Finally I would say that, for me at any rate, the five years which I have spent in wrestling with McTaggart’s system and putting the results into writing have been both pleasant and intellectually profitable. I derive a certain satisfaction from reflecting that there is one subject at least about which I probably know more than anyone else in the universe with the possible exception of God (if he exists) and McTaggart (if he survives).
C. D. Broad, Examination of McTaggart’s Philosophy, vol. II, pt. I, Cambridge, 1938, p. lxxiv
The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain anymore, so it eats it! (It’s rather like getting tenure.)
Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained, London, 1991, p. 177
I ask for life – for life Divine
Where man’s true self may move
In one harmonious cord to twine
The threads of Knowledge and of Love.
Henry Sidgwick, quoted in Bart Schultz, Henry Sidgwick, Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography, Cambridge, 2004, p. vi
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. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a deep ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
Bertrand Russell, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell: 1872-1914, London, 1967, p. 13