Have you even been in that moment where you needed to be a little more energetic and didn’t know how to get that extra energy?
For me, quotes do exactly that. Every time I need to get inspired, I search for quotes. Having this in mind, I wanted to research some optimistic quotes from some of the greatest philosophers and share them with you.
Let me know what you think and maybe leave the one that inspired you in the comments section below. And by that I mean below the huge f**king list of quotes.
Here are two simple ways to get inspired fast:
- Check the table of contents and, when you recognize a someone, click their name and you will automatically navigate to their quotes;
- Scroll and read randomly some quotes.
Table of contents
- 3 optimistic quotes from Immanuel Kant
- 25 optimistic quotes from Plato
- 20 optimistic quotes from Aristotle
- 18 optimistic quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche
- 4 optimistic quotes from Martin Heidegger
- 7 optimistic quotes from Michel Foucault
- 10 optimistic quotes from G. W. F. Hegel
- 7 optimistic quotes from Karl Marx
- 12 optimistic quotes from Ludwig Wittgenstein
- 4 optimistic quotes from Edmund Husserl
- 15 optimistic quotes from Thomas Aquinas
- 9 optimistic quotes from David Hume
- 6 optimistic quotes from Gilles Deleuze
- 5 optimistic quotes from Jacques Derrida
- 20 optimistic quotes from Sigmund Freud
- 14 optimistic quotes from Saint Augustine
- 7 optimistic quotes from Gottfried Leibniz
- 16 optimistic quotes from Benedict Spinoza
- 13 optimistic quotes from John Locke
- 10 optimistic quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre
- 4 optimistic quotes from Thomas Hobbes
- 13 optimistic quotes from John Dewey
- 11 optimistic quotes from Soren Kierkegaard
- 15 optimistic quotes from Bertrand Russell
- 11 optimistic quotes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- 6 optimistic quotes from Maurice Merleau-Ponty
- 12 optimistic quotes from Rene Descartes
- 2 optimistic quotes from Emmanuel Levinas
- 13 optimistic quotes from William James
- 3 optimistic quotes from Hannah Arendt
- 8 optimistic quotes from John Stuart Mill
- 3 optimistic quotes from Jacques Lacan
- 6 optimistic quotes from Walter Benjamin
- 3 optimistic quotes from Charles Sanders Peirce
- 3 optimistic quotes from John B. Rawls
- 7 optimistic quotes from Slavoj Zizek
- 10 optimistic quotes from Alfred North Whitehead
- 4 optimistic quotes from Roland Barthes
- 6 optimistic quotes from Karl Popper
- 17 optimistic quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson
- 8 optimistic quotes from Niccolo Machiavelli
- 9 optimistic quotes from Arthur Schopenhauer
- 8 optimistic quotes from Seneca
- 8 optimistic quotes from Epicurus
- 12 optimistic quotes from Marcus Aurelius
- 5 optimistic quotes from Heraclitus
- 7 optimistic quotes from Francis Bacon
3 optimistic quotes from Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher who is a central figure in modern philosophy. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time and causation are mere sensibilities; “things-in-themselves” exist, but their nature is unknowable. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience, with all human experience sharing certain structural features.
25 optimistic quotes from Plato
Plato was a philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece. He is considered an essential figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition, and he founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his teacher Socrates and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: “the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
20 optimistic quotes from Aristotle
Aristotle (384–322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira, Chalkidiki, in the north of Classical Greece. Along with Plato, Aristotle is considered the “Father of Western Philosophy”, which inherited almost its entire lexicon from his teachings, including problems and methods of inquiry, so influencing almost all forms of knowledge.
18 optimistic quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy.
4 optimistic quotes from Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger (26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was a German philosopher and a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition of philosophy. He is “widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century.” Heidegger is best known for his contributions to phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism, though as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy cautions, “his thinking should be identified as part of such philosophical movements only with extreme care and qualification”. Heidegger was a member and public supporter of the Nazi Party. There is controversy over the degree to which his Nazi affiliations influenced his philosophy.
