“Philosophy,” you scoff. “What is it good for?”

Not much, really. But I studied it for a long time and still enjoy seeing it pop up here and there. I was happy, for instance, to see my favorite philosopher make it to (a distant) No. 2 on the BBC poll of best philosophers evar, and also to see him given a 9 out of 10 on Sartwell’s rather more idiosyncratic ranking.

“Generally speaking,” ol’ Dave Hume said, “the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.” So true.

Just to pretend this post is about the environment, here are a few quotes about nature from philosophers.

Most incorrect:

Nature does nothing uselessly. — Aristotle

Most correct but misunderstood:

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. — Zeno

And finally, back to my boy Hume:

It is a great mortification to the vanity of man, that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of nature’s productions, either for beauty or value.

Got any favorite quotes about nature? Leave them in comments.