I am looking for a comprehensive book of sayings by philosophers throughout history. I like to look at some short segments, anything from a single line to a half page passage, a quote that I can reflect on for a bit and will make me think.

I looked it up on Amazon but mostly come across books with very short quotes that border on cliche or random quotations that are not exclusive to philosophy. Have you come across or own the kind of book I am looking for? Thanks for any suggestions, be it in how I can search for said book, or perhaps related web resources.

2 Answers 2


A. J. Ayer, a very famous twentieth century analytic philosopher, with the help of Jane O'Grady published a book entitled A Dictionary Of Philosophical Quotations which should provide you with exactly what you are looking for.

In addition, John Bartlett's book Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is one of the most famous collection of quotations in existence. Per its wikipedia entry:

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, often simply called Bartlett's, is an American reference work that is the longest-lived and most widely distributed collection of quotations. The book was first issued in 1855 and is currently in its eighteenth edition, published in 2012.

The quotations range over many different subject matters, not just philosophy; however, you will likely find a lot of the quotations to be inspirational and or something worth reflecting on in a philosophical way.

  • thank you both Ram Tobolski and Not_Here for helpful replies but this one is closer to what I wanted, so chose it as my reply.
    – JSavant
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 7:52

The following is not, strictly speaking, a book, but an online resource: you can go over the philosophers category in wikiqoute. You will find there a great amount of quotes from philosophers of all ages. Moreover, wikiquote demands a source reference for each quote, which makes it a credible, certified source of quotes. You are less likely to see there bogus quotes, falsely attributed to this or that philosopher, than in other collections of quotes.

  • Thank you. It would have been nice if they were all on one big page/pdf. Also it's lacking a number of philosophers, but as you say, on the plus side, the attributions are referenced so I can check myself the veracity of it.
    – JSavant
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 7:58

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