Thursday, February 22, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas February 22, 2007

389 And, finally, because anti-Semitism was part of the Catholic tradition, the Church failed to take a principled position on National Socialist Jewish policy.... Bracher, The German Dictatorship

388 Schlesinger...the argument should be carried by facts not by exhortations. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

136 An argument not waged is a war won. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

161 …that is more clever than correct. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

232 You must demonstrate a case…but don’t do it combatively, to prove yourself right and Meynert wrong. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

339 …the adversary who fights you the hardest is the one who is the most convinced you are right. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

558 Boswell on Johnson’s power of argument: …he has no formal preparation, no flourishing with his sword; he is through your body in an instant. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

416 We learn to argue only that we may contradict; and with everyone contradicting and being contradicted, it turns out that the fruit of arguing is to destroy and nullify truth. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

416 They lose track of the main issue and push it aside in the pack of incidental points. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

417 After an hour of tempest they don’t know what they are looking for;. one catches at a word and a simile; another is no longer aware of what is said in opposition to him, so involved is he in his own course, and he is thinking of following himself, not you…another…mixes up and confuses the issue…[another] makes use only of the advantage of his voice and lungs…and another…deafens you with useless preambles and digressions. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

417 Is there any more of a muddle in the cackle of fishwives than in the public debates of men whose profession is logic? Montaigne, Selected Essays.

521 Cicero: Let him make use of passion who cannot make use of reason. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

223 The Amboy Times: “He attacks no man’s character or motives, but fights with arguments.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

487 A cheerleader [Streicher] never carries the ball nor calls a play, yet by his continual goading of the crowd to frenzied excitement he is a personality in his team’s success. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

513 …like the member of a robber band trying to beg off because he himself has not killed or anticipated that the end result would be murder—he is a criminal nonetheless. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

514 …reminiscent of a man who knows that he is living with a murderer, but is careful not to descend into the cellar, where the bodies are being buried. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

65 It was the habit of our philosopher [Aristotle] to preface his works with historical sketches of previous contributions to the subject in hand, and to add to every contribution an annihilating refutation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

203 His [Voltaire’s] later educators, the Jesuits, gave him the very instrument of skepticism by teaching him dialectic—the art of proving anything, and therefore at last the habit of believing nothing. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire.

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