was the more fly and presented himself with a fine prepared speech about the job to be done; he won the favour of the common people. The other architect merely spoke two or three words: “Gentlemen of Athens: what he said, I will do.’ (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.65)

1.20 On how age can affect us. Puts more wrinkles in the mind than in the face

What we call wisdom is the moroseness of our humour and our distaste for things as they are now. But in truth, we do not so much give up our vices as change them - for the worse , if you ask me. Apart from silly tottering pride, boring babble, prickly unsociable humour, superstition and a ridiculous concern for wealth when we have lost the use of it, I find that there are more envy and unfairness and malice; age sets more wrinkles on our minds than on our faces. You can find no souls - or very few - which as they grow old do not stink of rankness and of rot. It is the man as a whole that marches towards his flower and his fading. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.246)

1.21 On death

There is no place where death cannot find us - even if we constantly twist our heads about in all directions as in a suspect land: ‘Quae quasi saxum Tantalo sempre impendent.’ [It is like the rock forever hanging over the head of Tantalus.] Our assizes often send prisoners to be executed at the scene of their crimes. On the way there, take them past fair mansions and ply them with good cheer as much as you like. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.20)

1.22 The length of life

Aristotle says that there are tiny creatures on the river Hypanis whose life lasts one single day: those which die at eight in the morning die in youth; those which die at five in the evening die of senility. Which of us would not laugh if so momentary a span counted as happiness or unhappiness? Yet if we compare our own span against eternity or even against the span of mountains, rivers, stars, trees or, indeed, of some animals, then saying shorter or longer becomes equally ridiculous. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.30)

1.23 Sleep

Alexander said that he acknowledged he was a mortal because of sleep and his activity: sleep stifles and suppresses the faculties of our souls; the 1ob’ similarly devours and disperses them. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.305)

1.24 Virtue is achieved by control and no effort

What makes true virtue highly valued is the ease, usefulness and pleasure we find in being virtuous: so far from it being difficult, children can be virtuous as well as adults; the simple, as well as the clever. The means virtue uses is control, not effort. Socrates, the foremost of her darlings, deliberately renounced effort so as to glide along with her easy natural progress. She is a Mother who nurtures human pleasures: by making them just she makes them sure and pure; by making them moderate they never pant for breath or lose their savour; by cutting away those which she denies us she sharpens our appreciation of those she leaves us. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.56)

1.25 The hardest virtue is in everyday actions

Rare is the life that remains ordinate even in privacy. Anyone can take part in a farce and act the honest man on the trestles: but to be right-ruled within, in your bosom, where anything is licit, where everything is hidden - that’s what matters. The nearest to that is to be so in your home, in your everyday actions for which you are accountable to nobody; there is no striving there, no artifice. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.236)

1.26 Truth is no wiser for being ancient

What shall we do with those people who will receive only printed testimony, who will not believe anyone who is not in a book, nor truth unless it is properly aged? [C] We set our stupidities in dignity when we set them in print. [B] For these people there is far more weight in saying, ‘I have read that ... ‘ than if you say, ‘I have heard tell that . . . ‘ But I (who have the same distrust of a man’s pen as his tongue; who know that folk writes with as little discretion as they talk and who esteem this age as much as any other former one) as willingly cite a friend of mine as Aulus Gellius or Macrobius, and what I have seen as what they have written. [C] And just as it is held that duration does not heighten virtue, I similarly reckon that truth is no wiser for being more ancient. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.384)

1.27 Joy with the acceptance of a stoic

I want to show myself to have been uniform and to be seen as such. If I had to live again, I would live as I have done; I neither regret the past nor fear the future. And unless I deceive myself, things within have gone much the same as those without. One of my greatest obligations to my lot is that the course of my physical state has ·brought each thing in due season. I have known the blade, the blossom and the fruit; and I now know their witheringly. Happily so, since naturally so. I can bear more patiently the ills that I have since they come in due season, and since they also make me recall with more gratitude the long-lasting happiness of my former life. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.245)

