"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder
than one closed by belief." - Gerry Spence
by R. G. Collingwood
separate the study of knowing from the study of what is known.
The Idea of History, p. 3.
Philosophy — "the organized and scientific development of self-consciousness."
The Idea of History, p.
The traditional philosophies carry with them the implication that historical knowledge is
impossible. The Idea of History, p. 6.
No metaphysician, no scientist. – An Essay on Metaphysics,
Any attack on metaphysics is an attack on the foundations of science; any attack on the
foundations of science is an attack on science itself. - An Essay on Metaphysics, p.
To say that a question arises, is to say that it has a logical connexion with our previous
thoughts, that we have a reason for asking it and are not moved by mere
capricious curiousity. "Philosophy of History" in Essays, p. 137.
If religion and
philosophy are views of the same thing — the ultimate nature of the universe
— then the true religion and the true philosophy must coincide, though they
may differ in the vocabulary which they use to express the same facts. –
Faith and Reason, p. 55.
in so far as one stage of its development solves the problems which defeated
it in the last, without losing its hold on the solutions already achieved.
The Idea of History, p. 332.
The only question that
matters about a philosophy is whether it is right or wrong.
The Idea of History, p. 173.
Any one who thinks, and is determined to let nothing stop him from
thinking, is a philosopher. - An Essay on Philosophical Method, p. 15.
Real thinking is always
to some extent experimental in its method; it always starts from practice
and returns to practice; for it is based on 'interest' in the thing thought
about; that is, on a practical concern with it. New Leviathan 18.13.
That philosophy ought
in some way to help our generation in its moral, social, and political
troubles; that epistemology and the theory of value are not directly
contributing to that end; and that in this respect some special significance
attaches to the idea of evolution — all this I fully and gladly accept; and
I will try to say, as briefly as I can, what it is that in my opinion
philosophy can do. But first, there is something which it cannot, and must
not be tempted to do. It cannot descend like a deus ex machina upon
the stage of practical life and, out of its superior insight into the nature
of things, dictate the correct solution for this or that problem in morals,
economic organization, or international politics. There is nothing in a
philosopher's special work qualifying him to pilot a perplexed generation
through those rocks and shoals. If a mariner finds himself at sea without
navigator, chart, or compass, the Astronomer Royal himself, discovered among
the passengers, could do little for him; he would be wiser to hail some
coastwise fisherman. Even Plato did not think otherwise. He never proposed
that professional philosophers should be dragged, blinking, from their
studies and forcibly seated on thrones; only that expert knowledge of
political life and its practical difficulties should be illuminated by
philosophical reflection on its ultimate end. Philosophy, 9 ( 1935):
Philosophy is never
concerned with thought by itself; it is always concerned with its relation
to its object, and is therefore concerned with the object just as much as
with the thought.
The Idea of History, p. 2.
Philosophy . . .
has this peculiarity, that reflection upon it is part of itself. The theory
of poetry may or may not be of service to a poet — opinions on that question
have differed — but it is no part of poetry. The theory of science and the
theory of history are not parts of science and of history; if scientists and
historians study these things, they study them not in their capacity as
scientists or historians, but in their capacity as philosophers. But the
theory of philosophy is itself a problem for philosophy; and not only a
possible problem, but an inevitable problem, one which sooner or later it is
bound to raise. An Essay on Philosophical Method, p. 1