Posts tagged quotes

[Layer 6: Quotes] #003; Abailard

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For what avails correct speech that is not understood by the hearer, when there is no reason whatever for speaking, if what we say is not understood by those to whose understanding we are appealing. The teacher, then, will shun all words that do not inform. It is a mark of a noble character to love the truth in words, not the words. For what is the purpose of a golden key, if it cannot open what we want? Or what objection is there to a wooden key, if it is effective, since we seek only to reveal what is concealed?

Peter Abailard. “Obscurity as Sources of Error.” Sic et Non. Reprinted in Classics in Logic. Ed. Dagobert D. Runes. New York: Philosophical Library, 1962. p. 3

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[Layer 6: Quotes] #002; Russell

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University life is so different from life in the world at large that men who live in an academic milieu tend to be unaware of the preoccupation and problems of ordinary men and women; moreover their ways of expressing themselves are usually such as to rob their opinions of the influence that they ought to have upon the general public. Another disadvantage is that in universities studies are organised, and the man who thinks of some original line of research is likely to be discouraged. Academic institutions, therefore, useful as they are, are not adequate guardians of the interests of civilisation in a world where everyone outside their walls is too busy for unutilitarian pursuits.

Bertrand Russell. “In Praise of Idleness.” In Praise of Idleness. New York: Routledge Classics, 2007. pp. 13-4.

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[Layer 4: Thinkers] #001; Dating as Self-Deception

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Sartre using dating as an example of self-deception still is one of my favorite philosophical comparisons. He describes a woman’s perspective surprisingly well and makes amusing observations on the whole dating scene. Consider this an official Valentine’s Day post.

“Take the example of a woman who has consented to go out with a particular man for the first time. She knows very well the intentions which the man who is speaking to her cherishes regarding her. She knows also that it will be necessary sooner or later for her to make a decision. But she does not want to realize the urgency; she concerns herself only with what is respectful and discreet in the attitude of her companion. She does not apprehend this conduct as an attempt to achieve what we call ‘the first approach;’ that is, she does not want to see the possibilities of temporal development which his conduct presents. She restricts this behaviour  to what is in the present; she does not wish to read in the phrases which he addresses to her anything other than their explicit meaning. If he says to her, ‘I find you so attractive!’ she disarms this phrase of its sexual background; she attaches to the conversation and to the behaviour of the speaker, the immediate meanings, which she imagines as objective qualities….

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[Layer 6: Quotes] #001; Hegel

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Rulers, statesmen, and nations are told that they ought to learn from the experience of history. Yet what experience and history teach us is this, that nations and governments have never anything from history, nor acted in accordance with the lessons to be derived from it. Each era has such particular circumstances, such individual situations, that decisions can only be made from within the era itself. In the press of world events, there is no help to be had from general principles, nor from the memory of similar conditions in former times — for a pale memory has no force against the vitality and freedom of the present.

G.W.F. Hegel. Introduction to the Philosophy of History. Trans. Leo Rauch. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company Inc., 1988. p. 8

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