Here is a list of my favorite quotes. Most are from notable philosophers or literary figures. Several are from Allen W. Wood, my philosophy professor at Stanford.

It is an important truth in moral theory that human life is sufficiently complex that no moral principle formulated simply enough to be useful can be guaranteed free of exceptions. But it is also true that people have a deplorable tendency to use the general truth that moral rules admit of exceptions as a pretext for making exceptions when they should not.
– Allen W. Wood

The only honest option for lovers of innocence is to accept that their love for it simply proves that they have lost it forever, and that their only task now is to face up to the uncanny and abysmal challenge of making some kind of new life for themselves in the bleak, comfortless territory east of Eden that we call the human condition.

– Allen W. Wood

It is a general human failing to rationalize the violation of important moral principles by magnifying the importance of some immediate good to be obtained or evil to be averted.

– Allen W. Wood

In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.
-Albert Camus

It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
-William Clifford

Ordinary people seem not to realize that philosophy, practiced in the proper manner, is learning how to die.
– Plato

For despair the most cherished and desirable place to live is in the heart of happiness.
– Soren Kierkegaard

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish.
– David Hume

They use their capacities, amass money, carry on secular activities, calculate shrewdly, etc., perhaps make a name in history, but themselves they are not; spiritually speaking, they have no self, no self for whose sake they could venture anything, no self before God – however self-seeking they are otherwise.
– Soren Kierkegaard

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing
– Macbeth, Shakespeare

No man is a hero to his valet de chambre, not because the former is not a hero but because the latter is a valet de chambre. The hero as such does not exist for the valet, but for the world, for reality, and for history.
– Hegel

World-historic individuals were not at all concerned with honour and fame, for the ordinary and superficial appearances which had previously been revered are precisely what they would have treated with derision. And only by so doing were they able to fulfill their task, for otherwise they would have remained within the ordinary channels of human existence, and someone else would have accomplished the will of the spirit.
– Hegel

For in proportion to a man’s want of confidence in his own solitary judgment, does he usually repose, with implicit trust, on the infallibility of “the world” in general. And the world, to each individual, means the part of it with which he comes in contact; his party, his sect, his church, his class of society. He devolves upon his own world the responsibility of being in the right against the dissentient worlds of other people; and it never troubles him that mere accident has decided which of these numerous worlds is the object of his reliance, and that the same causes which make him a Churchman in London, would have made him a Buddhist or a Confucian in Pekin.
– J.S. Mill

Where, not the person’s own character, but the traditions or customs of other people are the rule of conduct, there is wanting one of the principal ingredients of human happiness, and quite the chief ingredient of individual and social progress.
– J.S. Mill

It may be better to be a John Knox than an Alcibiades, but it is better to be a Pericles than either; nor would a Pericles, if we had one in these days, be without anything good which belonged to John Knox.
– J.S. Mill

And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat, or a Republican, nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy; all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism, we see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream; we’ve experienced only the American nightmare.

– Malcolm X

Hiero lacked nothing to be a prince save a kingdom, while Perseus had no attribute of a king except his kingdom.
– Niccolo Machiavelli

As an untamed steed bristles his mane, paws the earth with his hoof, and breaks away impetuously at the very approach of the bit, whereas a trained horse patiently endures whip and spur, barbarous man does not bend his head for the yoke that civilized man wears without a murmur, and he prefers the most turbulent freedom to tranquil subjection. Therefore it is not by the degradation of enslaved peoples that man’s natural dispositions for or against servitude must be judged, but by the marvels done by all free peoples to guard themselves from oppression: I know that the former do nothing but boast incessantly of the peace and repose they enjoy in their chains, and that miserrimam servitutem pacem appellant. But when I see the others sacrifice pleasures, repose, wealth, power, and life itself for the preservation of this sole good which is so disdained by those who have lost it; when I see animals born free and despising captivity break their heads against the bars of their prison; when I see multitudes of entirely naked savages scorn European voluptuousness and endure hunger, fire, the sword, and death to preserve only their independence, I feel that it does not behoove slaves to reason about freedom.

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

– A. E. Housman

All my words are like chaff compared to what has been revealed to me

– Thomas Aquinas

Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.

– Hugh Latimer

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. 

– Marcus Aurelius

A franc-tireur is emphatically not a person whose warfare is bound to disgust any soldier. He is emphatically not a type about which a general soldierly spirit feels any bitterness. He is not a perfidious or barbarous or fantastically fiendish foe. On the contrary, a “franc-tireur” is generally a man for whom any generous soldier would be sorry, as he would for an honourable prisoner of war. What is a “franc-tireur”? A “franc-tireur” is a free man, who fights to defend his own farm or family against foreign aggressors, but who does not happen to possess certain badges and articles of clothing catalogued by Prussia in 1870. In other words, a “franc-tireur” is you or I or any other healthy man who found himself, when attacked, in accidental possession of a gun or pistol, and not in accidental possession of a particular cap or a particular pair of trousers. The distinction is not a moral distinction at all, but a crude and recent official distinction made by the militarism of Potsdam.

– G.K. Chesterton

It was slavery itself—not its mere incidents—that I hated, that I devoted myself to abolishing”

– Frederick Douglass

Globalisation is all about wealth. It knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Without borders the world will become – is visibly becoming – a howling desert of traffic fumes, plastic and concrete, where nowhere is home and the only language is money.

– Peter Hitchens

The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had someone pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: “Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one!”

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau 

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win

– Sun Tzu