1.28 On the right way to feel pleasure

Is there some pleasure that thrills me? I do not allow it to be purloined by my senses: I associate my Soul with it, not so that she will [C] bind herself to it172 [B] but take joy in it: not losing herself but finding herself in it; her role is to observe herself as mirrored in that happy state, to weigh that happiness, gauge it and increase it. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.420)

1.29 In lonely places be a crowd inside yourself.

We should have wives, children, property and, above all, good health... If we can: but we should not become so attached to them that our happiness depends on them. We should set aside a room, just for ourselves, at the back of the shop, keeping it entirely free and establishing there our true liberty, our principal solitude, and asylum. Within it our normal conversation should be of ourselves, with ourselves, so private that no commerce or communication with the outside world should find a place where we should talk and laugh as though we had no wife, no children, no possessions, no followers, no menservants so that when the occasion arises that we must lose them it should not be a new experience to do without them. We have a soul able to turn in on herself; she can keep herself company; she has the wherewithal to attack, to defend, to receive, and to give. Let us not fear that in such a solitude as that we shall be crouching in painful idleness. [In lonely places, be a crowd unto yourself]. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.100)

1.30 Love is knowing how to seize an opportunity.

Oh , what a mad advantage lies in the opportune moment! If anyone were to ask me what is the first quality needed in love I would reply knowing how to seize an opportunity. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.291)

1.31 The cure of ignorance

Anyone who wishes to be cured of ignorance must first admit to it: [ C] Iris is the daughter of Thaumantis: amazement is the foundation of all philosophy; inquiry, its way of advancing; and ignorance is its end. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.356)

1.32 There are more books on books than on any other subject: all we do is gloss each other.

It is more of a business to interpret the interpretations than to interpret the texts, and there are more books on books than on any other subject: all we do is gloss each other. [C] All is a-swarm with commentaries: of authors there is a dearth. Is not learning to understand the learned the chief and most celebrated thing that we learn nowadays! Is that not the common goal, the ultimate goal, of all our studies? (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.369)

1.33 There is no true merit

Our opinions graft themselves on to each other. The first serves as stock for the second, the second for a third. And so we climb up, step by step. It thus transpires that the one who has climbed highest often has more honour than he deserves, since he has only climbed one speck higher on the shoulders of his predecessor. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.369)

1.34 The famous Architect 

The Athenians had to choose between two architects to take charge of a large building project. The first one was the more fly and presented himself with a fine prepared speech about the job to be done; he won the favour of the common people. The other architect merely spoke two or three words: “Gentlemen of Athens: what he said, I will do.’ (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.65)

1.35 What indigenous people thought from civilization at that time 

The King had a long interview with them (Indians): they were shown manners, out ceremonial and the layout of a fair city. Then someone asked them what they thought of all this and wanted to know what they had been most amazed by. They made three points’ I am very annoyed with myself for forgetting the third, but I still remember two of them. In the first place they said (probably referring to the Swiss guard) that they found it very odd that all those full-grown bearded men, strong and bearing arms in the King’s entourage, should consent to obey a boy rather than choosing one of themselves as a Commander; secondly - since they have an idiom in their language which calls all men “halves” of one another - that they had noticed that there were among us men fully bloated with all sorts of comforts while their halves were begging their doors, emaciated with poverty and hunger: they found it odd that destitute halves should put up with such injustice and did not take the others by the throat or set fire to their houses. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.91)

1.36 On Alexander age 

The man who had power to decide everything in the whole world at nineteen wanted a man to be thirty before he could decide where to place a gutter. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.121)

1.37 On Labineus

In Rome there was a figure of great bravery and dignity called Labienus; among other qualities he excelled in every kind of literature; he was, I think, the son of that great Labienus who was the foremost among captains who served under Caesar in the Gallic Wars, subsequently threw in his lot with Pompey the Great and fought for him most bravely until Caesar defeated him in Spain. There were several people who were jealous of the Labienus I am referring to; he also probably had enemies among the courtiers and favourites of the contemporary Emperors for his frankness and for inheriting his father’s innate hostility towards tyranny, which we may believe coloured his books and writing. His enemies prosecuted him before the Roman magistrates and obtained a conviction, requiring several of the books he had published to be burnt. This was the very first case of the death-penalty being inflicted on books and erudition; it was subsequently applied at Rome in several other cases. We did not have means nor matter enough for our cruelty unless we also let it concern itself with things which Nature has exempted from any sense of pain, such as our renown and the products of our minds, and unless we inflicted physical suffering on the teaching and the documents of the Muses. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.166)

1.38 A example of courage and endurance

Epicharis, having glutted and exhausted the cruelty of Nero’s attendants and withstood for one full day their burning brands, their beatings and their instruments of torture without revealing a word of her conspiracy, was brought back to the rack the next day with her limbs all shattered: she slipped the cord from her dress through the arm of a chair, made a running knot, thrust her head through it and hanged herself by the weight of her body. Having as she did the courage to die thus after having endured those first tortures, does she not appear to have deliberately lent herself to that trial of her endurance in order to mock that tyrant and to encourage others to make a plot against him similar to her own? (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.189)

1.39 The king of Peru

The last two kings whom the Spaniards hounded were kings over many kings, the most powerful kings in that new world and perhaps also in our own.
The first was the King of Peru. He was captured in battle and put to so huge a ransom that it defies all belief; he paid it faithfully and showed by his dealings that he was of a frank, noble and steadfast heart, a man of honest and tranquil mind. The Conquistadores, having already extracted gold weighing one million three hundred and twenty-five thousand five hundred ounces (not counting silver and other booty amounting to no less, so that afterwards they even used solid gold to shoe their horses), were seized with the desire to discover what remained of the treasures of that king, no matter what it cost them in bad faith, [C] and to make free with whatever he had kept back. [B] They fabricated false evidence, accusing him of planning to get his territories to rise up in revolt and to set him free. Whereupon - a beautiful sentence, delivered by those who had got up this act of treachery! - he was condemned to be publicly hanged until he was dead, having first been compelled to buy off the agony of being burned alive at the stake by accepting baptism - which was administered to him while he was being tortured. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.346)

But since nothing of value could be extorted from them, their hears being stronger than the tortures, the Spaniards finally fell into such a fit of madness that, contrary to their word and to the law of nations, they sentenced the King and one of the chief lords of his court to be tortured in each other’s sight. That lord, overcome with pain, surrounded by blazing braziers, finally turned his gaze piteously towards his sovereign, as if to beg [C] forgiveness because he could stand it no longer. [B] That King32 proudly and severely fixed his eyes on him to reproach him for his cowardice and faint-heartedness and simply said these words in a firm hoarse voice: ‘What about me? Am I having a bath? Am I any more at ease than you are?’ Straightforward afterwards that lord succumbed to the pain and died where he was. The King was borne away, half-roasted, not so much out of pity (for what pity could ever touch the souls of men who, for dubious information about some golden vessel or other that they would pillage, would grill a man before their very eyes, not to mention a King of so great a destiny and merit) but because his constancy rendered their cruelty more and more humiliating. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.347)
 
The peoples of the Kingdom of Mexico were somewhat more urban and more cultured than the other peoples over there. In addition, like us, they judged that the world was nearing its end, taking as a portent of this the desolation that we visited upon them. They believed that the world’s existence was divided into five periods, each as long as the life of five successive suns. Four suns had already done their time, the one shining on them now being the fifth. The first sun perished with all other creatures in a universal Flood; the second, by the sky falling on mankind and choking every living thing (to which age they ascribed giant men, showing the Spaniards bones of men of such proportion that they must have stood twenty spans high); the third, by a fire which engulfed and burnt everything; the fourth, by a rush of air and wind which flattened everything including several mountains; human beings were not killed by it but changed into baboons (what impressions cannot be stamped on the receptive credulity of men!). After the death of that fourth sun the world was in perpetual darkness for twenty-five years, during the fifteenth of which was created a man and a woman who remade the human race. Ten years later, on a particular day which they observe, the sun appeared, newly created; they count their years from that day. On the third day after it was created their old gods died; new gods were subsequently born from time to time. My authority could learn nothing about how they believed this fifth sun will die. But their dating of that fourth change tallies with that great conjunction of the planets which (eight hundred years ago, according to the reckoning of our astrologers) produced many great changes and innovations in the world. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.349)

Instead of using coaches or vehicles of any kind they have themselves carried on the shoulders of men. The day he was captured, that last King of Peru was in the midst of his army, borne seated on a golden chair suspended from shafts of gold. The Spaniards in their attempts to topple him (as they wanted to take him alive) killed many of his bearers, but many more vied to take the places of the dead , so that , no matter how many they slaughtered, they could not bring him down until a mounted soldier dashed in, grabbed hold of him and yanked him to the ground. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.350)

1.40 Priest who changed sexes

We realize that women have an incomparably greater capacity for the act of love than we do and desire it more ardently - and we know that this fact was attested in Antiquity by that priest who had been first a man and then a woman:

Venus huic erat utraque nota.

[He knew Venus from both angles.]*

* 38, Tiresias, who changed sex a frequently cited example : cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses, III, 323; then, Juvenal, Satires , VI, 128-9; the Emperor was Proculus, t_he Empress, Messalina, the consort of Claudius. (Cf. Tiraquellus, De legibus com,ubialibus, IX, 94 for Messalina, and XV, 92 for Proculus.)

(Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.277)

1.41 How you swear

When I swear my own way it is always ‘By God’ - which is the most direct of all

the oaths. They say that Socrates used to swear ‘By dog’; Zeno ‘By goats’ (the same exclamation used today by the Italians, Cappan); Pythagoras, ‘By air and by water’. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.303)

1.42 Year shorten

In France, some two or three year ago now, they shortened the year by ten days. (Michel De Montaigne: The Essays - A Selection (Penguin) P.351)

 

Lucretius 

1.1Nothing comes from nothing
That nothing ever by divine power comes from nothing. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.7)

1.2 Nature resolves all things back into their elements and never reduces anything to nothing
The next great principle is this: that nature Resolves all things back into their elements And never reduces anything to nothing. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.9)


1.3 Motion
The universe contains many other worlds besides ours, and none are made by gods. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p. 5)

1.4 Shapes, color, and weight
The number of similar shapes must be infinite, Or else the sum of matter would be finite, which I have proved it not to be, and in my verses Have shown that the universe is held together From infinity by particles of matter In an endless chain of impacts everywhere. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.51)

1.5 Aliens
If there exists so great a store of atoms (...) And if she same great force of nature stands Ready to throw the seeds of things together (...) Then of necessary, you must accept That other earths exist, in other places, With varied tribes of men and breeds of beasts. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.65)

1.6 Change
The sum of things Is thus forever renewed, and mortals live By mutual interchange one from another. Some races increase, another fade away, And in short space the breeds of living creatures Change, and like runners pass on the torch of life. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.38)

1.7 To explore or not
Earth teems with wild beasts and is filled with fear Through forests and great mountains and deep thickets: Though as a rule, it lies within our power To show these places and leave them unvisited. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.138)

1.8 The true face of a friend
Thus, when in perils and adversity A man has fallen, it’s more useful than To look at him and easier to know him. For only then from out the heart's deep core True voices rise, the mask’s stripped off, the man Remains. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.71)

1.9 
On a wasteful life person
Already, while you live and see, your life Is all but dead, you waste most of your time in sleep. You snore while wide awake; and dream incessantly; and always in your mind you’re plagued with fear that’s meaningless, and often you can’t make out what is wrong with you, oppressed, you drunken wretch, by cares on every side, and drift on shifting tides of fantasy. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.99)

1.10 
The never-ending unsatisfaction of humans
A certain end of life is fixed for men. There is no escape from death and must die. Again, we live and move and have our being In the same place always, and no new pleasures By living longer can be hammered out. But while we can’t get what we want, that seems Of all things most desirable. Once got, We must haw something else. One constant thirst of life besets us open-mouthed. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.100)

1.11 
Lvinin is the same through all ages
Live though you may through all ages that you wish, No less that eternal death will still await, And no less long a time will be no more He who today from light his exit made Than he who perished months and years ago. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.100)

1.12 
Relationship with good and evil
Every animal, as soon as it is born, seeks for pleasure and delights in it as the Chief Good, while it recoils from pain as the Chief Evil and so far as possible avoids it. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.xx)

1.13 
Language
In truth I think the world is young and new And in quite recent time its life began see even now some arts are being refined And others springing up and growing; in ships Many new things have now been done, and lately Musicians found out tuneful harmonies. Yes, and the nature and order of this world In recent time has been discovered, and this I now myself the very first am found Able to tell it in our native tongue. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.146)


Therefore to think that someone then alloted Names to things, and that men learnt words from him, Is folly. Why should we think that this man had the power To mark all things with voices and to utter The various sounds of speech, and not believe That others had the power to do the same? (...) Whence was the concept of this usefulness Implanted in him, whence first came the power To picture in his mind what he should do? (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.166)

1.14 
Anxiety
A joy it is, when the strong winds of storm Stir up the waters of a mighty sea, To watch from shore the troubles of another. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.36)

1.15 
Fear
Our lives in very truth Are but an endless labour in the dark, For we, like children labour in the dark. For we, like children Frightened of the dark, Are sometimes frightened of the dark, Are sometimes frightened in the light-of things No more to be feared than fears that the dark Distress a child, thinking they may came true. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.37)

1.16 
How is the image in our mind formed? 
The first question is, why is it that the mind, As soon as it fancies something, thinks of it? Is there an image that waits upon our will and as soon as we wish presents itself to us, of sea or land, as we may choose, or sky? (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.123)

1.17 Creativity
What things move the mind (...) that images of things Many in many modes wander about In all directions, thin, and easily Unite when they meet in the air, like spiders, webs Or leaf of gold, of texture much more thin Than those which strikes the eyes and provoke vision. For they penetrate the chinks of the body and stir The thin substance of the mind and provoke sensation. Centaurs and mermaids in this way we see. (...) For images of every kind fly everywhere (...) No image of centauros came from life (...) But when the images of man and horse Happen to meet, they easily adhere Because of their subtle nature and thin texture. All things of this kind are made in this way As I showed before, any one of these fine images By a single touch can easily move the mind (...) what in the mind we see Like what we see with our eyes - it needs must be That both are caused by similar processes. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.121)

1.18 
Death
Death does not destroy things when they die So as to bring destruction to their atoms, But breaks their combination everywhere, And then makes new conjunctions, making all things. (Lucretius: On the Nature of the Universe - Oxford- p.64)

 

Nicoolo Machiavelli

1.1 Avoid
That nothing is so unhealthy or unstable as the reputation for power that is not based upon one’s own forces. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.50)

1.2 Bad Fortune is bliss for reputation
Without a doubt, the prince becomes great when they overcome difficulties and obstacles imposed upon them. And therefore, Fortune - especially when she wishes to increase the reputation of a new prince, who has a greater need to acquire reputation than a hereditary prince does - creates enemies for him, and has them undertake enterprises against him so that he will have the chance to overcome them and to climb higher up the ladder his enemies have brought him. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.74)


1.3 Learn how not to be good
A man who wishes to profess goodness at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good. Therefore, it is necessary for a prince who wishes to maintain himself to learn how not to be good and to use this knowledge or not to use it according to necessity. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.53)

1.4 Better to be bad than good
But since it is difficult to both together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved, when one of the two must be lacking. For one can generally say this about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger, and greedy for grain. While you work for their benefit they are completely your, offering you their blood, their property, their lives, and their sons, as I said above, when the need to do so is far away. But when it draws nearer to you, they turn away. The prince who relies entirely upon their words comes to ruin, finding himself stripped naked of other preparations. For friendships acquired by a price and not owned, and at the proper time cannot be spent. Men are less hesitant about injuring someone who makes himself loved than one who makes himself feared because love is held together by a chain of obligation that, since men are a wretched lot, is broken on every occasion for their own self-interest; but fear is sustained by a dread of punishment that will never abandon you. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.58)

