When you have desires to do something wrong, you might feel so embarrassed with yourself for not being on a higher level that you try to repress those desires and forget about them. This is a mistake since it is not dealing with the problem but covering it up. Ignoring your inner feelings and reactions is dangerous. Be aware of what you desire, and have a dialogue with yourself to overcome it.
It is a very easy thing to devise good laws; the difficulty is to make them effective. The great mistake is that of looking upon men as virtuous, or thinking that they can be made so by laws; and consequently the greatest art of a politician is to render vices serviceable to the cause of virtue.
There is no real elevation of mind in a contempt of little things; it is, on the contrary, from too narrow views that we consider those things of little importance which have in fact such extensive consequences.
Men often mistake themselves, but they never forget themselves.
Madmen... do not appear to me to have lost the faculty of reasoning, but having joined together some ideas very wrongly, they mistake them for truths; and they err as men do that argue right from wrong principles. For, by the violence of their imaginations, having taken their fancies for realities, they make right deductions from them.
The highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness; so the care of ourselves that we mistake not imaginary for real happiness, is the necessary foundation of our liberty.
It is a mistake to base one’s hopes for happiness upon the enforcement of security and equality. In principle, both desires are insatiable... No individual or society is secure in a world of emergent probability and sin... To exercise liberty is to take risks, to embrace uncertainties.
Reason itself... demands that we recognize the limited place of the virtues of cognition, inquiry, and the cerebral side of life. An adequate account of rationality must rightly stress its importance and primacy while recognizing that the intellectual virtues are only limited components of the good life.
It would be a mistake to found a natural science on ‘what we really think’ ... opinions are interpretations, and often misinterpretations, of sense-experience; and the man of science must appeal from these to sense-experience itself, which furnishes his real data. In ethics no such appeal is possible... the moral convictions of thoughtful and well-educated people are the data of ethics just as sense-perceptions are the data of a natural science.