7 optimistic quotes from Michel Foucault
Paul-Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984), generally known as Michel Foucault, was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, and literary critic. Foucault’s theories primarily address the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Though often cited as a post-structuralist and postmodernist, Foucault rejected these labels. His thought has influenced academics, especially those working in communication studies, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, literary theory, feminism, and critical theory. Activist groups have also found his theories compelling.
10 optimistic quotes from G. W. F. Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide recognition in his day and—while primarily influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become increasingly influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized.
7 optimistic quotes from Karl Marx
Karl Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, Germany, Marx studied law and philosophy at university. He married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum.
12 optimistic quotes from Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. From 1929 to 1947, Wittgenstein taught at the University of Cambridge. During his lifetime he published just one slim book, the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), one article, one book review and a children’s dictionary. His voluminous manuscripts were edited and published posthumously.
4 optimistic quotes from Edmund Husserl
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (8 April 1859 – 27 April 1938) was a German philosopher who established the school of phenomenology. In his early work, he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic based on analyses of intentionality. In his mature work, he sought to develop a systematic foundational science based on the so-called phenomenological reduction.
15 optimistic quotes from Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican friar, Philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy.
9 optimistic quotes from David Hume
David Hume (born David Home; 7 May 1711 – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism. Hume’s empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes as a British Empiricist.
6 optimistic quotes from Gilles Deleuze
Gilles Deleuze (18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with psychoanalyst Félix Guattari. His metaphysical treatise Difference and Repetition (1968) is considered by many scholars to be his magnum opus.
5 optimistic quotes from Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida (July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004) was an Algerian-born French-Jewish philosopher best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction, which he discussed in numerous texts, and developed in the context of phenomenology. He is one of the major figures associated with post-structuralism and postmodern philosophy.
20 optimistic quotes from Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud (born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. He qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1881 at the University of Vienna. Upon completing his habilitation in 1885, he was appointed a docent in neuropathology and became an affiliated professor in 1902. Freud lived and worked in Vienna, having set up his clinical practice there in 1886. In 1938 Freud left Austria to escape the Nazis. He died in exile in the United Kingdom in 1939.
14 optimistic quotes from Saint Augustine
Saint Augustine of Hippo (13 November 354 – 28 August 430 AD) was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of the Western Church and Western philosophy, and indirectly all of Western Christianity. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana, and Confessions.
7 optimistic quotes from Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (sometimes spelled Leibnitz) (1 July 1646 – 14 November 1716) was a prominent German polymath and one of the most important logicians, mathematicians and natural philosophers of the Enlightenment. As a representative of the seventeenth-century tradition of rationalism, Leibniz’s most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton’s contemporaneous developments.
16 optimistic quotes from Benedict Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. One of the early thinkers of the Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy.
13 optimistic quotes from John Locke
John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the “Father of Liberalism”. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.
10 optimistic quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines.
4 optimistic quotes from Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes (5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679), in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory. In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, jurisprudence, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, ethics, and general philosophy.
13 optimistic quotes from John Dewey
John Dewey ( October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He is regarded as one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.
11 optimistic quotes from Soren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables.
15 optimistic quotes from Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his sceptical nature had led him to feel that he had never been any of these things, in any profound sense.
11 optimistic quotes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic and educational thought.
6 optimistic quotes from Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Jean Jacques Merleau-Ponty (14 March 1908 – 3 May 1961) was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. The constitution of meaning in human experience was his main interest and he wrote on perception, art, and politics. He was on the editorial board of Les Temps modernes, the leftist magazine established by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1945.
12 optimistic quotes from Rene Descartes
René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.
2 optimistic quotes from Emmanuel Levinas
Emmanuel Levinas (12 January 1906 – 25 December 1995) was a French philosopher of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry who is known for his work related to Jewish philosophy, existentialism, ethics, phenomenology and ontology.