1.5 An example of the fear that worked 
Numbered among the remarkable deeds of Hannibal is this: that while he had a very large army made up of all kinds of men that he commanded in foreign lands, there never arose the slightest dissension, either among themselves or against their leader, both during his periods of good and bad luck. This could not have arisen from anything other than his inhuman cruelty, which, along with his many other virtues, made him always venerable and terrifying in the eyes of his soldiers. Without that quality, his other virtues would not have sufficed to attain the same effect. Having considered this matter very superficially, historians, on the one hand, admire these deeds of his, and on the other condemn the main cause of them. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.59)

1.6 How to avoid flattery?
For there is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that by telling you the truth they will not injure you. But when anyone can tell you the truth, you lose respect. Therefore, a prudent prince should follow the third course, electing wise men for his state and giving only them permission to speak truthfully to him, and only on such matters as he asks them about and not on other subjects. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.82)

1.7 On how the prince is judged
Men in general judge more by their eyes than their hands: everyone can see, but few can feel. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few touches upon what you are, and those few do not dare to contradict the opinion of the many who have the majesty of the state to defend them. In the actions of all men, and especially of princes, where there is no tribunal to which to appeal, one must consider the final result. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.62)

1.8 How the prince should act in good and bad moments
A prince should live with his subjects in such a way that no unforeseen event, either bad or good, may cause him to alter his course; for when difficulties arise in adverse conditions, you do not have time to resort to cruelty, and the good that you do will help you very little, since it will be judged a forced measure, and you will earn from it no gratitude whatsoever (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.34)


1.9 
How to know the nature of people?
to know the nature of the people well one must be a prince, and to know the nature of princes well one must be of the people. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.xxv)
For men do harm either out of fear or out of hatred. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.30)

1.10 
People  are simple-minded
Men are so simple-minded and so controlled by their immediate needs that he who deceives will always find someone who will let himself deceived. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.61)

1.11 
The fall of Alexander
But let us come to ALexander. He was of such goodness that among the other laudable deed attributed to him is this: in the fourteen years he ruled the empire, he never put anyone to death without a trial. Nevertheless, since he was considered effeminate and a man who let himself be controlled by his mother, he was despised, and as a result, the army plotted against him and murdered him. (The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli - Oxford p.65)

 

 

Aquinas

1.1 Reason - How does it work?
Human reason as such isn’t measured of things, but certain principles imprinted in it provide a general standard of measurement for everything human beings do since our natural reason can lay down standards for such things even if it can’t lay down standards for the products of nature. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.421)

1.2 Happiness from philosophy
Moreover, the ultimate happiness of human beings, as philosophy sees it, consists in knowing the immaterial substances. For since happiness is whatever activity most fulfills us, it ought, as Aristotle suggests, to be concerned with the most perfect objects of intellect. Now the happiness of which philosophers talk is an activity deriving from wisdom since wisdom is the crowing strength and virtue of our most perfect ability, intellect, and that sort of activity is happiness, as Aristotle says. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.40)

1.3 Virtue is in choice 
Good use of our freedom to choose is said to be a virtue in the same sort of way: because virtue is ordered to that as its own proper activity. For the activity of virtue is nothing else than good use of one’s freedom to choose. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.392)

1.4 What is philosophy?
Augustine says, quoting Varro, what other reason is there for doing philosophy but to be happy. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.10)

1.5 Life meaning
Life has two meanings: sometimes it means the living thing’s very existence and that has to do with the substance of the soul, which is the source of existence in living things; but it also means the living thing’s activity, and in this sense, virtue disposes us to live rightly, for it is a virtue that disposes us to act rightly. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.400)

1.6 It comes from nothing
So it is impossible for something to come to be from nothing. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.253)

1.7 What they are? 
Clearly then Socrates' essence differs from human essence only by being demarcated. Socrates, as Ibn Rushd says, is nothing more than animality plus rationality; those are what he is. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.94)

