i. “Diffused knowledge immortalizes itself.” (James Mackintosh)

ii. “In philosophy equally as in poetry it is the highest and most useful prerogative of genius to produce the strongest impressions of novelty, while it rescues admitted truths from the neglect caused by the very circumstance of their universal admission.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

iii. “If I belong to any tradition, then it is the tradition which makes the masterpiece tell the performer what he should do; and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like, or the composer what he ought to have composed.” (Alfred Brendel)

iv. “People exaggerate both happiness and unhappiness; we are never so fortunate nor so unfortunate as people say we are.” (Honoré de Balzac)

v. “If you are to judge a man, you must know his secret thoughts, sorrows, and feelings; to know merely the outward events of a man’s life would only serve to make a chronological table — a fool’s notion of history.” (-ll-)

vi. “Study lends a kind of enchantment to all our surroundings. (L’étude prête une sorte de magie à tout ce qui nous environne.)” (-ll-)

vii. “One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.” (Walter Bagehot)

viii. “You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberius; but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbor… Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to think other men’s thoughts, to speak other men’s words, to follow other men’s habits.” (-ll-)

ix. “It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations.” (-ll-)

x. “There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts. ” (Richard Feynman)

xi. “Don’t you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don’t you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death?
No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no.
One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out “Don’t you believe in anything?”
“Yes”, I said. “I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.”” (Isaac Asimov)

xii. “Happiness isn’t something you experience; it’s something you remember.” (Oscar Levant)

xiii. “My conscience is clear. I was simply doing my duty…” (Franz Stangl, SS-Hauptsturmführer and commandant of the Sobibor and Treblinka extermination camps)

xiv. “Every way of classifying a thing is but a way of handling it for some particular purpose.” (William James)

xv. “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” (-ll-)

xvi. “The way our group or class does things tends to determine the proper objects of attention, and thus prescribe the directions and limits of observation and memory. What is strange and foreign (that is to say outside the activities of the group) tends to be morally forbidden and intellectually suspect. It seems almost incredible to us, for example, that things which we know very well, could have escaped recognition in past ages. We incline to account for it by attributing congenital stupidity to our forerunners and by assuming superior native intelligence on our own part. But the explanation is that their modes of life did not call for attention to such facts, but held their minds riveted to other things.” (John Dewey)

xvii. “Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place.” (-ll-)

xviii. “”Knowledge,” in the sense of information, means the working capital, the indispensable resources, of further inquiry; of finding out, or learning, more things. Frequently it is treated as an end in itself, and then the goal becomes to heap it up and display it when called for. This static, cold-storage ideal of knowledge is inimical to educative development. It not only lets occasions for thinking go unused, but it swamps thinking. No one could construct a house on ground cluttered with miscellaneous junk. Pupils who have stored their “minds” with all kinds of material which they have never put to intellectual uses are sure to be hampered when they try to think. They have no practice in selecting what is appropriate, and no criterion to go by; everything is on the same dead static level.” (-ll-)

xix. “The imagination is the medium of appreciation in every field. The engagement of the imagination is the only thing that makes any activity more than mechanical. Unfortunately, it is too customary to identify the imaginative with the imaginary, rather than with a warm and intimate taking in of the full scope of a situation.” (-ll-)


June 21, 2012 - Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms

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