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Friedrich Schiller (1759 – 1805) was a German philosopher of Weimar Classicism and the creator of the popular form of melodrama plays. Folly, you may conquer, and it must yield! Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain. 

Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller philosopher

Friedrich Schiller quotations sourced from – WikiQuote, GoodReads, BrainyQuotes,


Friedrich Schiller quotes

The dignity of mankind is in your hands; protect it! It sinks with you! With you it will ascend.

Wouldst thou know thyself, observe the actions of others. Wouldst thou other men know, look thou within thine own heart.

Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.

Dare to err and to dream. Deep meaning often lies in childish play.

Will it, and set to work briskly.

What is not abandoned is never completely lost.

Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.

Every true genius is bound to be naive.

When the wine goes in, strange things come out.

No night but hath its morn.

If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few. To please many is bad.

Folly, you may conquer, and it must yield! Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.

Our age is enlightened… How is it, then, that we still remain barbarians?

But how is the artist to protect himself against the corruption of the age which besets him on all sides?

In the case of the creative mind, it seems to me, the intellect has withdrawn its watchers from the gates, and the ideas rush in pell-mell, and only then does it review and inspect the multitude. You worthy critics, or whatever you may call yourselves, are ashamed or afraid of the momentary and passing madness which is found in all real creators, the longer or shorter duration of which distinguishes the thinking artist from the dreamer. Hence your complaints of unfruitfulness, for you reject too soon and discriminate too severely.

Everlastingly chained to a single little fragment of the Whole, man himself develops into nothing but a fragment; everlastingly in his ear the monotonous sound of the wheel that he turns, he never develops the harmony of his being, and instead of putting the stamp of humanity upon his own nature, he becomes nothing more than the imprint of his occupation or of his specialized knowledge.

The voice of the majority is no proof of justice.

There’s nothing insignificant, Nothing!

Who reflects too much will accomplish little.

The most pious man can’t stay in peace, If it doesn’t please his evil neighbor.

Rarely do we arrive at the summit of truth without running into extremes; we have frequently to exhaust the part of error, and even of folly, before we work our way up to the noble goal of tranquil wisdom.

Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change.

It is criminal to steal a purse, daring to steal a fortune, a mark of greatness to steal a crown. The blame diminishes as the guilt increases.

Peace is rarely denied to the peaceful.

Lose not yourself in a far off time, seize the moment that is thine.

Appearance rules the world.

They would need to be already wise, in order to love wisdom.

No emperor has the power to dictate to the heart.

The greater part of humanity is too much harassed and fatigued by the struggle with want, to rally itself for a new and sterner struggle with error.


COMMENTS

Friedrich Schiller’s plays were very popular, as popular as Shakespeare’s they say, and he was considered a philosopher. Perhaps that is so, and I am too dense to see it. The few quotes that caught my attention were little more than passing bon mots. Folly, you may conquer, and it must yield! Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain. That is a good enough observation, but it doesn’t pass for a philosophy. It doesn’t give you leverage into what’s to be done.

They would need to be already wise, in order to love wisdomHad this been written into the pre-Christian era book of Proverbs alongside of, “Get Wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding.” it might have some contextual meaning, but as a standalone idea it is only an observation and not indicative of an underlying philosophy.

Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change. That fits nicely into two-millennial old standard Classic Greek Stoic philosophy. It isn’t new, but it does give general philosophic advice on how to cope with life. However, the Ancients developed a whole philosophy and specific methods for implementing this idea, but Schiller just says it without any development.