13 optimistic quotes from William James
William James (January 11, 1842 – August 27, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James was a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential U.S. philosophers, and has been labeled the “Father of American psychology”.
3 optimistic quotes from Hannah Arendt
Johanna “Hannah” Cohn Arendt (14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975), also known as Hannah Arendt Bluecher, was a German-American philosopher and political theorist. Her many books and articles on topics ranging from totalitarianism to epistemology have had a lasting influence on political theory. Arendt is widely considered one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century.
8 optimistic quotes from John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), usually cited as J. S. Mill, was a British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century”, Mill’s conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control.
3 optimistic quotes from Jacques Lacan
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (13 April 1901 – 9 September 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud”. Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced many leading French intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially those associated with post-structuralism. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory, and clinical psychoanalysis.
6 optimistic quotes from Walter Benjamin
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic and essayist. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism. He was associated with the Frankfurt School, and also maintained formative friendships with thinkers such as playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem.
3 optimistic quotes from Charles Sanders Peirce
Charles Sanders Peirce (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist who is sometimes known as “the father of pragmatism”. He was educated as a chemist and employed as a scientist for thirty years. Today he is appreciated largely for his contributions to logic, mathematics, philosophy, scientific methodology, semiotics, and for his founding of pragmatism.
3 optimistic quotes from John B. Rawls
John Bordley Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition. Rawls received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, in recognition of how Rawls’s work helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself.
7 optimistic quotes from Slavoj Zizek
Slavoj Žižek (21 March 1949), a Slovenian philosopher, is a researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts; an International director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London, Global Eminent Scholar at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. He works in subjects including continental philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, film criticism, Marxism, Hegelianism and theology.
10 optimistic quotes from Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy, which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, theology, education, physics, biology, economics, and psychology, among other areas.
4 optimistic quotes from Roland Barthes
Roland Gérard Barthes (12 November 1915 – 26 March 1980) was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician. Barthes’ ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of many schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, social theory, design theory, anthropology, and post-structuralism.
6 optimistic quotes from Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-born British philosopher and professor. Generally regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. A theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can and should be scrutinised by decisive experiments. Popper is also known for his opposition to the classical justificationist account of knowledge, which he replaced with critical rationalism, namely “the first non-justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy”.
17 optimistic quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
8 optimistic quotes from Niccolo Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science. For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry.
9 optimistic quotes from Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation (expanded in 1844), wherein he characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind and insatiable metaphysical will. Proceeding from the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism, rejecting the contemporaneous post-Kantian philosophies of German idealism.
8 optimistic quotes from Seneca
Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – AD 65), fully Lucius Annaeus Seneca and also known simply as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and—in one work—satirist of the Silver Age of Latin literature. Seneca was born in Córdoba in Hispania, and raised in Rome, where he was trained in rhetoric and philosophy. His father was Seneca the Elder, his elder brother was Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, and his nephew was the poet Lucan.
8 optimistic quotes from Epicurus
Epicurus (341–270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded a highly influential school of philosophy now called Epicureanism. He was born on the Greek island of Samos to Athenian parents. Influenced by Democritus, Aristotle, Pyrrho, and possibly the Cynics, he turned against the Platonism of his day and established his own school, known as “the Garden”, in Athens. Epicurus and his followers were known for eating simple meals and discussing a wide range of philosophical subjects, and he openly allowed women to join the school as a matter of policy.
12 optimistic quotes from Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121 – 17 March 180) was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. He served as Roman consul in 140, 145, and 161.
5 optimistic quotes from Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535 – c. 475 BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, and a native of the city of Ephesus, then part of the Persian Empire. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the apparently riddled and allegedly paradoxical nature of his philosophy and his stress upon the heedless unconsciousness of humankind, he was called “The Obscure” and the “Weeping Philosopher”.
7 optimistic quotes from Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution.