"Seeing then that truth consisteth in the right ordering of names in our affirmations, a man that seeketh precise truth, had need to remember what every name he uses stands for; and to place it accordingly; or else he will find himself entangled in words, as a bird in lime-twigs; the more he struggles, the more belimed."
"True and false are attributes of speech not of things. And where speech is not, there is neither truth nor falsehood. Error theremay be, as when we expect that which shall not be; or suspect what has not been: but in neither case can a man be charged with untruth."
"People accept a representation in which the elements of wish and fantasy are purposely included but which nevertheless proclaims to represent "the past" and to serve as a guide-rule for life, thereby hopelessly confusing the spheres of knowledge and will."
"Reason, in a strict sense, as meaning the judgment of truth and falsehood, can never, of itself, be any motive to the will, and can have no influence but so far as it touches some passion or affection. Abstract relations of ideas are the object of curiosity, not of volition. And matters of fact, where they are neither good nor evil, where they neither excite desire nor aversion, are totally indifferent, and whether known or unknown, whether mistaken or rightly apprehended, cannot be regarded as any motive to action."
"To invent without scruple a new principle to every new phenomenon, instead of adapting it to the old; to overload our hypothesis with a variety of this kind, are certain proofs that none of these principles is the just one, and that we only desire, by a number of falsehoods, to cover our ignorance of the truth."
"A person, seasoned with a just sense of the imperfections of natural reason, will fly to revealed truth with the greatest avidity:while the haughty Dogmatist, persuaded that he can erect a compleat system of Theology by the mere help of philosophy, disdains any further aid, and rejects this adventitious instructor."
"But then people don't read literature in order to understand; they read it because they want to re-live the feelings and sensations which they found exciting in the past. Art can be a lot of things; but in actual practice, most of it is merely the mental equivalent of alcohol and cantharides."
"To say that an idea is necessary is simply to affirm that we cannot conceive the contrary; and the fact that we cannot conceive the contrary of any belief may be a presumption, but is certainly no proof, of its truth."
"But speak the truth, and all nature and all spirits help you with unexpected furtherance. Speak the truth, and all things alive orbrute are vouchers, and the very roots of the grass underground there do seem to stir and move to bear you witness."
"For all men live by truth, and stand in need of expression. In love, in art, in avarice, in politics, in labor, in games, we studyto utter our painful secret. The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression."
"The solar system has no anxiety about its reputation, and the credit of truth and honesty is as safe; nor have I any fear that a skeptical bias can be given by leaning hard on the sides of fate, of practical power, or of trade, which the doctrine of Faith cannot down-weigh."