112 Inspirational Bertrand Russell Quotes & Sayings

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, a British philosopher, logician, essayist and social thinker, was a prolific contributor to the 20th-century intellectual landscape.

Born into aristocracy and graduating with distinction from Trinity College, Cambridge, Russell was a champion of humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought, recognized with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 among other accolades.

His early works, including “The Principles of Mathematics” and “A History of Western Philosophy”, established him as a leading voice in logic, epistemology and the philosophy of mathematics.

Bertrand Russell

His pacifist beliefs during World War I led to personal and professional consequences, but his dedication to peace, social progress and reforms never wavered.

His later works, such as “Mysticism and Logic” and “The Analysis of Matter”, solidified his reputation as a vigorous, original thinker concerned with societal issues.

Related: Louise Hay Quotes and John Muir Quotes.

Known for his lucid and engaging prose style, Russell combined profound insights with accessible language, inspiring generations of readers and writers.

I have selected popular quotes by Bertrand Russell for you.

Inspirational Bertrand Russell Quotes & Sayings

1. “Love is wise – Hatred is foolish.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).


2. “We must be sceptical even of our scepticism.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

3. “Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

4. “No great achievement is possible without persistent work.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

5. “Mathematics rightly viewed possesses not only truth but supreme beauty.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

6. “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

7. “Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

8. “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).


9. “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

10. “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

11. “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

12. “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

13. “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

14. “The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).


15. “Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

16. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

17. “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

18. “To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

19. “Mathematics is only the art of saying the same thing in different words.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

20. “It’s coexistence or no existence.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

21. “There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

22. “In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

23. “I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

24. “The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

25. “I am not myself in any degree ashamed of having changed my opinions.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

26. “Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

27. “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).


28. “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

29. “While economics is about how people make choice, sociology is about how they don’t have any choice to make.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

30. “Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

31. “Beggars do not envy millionaires, though of course they will envy other beggars who are more successful.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

Top Bertrand Russell Quotes

32. “Only mathematics and mathematical logic can say as little as the physicist means to say.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

33. “Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

34. “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

35. “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).


36. “Organized people are just too lazy to look for things.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

37. “Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people’s.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

38. “Every great idea starts out as a blasphemy.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

39. “Why repeat the old errors, if there are so many new errors to commit?” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

40. “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

Famous Bertrand Russell Quotes

41. “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

42. “Diversity is essential to happiness and in Utopia there is hardly any. This is a defect in all planned social systems.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

43. “To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

44. “Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

45. “It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty, and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful and not because you think it’s true.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

46. “A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

47. “The more you complain the longer God lets you live.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

48. “One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

49. “To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

50. “If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

51. “One must care about a world one will not see.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

52. “Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

53. “Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

54. “Of course not. After all, I may be wrong.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

55. “Orthodoxy is the death of intelligence.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

56. “Man is a rational animal. So at least we have been told. Throughout a long life I have searched diligently for evidence in favor of this statement. So far, I have not had the good fortune to come across it.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

57. “Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

58. “The modern man thinks that everything ought to be done for the sake of something else, and never for its own sake.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

59. “Punctuality is a quality the need of which is bound up with social cooperation.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

60. “Laughter is the most inexpensive and most effective wonder drug. Laughter is a universal medicine.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

Short Bertrand Russell Quotes

61. “What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

62. “There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

63. “Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

64. “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).

65. “The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

66. “It’s not what you have lost, but what you have left that counts.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

67. “Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

68. “What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

69. “Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

70. “Through the greatness of the universe, which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

71. “Worry is a form of fear, and all forms of fear produce fatigue. A man who has learned not to feel fear will find the fatigue of daily life enormously diminished.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

72. “Love is a little haven of refuge from the world.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

73. “I don’t care for the applause one gets by saying what others are thinking; I want actually to change people’s thoughts. Power over people’s minds is the main personal desire of my life; and this sort of power is not acquired by saying popular things.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

74. “A smell of petroleum prevails throughout.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

75. “The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

76. “Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

77. “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

78. “Love should be a tree whose roots are deep in the earth, but whose branches extend into heaven.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

79. “Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

80. “The legacy of Greece to Western philosophy is Western philosophy.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

Best Bertrand Russell Quotes

81. “A life devoted to science is therefore a happy life, and its happiness is derived from the very best sources that are open to dwellers on this troubled and passionate planet.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

82. “Science does not aim at establishing immutable truths and eternal dogmas; its aim is to approach the truth by successive approximations, without claiming that at any stage final and complete accuracy has been achieved.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

83. “The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real estate, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

84. “The sea, the stars, the night wind in waste places, mean more to me than even the human beings I love best.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

85. “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

86. “The free intellect is the chief engine of human progress.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

87. “When conscious activity is wholly concentrated on some one definite purpose, the ultimate result, for most people, is lack of balance accompanied by some form of nervous disorder.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

88. “I think it would be just to say the most essential characteristic of mind is memory, using this word in its broadest sense to include every influence of past experience on present reactions.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

89. “I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

90. “The human heart as modern civilization has made it is more prone to hatred than to friendship. And it is prone to hatred because it is dissatisfied.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

91. “To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

92. “Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

93. “Ordinary language is totally unsuited for expressing what physics really asserts, since the words of everyday life are not sufficiently abstract. Only mathematics and mathematical logic can say as little as the physicist means to say.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

94. “Cynicism such as one finds very frequently among the most highly educated young men and women of the West, results from the combination of comfort and powerlessness.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

95. “To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

96. “The time has come, or is about to come, when only large-scale civil disobedience, which should be nonviolent, can save the populations from the universal death which their governments are preparing for them.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

97. “A good man will never suspect his friends of shady actions: this is part of his goodness. A good man will never be suspected by the public of using his goodness to screen villains: this is part of his utility.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

98. “A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree or certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world suffers.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

99. “The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

100. “There is as much difference between a collection of mentally free citizens and a community molded by modern methods of propaganda as there is between a heap of raw materials and a battleship.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

101. “Calculus required continuity, and continuity was supposed to require the infinitely little; but nobody could discover what the infinitely little might be.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

102. “Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

103. “A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

104. “Hitler is an outcome of Rousseau.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

105. “More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

106. “Stupidity and unconscious bias often work more damage than venality.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

107. “The scientific attitude of mind involves a sweeping away of all other desires in the interest of the desire to know.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

108. “Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

109. “A man of Seville is shaved by the Barber of Seville if and only if the man does not shave himself. Does the barber shave himself?” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

110. “Always remember that true happiness is not in getting what you want, but wanting what you already have. He who dies with the most toys is still dead. What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

111. “What men really want is not knowledge but certainty.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

112. “Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that is happiness.” ~ (Bertrand Russell).

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar