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30 Fantastic Philip K. Dick Quotes

Last updated on Dec 18th, 2020

30 Fantastic Philip K. Dick Quotes

Philip Kindred Dick (born December 16, 1928, Chicago, Illinois, U.S. – died March 2, 1982, Santa Ana, California, U.S.) was an American writer known for his work in science fiction. His novels and short stories often explore the nature of reality, perception, and human nature.

Some of his most famous works include The Man in the High Castle (1962; adapted as a TV series of the same name in 2015), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968; adapted for film as Blade Runner in 1982), Ubik (1969), Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974), A Scanner Darkly (1977; adapted for film in 2005), and VALIS (1981).

The recipient of various annual literary awards and nominations throughout his career, Dick was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2007, he became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

For each person there is a sentence - a series of words - which has the power to destroy him. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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For each person there is a sentence – a series of words – which has the power to destroy him.Chapter 5, VALIS (1981)

The problem with introspection is that it has no end. - Philip K. Dick (The Transmigration of Timothy Archer Quotes)
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The problem with introspection is that it has no end.Chapter 12, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982)

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.Chapter 5, VALIS (1981)

If you can get them to see the world as you do, they will think as you do. Comprehension follows perception. - Philip K. Dick (How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later Quotes)
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If you can get them to see the world as you do, they will think as you do. Comprehension follows perception.How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978)

Matter is plastic in the face of Mind. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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Matter is plastic in the face of Mind.Chapter 3, VALIS (1981)

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. - Philip K. Dick (How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later Quotes)
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The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978)

It is amazing that when someone else spouts the nonsense you yourself believe you can readily perceive it as nonsense. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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It is amazing that when someone else spouts the nonsense you yourself believe you can readily perceive it as nonsense.Chapter 13, VALIS (1981)

THE ONLY REAL FAILURE IS TO FAIL OTHERS. - Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly Quotes)
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THE ONLY REAL FAILURE IS TO FAIL OTHERS.Chapter 3, A Scanner Darkly (1977)

It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.Chapter 1, VALIS (1981)

So books are real to me, too; they link me not just with other minds but with the vision of other minds, what those minds understand and see. I see their worlds as well as I see my own. - Philip K. Dick (The Transmigration of Timothy Archer Quotes)
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So books are real to me, too; they link me not just with other minds but with the vision of other minds, what those minds understand and see. I see their worlds as well as I see my own.Chapter 9, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982)

When you are crazy you learn to keep quiet. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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When you are crazy you learn to keep quiet.Chapter 4, VALIS (1981)

Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment. - Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly Quotes)
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Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error of judgment.Author's Note, A Scanner Darkly (1977)

God is either powerless, stupid or he doesn't give a s***. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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God is either powerless, stupid or he doesn’t give a s***.Chapter 2, VALIS (1981)

Joy is the essential and final ingredient of science fiction, the joy of discovery of newness. - Philip K. Dick Quotes
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Joy is the essential and final ingredient of science fiction, the joy of discovery of newness.In a letter (May 14,1981)

In the center of an irrational universe governed by an irrational Mind stands rational man. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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In the center of an irrational universe governed by an irrational Mind stands rational man.Chapter 8, VALIS (1981)

Can any of us fix anything? No. None of us can do that. We're specialized. Each of us has his own line, his own work. I understand my work, you understand yours. The tendency in evolution is toward greater and greater specialization. Man's society is an ecology that forces adaptation to it. Continual complexity makes it impossible for any of us to know anything outside our own personal field - I can't follow the work of the man sitting at the next desk over from me. Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there are too many fields. - Philip K. Dick (The Variable Man Quotes)
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Can any of us fix anything? No. None of us can do that. We’re specialized. Each of us has his own line, his own work. I understand my work, you understand yours. The tendency in evolution is toward greater and greater specialization. Man’s society is an ecology that forces adaptation to it. Continual complexity makes it impossible for any of us to know anything outside our own personal field – I can’t follow the work of the man sitting at the next desk over from me. Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there are too many fields.Part III, The Variable Man (1953)

The mentally disturbed do not employ the Principle of Scientific Parsimony: the most simple theory to explain a given set of facts. They shoot for the baroque. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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The mentally disturbed do not employ the Principle of Scientific Parsimony: the most simple theory to explain a given set of facts. They shoot for the baroque.Chapter 2, VALIS (1981)

Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night. - Philip K. Dick (What the Dead Men Say Quotes)
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Don’t try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.Chapter II, What the Dead Men Say (1964)

To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.Chapter 8, VALIS (1981)

Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost ... perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that little precious fragment as well. - Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly Quotes)
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Any given man sees only a tiny portion of the total truth, and very often, in fact almost … perpetually, he deliberately deceives himself about that little precious fragment as well.Chapter 11, A Scanner Darkly (1977)

The trouble with being educated is that it takes a long time; it uses up the better part of your life and when you are finished what you know is that you would have benefited more by going into banking. - Philip K. Dick (The Transmigration of Timothy Archer Quotes)
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The trouble with being educated is that it takes a long time; it uses up the better part of your life and when you are finished what you know is that you would have benefited more by going into banking.Chapter 1, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982)

We are living in a computer-programmed reality, and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed, and some alteration in reality occurs. We have the overwhelming impression that we were reliving the present - deja vu. - Philip K. Dick Quotes
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We are living in a computer-programmed reality, and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed, and some alteration in reality occurs. We have the overwhelming impression that we were reliving the present – deja vu.Speech at the Metz Science Fiction Convention (France, 1977)

The distinction between sanity and insanity is narrower than the razor's edge, sharper than a hound's tooth, more agile than a mule deer. It is more elusive than the merest phantom. Perhaps it does not even exist; perhaps it is a phantom. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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The distinction between sanity and insanity is narrower than the razor’s edge, sharper than a hound’s tooth, more agile than a mule deer. It is more elusive than the merest phantom. Perhaps it does not even exist; perhaps it is a phantom.Chapter 4, VALIS (1981)

The most dangerous kind of person is one who is afraid of his own shadow. - Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly Quotes)
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The most dangerous kind of person is one who is afraid of his own shadow.Chapter 8, A Scanner Darkly (1977)

The first thing to depart in mental illness is the familiar. And what takes its place is bad news because not only can you not understand it, you also cannot communicate it to other people. The madman experiences something, but what it is or where it comes from he does not know. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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The first thing to depart in mental illness is the familiar. And what takes its place is bad news because not only can you not understand it, you also cannot communicate it to other people. The madman experiences something, but what it is or where it comes from he does not know.Chapter 2, VALIS (1981)

It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. - Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Quotes)
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It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity.Chapter 15, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools. - Philip K. Dick (Beyond Lies the Wub Quotes)
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Many men talk like philosophers and live like fools.Introduction, Beyond Lies the Wub (1952)

There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive. - Philip K. Dick (VALIS Quotes)
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There is no route out of the maze. The maze shifts as you move through it, because it is alive.Chapter 3, VALIS (1981)

This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. - Philip K. Dick (How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later Quotes)
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This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance.How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978)

The measure of a man is not his intelligence. It is not how high he rises in the freak establishment. The measure of a man is this: how swiftly can he react to another person’s need? And how much of himself can he give? - Philip K. Dick (Our Friends from Frolix 8 Quotes)
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The measure of a man is not his intelligence. It is not how high he rises in the freak establishment. The measure of a man is this: how swiftly can he react to another person’s need? And how much of himself can he give?Part I, Chapter 7, Our Friends from Frolix 8 (1970)

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There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.No source