1.8 Principles of life Of Humans 
And so the life-principle of a thing with understanding has to act on its own, with an activity peculiar to itself not shared with the body. And because activity flows from actuality, the understanding soul must possess an existence in and of itself, not dependent on the body. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.188)

1.9 The active power 
Moreover, Augustine and Aristotle say acting is a more excellent thing than being acted on. Now the lowest-level powers of living things-vegetative powers- are all active powers. So a fortiori the highest-level power of living things- understanding- must be active. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.145)

1.10 What is Eternity
According to Aristotle the present moment of time persists unchanged throughout time. But the nature of eternity seems to consist precisely in remaining unbrokenly the same throughout the whole course of time. Eternity then must be the present moment of time. But the present moment of time is in substance identical with time itself. So eternity must be in substance identical with time. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.212)

1.11 What is the present time? 
The present moment persistently underlies time, altering state continuously; just as time corresponds to movement [of the heavens], the present corresponds to what moves, which remains in substance the same throughout time though it alters its position, first here then there, and, by altering its position, moves. Time consists of the passing of the present moment as its alters state. Eternity, however, remains unchanged both in substance and in state, and thus differs from the present of time. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.213)

1.12 How God perceives Time
A convenient illustration may be drawn from space, since, according to Aristotle, the successiveness of time derives from that of change and movement, and that from extended successiveness in space. So if we imagine many people traveling a road, all those traveling will have knowledge of the people in front and behind them, according to their beforeness and afterness in space. And so each traveller will see the people next to him and the people in front, but not the people behind. But id someone is outside the whole traveling situation, standing in some high tower, for example, from which he can see the whole road, then he will have a bird’s-eye view of every traveler, not seeing them as in front or behind in relation to his own seeing, but seeing them all together in front and behind each other. Now since our knowledge occurs within time, either in itself or incidentally (so that when making propositional connections and disconnections we have to add tense, as Aristotle points out), things are known as present or past or future. Present events are known as actually existing and perceptible to the senses in some way; past events are remembered, and future events are not known in themselves- because they don’t yet exist - but can be predicted from their causes. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.282)

1.13 God
Exodus 3 represents God as saying: I am who am. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.199)

1.14 A critic of God’s existence
It seems there is no God: For if one of two mutually exclusive things were to exist unbounded, the other would be totally destroyed. But the word God implies some unbounded good. So if God existed, no evil would ever be encountered. Evil is, however, encountered in the wild. So God does not exist. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.199)

1.15 A defense on gods existence
There are five ways of proving there is a God: (...) we are forced eventually to come to the first cause of change, not itself being changed by anything, and this is what everyone understands by God. (...) We are forced to postulate some first agent cause, to which everyone gives the name God. (...) We are forced to postulate something which of itself must be, owing to this to nothing outside itself, but being itself the cause that other things must be. (...) So everything in nature is directed to its goal by someone with understanding, and this we call God. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.201)
It seems self-evident that God exists: For things of which we are innately aware - first principles, for instance- are said to be self-evident to us. But, as John Damascene says, the awareness that God exists is implanted by nature in everyone. So it is self-evident that God exists. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.196)

1.16 Why God allows Evil
Augustine: Since God is supremely good, he would not allow any evil at all in his works if he wasn’t sufficiently almighty and good to bring good even from evil. It is, therefore, a mark of his unbounded goodness that God allows evils to exist and draws from the good. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.202)

1.17 A critic of God’s given evil acts 
Moreover, what causes a cause causes its effect. So since God causes our free choice and that causes sin, God causes sin. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.290)

1.18 Knowing God 
So then, we know that immaterial forms exist, but instead of knowing what they are we know them through denial, causality, and uplifting, as pseudo-Dinysius puts in. And this is who Boethius understands scrutinizing the divine form itself: not as knowing what God is, but as denying all images. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.40)

1.19 Where is the divine
The unseen things of God have been clearly seen by understanding the things he has made. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.28)

1.20 Divine is in imagination
Aristotle says the intellect can’t operate without images. In divine matters then we must have recourse to the imagination. (Aquinas - Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford) p.39)