Quotations by Unamuno, Miguel de


Life is doubt, and faith without doubt is nothing but death.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
“Poesias” (1907)

Alt trans. "Faith which has not doubt is dead faith."Alt trans. "Faith which does not doubt is dead faith." (Cited as La Agonía del Cristianismo [The Agony of Christianity])
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Apr-12
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At times to be silent is to lie.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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If a person never contradicts himself, it must be that he says nothing.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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The most tragic problem of philosophy is to reconcile intellectual necessities with the necessities of the heart and the will.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Man is said to be a reasoning animal. I do not know why he has not been defined as an affective or feeling animal. Perhaps that which differentiates him from other animals is feeling rather than reason. More often I have seen a cat reason than laugh or weep. Perhaps it weeps or laughs inwardly — but then perhaps, also inwardly, the crab resolves equations of the second degree.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], ch. 1 “The Man of Flesh and Bone” (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]

Full text.
Added on 9-Apr-12 | Last updated 9-Apr-12
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What we believe to be the motives of our conduct are usually but the pretexts for it.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], ch. 11 (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]

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Added on 13-Dec-11 | Last updated 1-Mar-12
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Glorious is the risk! — καλος γαρ ο κινδυνος, glorious is the risk that we are able to run of our souls never dying … Faced with this risk, I am presented with arguments designed to eliminate it, arguments demonstrating the absurdity of the belief in the immortality of the soul; but these arguments fail to make any impression on me, for they are reasons and nothing more than reasons, and it is not with reasons that the heart is appeased. I do not want to die — no; I neither want to die nor do I want to want to die; I want to live for ever and ever and ever. I want this “I” to live — this poor “I” that I am and that I feel myself to be here and now, and therefore the problem of the duration of my soul, of my own soul, tortures me.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], ch. 3 “The Hunger of Immortality” (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]

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Added on 16-Apr-12 | Last updated 16-Apr-12
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Faith feels itself secure neither with universal consent, nor with tradition, nor with authority. It seeks support of its enemy, reason.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], ch. 4 “The Essence of Catholicism” (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]

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Added on 23-Apr-12 | Last updated 23-Apr-12
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To believe in God is to yearn for His existence and, furthermore, it is to act as if He did exist.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], ch. 5 “The Rationalist Dissolution” (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]

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Added on 30-Apr-12 | Last updated 30-Apr-12
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True science teaches, above all, to doubt and be ignorant.

[La verdadera ciencia enseña, por encima de todo, a dudar y a ser ignorante.]

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], ch. 5 “The Rationalist Dissolution” (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]

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Added on 7-May-12 | Last updated 7-May-12
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Feeling does not succeed in converting consolation into truth, nor does reason succeed in converting truth into consolation.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], ch. 5 “The Rationalist Dissolution” (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]

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Added on 21-May-12 | Last updated 21-May-12
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The greatest height of heroism to which an individual, like a people, can attain is to know how to face ridicule; better still, to know how to make oneself ridiculous and not to shrink from the ridicule.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) Spanish philosopher and writer [Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo]
The Tragic Sense of Life [Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida], Conclusion (1913) [tr. Flitch (1921)]
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Added on 6-Nov-15 | Last updated 6-Nov-15
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