Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quotes: Terror. Theater. Theme. Theories. Thinking.

Each man saw his own terror in the faces of the rest.
Terror 321 …and each man beheld his own terror painted in the faces of all the rest. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

A clichéd scene in the theater.
Theater 198 What you don’t want is for your character to sound like the little maid with the feather duster who opens a play by hopping around the room soliloquizing on the fact that the son of the family, who has been in Australia for twenty years, after a dispute with an older brother, is expected that afternoon. Cavin, R. Gross, ed. Editors on Editing.

The audience needs to understand where the play is going.
Theater 329 H. Freedman: “What is the line of the play?” asks the director as he seeks to find the centralizing thread which he knows the audience is waiting to grasp. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The South provides excellent material for conflict.
Theme 273 Wm. Styron: then, the South simply provides such wonderful material: take, for instance, the conflict between the ordered Protestant tradition, the Fundamentalism based on the Old Testament, and the twentieth century—movies, cars, television. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Bad luck to your theories.
Theories 253 Good luck to you and bad luck to your theories. Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

Theories cannot circumvent facts.
Theory 161 Theory is good, but it does not put a stop to facts. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Theories killed by facts is one form of tragedy.
Theory 360 Huxley said that Spencer’s idea of a tragedy was a theory killed by a fact. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Human experience often contradicts theory.
Theory 281 Johnson: Human experience…is constantly contradicting theory…. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Reality always contradicts theory.
Theory 135 Albert Schweitzer: “Reality never submits to theory.” Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Is there any escape from blind alleys of thought?
Thinking 274 Is there any exit from these blind alleys of thought? Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Space, time and cause are methods of interpretation and understanding, not things.
Thinking 274 Kant: We shall never have any experience which we shall not interpret in terms of space and time and cause; but we shall never have any philosophy if we forget that these are not things, but modes of interpretation and understanding. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Hasty thinking results in jumping to conclusions.
Thinking 47 Chorus: Swift thinking never makes sure thought. Sophocles. Oedipus the King.

Listening to music is one way to avoid thinking.
Thinking 123 Vienna loved her music…and why not…can you imagine a better way to keep from thinking? Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

We must look, see, think and meditate.
Thinking 161 We must look, we must see, we must think and meditate. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

You cannot think without words; words are the tools of thought.
Thinking 159 There can be no thought without words; Luther gave his countrymen words…translated the Bible into German…and so gave people not only a chance to read Holy Writ for themselves, but the tools of thought. Clark, Civilization.

Aristotle believed that thought began with premises followed by conclusions; actually thought begins with hypothetical conclusions that we justify by premises. Thinking 90 He [Aristotle] supposes that thought begins with premises and seeks their conclusions, when actually thought begins with hypothetical conclusions and seeks their justifying premises…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Reason sees order in things.
Thinking 192 Spinoza: In metaphysics, reason is the perception of order in things. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

We see events and infer causes.
Thinking 258 Hume: But observe…that we never perceive causes, or laws; we perceive events and sequences, and infer causation and necessity. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

The mind actively shapes its perception of chaotic reality into order.
Thinking 267 Kant: For the mind of man…is not passive wax upon which experience and sensation write their absolute and yet whimsical will…it is an active organ which molds and coordinates sensations into ideas, an organ which transforms the chaotic multiplicity of experience into ordered unity of thought. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Studying the mind transcends sense experience.
Thinking 267 …to study the inherent structure of the mind, or the innate laws of thought, is what Kant calls “transcendental philosophy,” because it is a problem transcending sense experience. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Perception organizes sensation; conception organizes perception; science organizes knowledge; wisdom organizes life; each is a greater degree of unity.
Thinking 271 Kant: Sensation is unorganized stimulus, perception is organized sensation, conception is organized perception, science is organized knowledge, wisdom is organized life: each is a greater degree of order, and sequence, and unity. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

We put purpose, order, sequence and unity on chaotic reality.
Thinking 271 Kant: It is our purpose that put order and sequence and unity upon this importunate lawlessness. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

We can only think by relating things and perceiving similarities and differences.
Thinking 295 Hegel: …every idea is a group of relations; we can think of something only by relating it to something else, and perceiving its similarities and differences. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Hegel.

The first step in thinking is observation of the facts.
Thinking 524 Dewey: The first distinguishing characteristic of thinking is facing the facts--inquiry, minute and extensive scrutinizing, observation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Most people mistake repeating what they have heard for thought.
Thinking 10 What they [average people] mistake for thought is simply repetition of what they have heard. Mencken, Minority Report.

Thinking is only the beginning of acting.
Thinking 62 Thinking is a partial act. Emerson, The American Scholar.

Pragmatic thinking is thinking for the short term.
Thinking 63 But pragmatic thinking is also short-range thinking…. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest

You don’t notice something until it becomes a part of your purpose.
Thinking, consciousness 269 Kant: The clock is ticking, and you do not hear it; but the same ticking, not louder than before, will be heard at once if your purpose wills it so. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

If you are judged unreasonable, you will turn against reason.
Thinking, reason 255 David Hume: …when reason is against a man, he will soon turn against reason. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

“Pure” reason is not knowledge from the senses but knowledge inherent to the mind.
Thinking, reason 265 Kant: For “pure” reason is to mean knowledge that does not come through our senses, but is independent of all sense experience; knowledge belonging to us by the inherent nature and structure of the mind. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Using reason is imitating divinity.
Thinking, reason 493 Santayana: Reason is “men’s imitation of divinity.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

The great guide in our life decisions is not reason but our feelings.
Thinking, reason vs. feeling 259 Berkeley: Sometimes…reason is the better guide; but in the great crises of life, and in the great problems of conduct and belief, we trust to our feelings rather than to our diagrams. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Reasoning begins with difficulties.
Thinking, reasoning 523 Dewey: Reasoning...begins not with premises, but with difficulties.... Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Existence determines thought.
Thought 38 …the approach of Saint Thomas, for whom it is not thought which determines existence, but existence...which determines thought! Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Political memories come from events that trigger introspection.
Thought 416 There are moments along the road of American politics that stay with you forever…emerge not only from memorable stories or election verdicts but from introspection, triggered by some event that comes unexpectedly and releases a chain of thought that leaves you in a different state of mind. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Every thought is a process of association.
Thought 109 Robert Frost: …every thought is a feat of association. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Thought must have consequences.
Thought 169 Albert Schweitzer: Thought must be active...must affect something. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Much human thought is adrift, all around us.
Thought 142 …all the bits of human thought that are constantly adrift, like plankton, all around us…. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

People who speculate boldly rarely act on their speculations.
Thought 259 It is remarkable, that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society [because] ...the thought suffices...without investing itself in the flesh and blood of action. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

Men of thought usually do not work together; men of action do.
Thought vs. action 125 Men of thought seldom work together, whereas between men of action there is usually an easy camaraderie. Hoffer, The True Believer

No comments:

Post a Comment