Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Quotes: Realists. Reality. Reason. Rebellion. Recluse.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The Greeks looked at the world as it really was and were content.
Realist beauty 58 The Greeks were realists, but not as we use the word: They saw the beauty of common things and were content with it. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

We respect lions—in the abstract!
Reality 676 We have a great respect for lions in the abstract. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Everything changes even when it does not seem to change.
Reality 64 Heraclitus (530-470 BC): All things forever flow and change, he said; even in the stillest matter there is unseen flux and movement. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Everything is cyclical: the sun sucks up the water into clouds that then replenish the seas with water.
Reality 66 This is a cyclic world, says our philosopher: the sun forever evaporates the sea, dries up rivers and springs, and transforms at last the boundless ocean into the barest rock; while conversely the uplifted moisture, gathered into clouds, falls and renews the rivers and the seas. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

People like Machiavelli explain what men actually do, not what they should do.
Reality 114 F. Bacon: “We are beholden to Machiavel, and writers of that kind, who openly and declare what men do in fact, and not what they ought to do.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Reality is thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
Reality 295 Fichte: Thesis, antithesis and synthesis constitute the formula and secret of all development and all reality. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Hegel.

Because of his reason, man can see relationships, sees causes, sees reciprocal cause and effect, makes analogies and can see the whole course of his life.
Reason 7 But man, because he is endowed with reason by which he is able to perceive relationships, sees the causes of things, understands the reciprocal nature of cause and effect, makes analogies, easily surveys the whole course of his life…. Cicero, De Officiis. Adler and VanDoren, eds. Great Treasury of Western Thought.

The distinctions among reflex action, instinctive action and reason.
Reason and instinct 183 Spinoza: …reflex action is a local response to a local stimulus; instinctive action is a partial response to part of a situation; reason is total response to the whole situation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Reason is distinctive to man.
Reason life man 30 Aristotle: Such to man is the life according to reason, since it is this that makes him man. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

All rebels think they are bringing in new days that will last.
Rebellion 78 Every rebel believes that he is bringing in a new day that will last. Mencken, Minority Report.

Recluses are related to each other by their sadness, but they are never commonplace.
Recluse 442 …recluses are a sad kindred, but they are never commonplace. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Each of us has a mental space where we are recluses in sadness or happiness.
Recluse 444 In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or a day; we understand our fellows of the cell to whatever age of history they may belong. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

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