Accounting Philosophy Quotes

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This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being... This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont, to be called Lord God παντοκρατωρ or Universal Ruler.
Isaac Newton (The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy)
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.
P.J. O'Rourke (Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer)
There are 10,000 books in my library, and it will keep growing until I die. This has exasperated my daughters, amused my friends and baffled my accountant. If I had not picked up this habit in the library long ago, I would have more money in the bank today; I would not be richer.
Pete Hamill
This isn’t lust. Lust wants, does the obvious, and pads back into the forest. Love is greedier. Love wants round-the-clock care; protection; rings, vows, joint accounts; scented candles on birthdays; life insurance. Babies. Love’s a dictator.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. I have read and heard many attempts at a systematic account of it, from materialism and theosophy to the Christian system or that of Kant, and I have always felt that they were much too simple. I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy. That is the reason why I have no philosophy myself, and must be my excuse for dreaming.
J.B.S. Haldane (Possible Worlds)
And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
In a traditional German toilet, the hole into which shit disappears after we flush is right at the front, so that shit is first laid out for us to sniff and inspect for traces of illness. In the typical French toilet, on the contrary, the hole is at the back, i.e. shit is supposed to disappear as quickly as possible. Finally, the American (Anglo-Saxon) toilet presents a synthesis, a mediation between these opposites: the toilet basin is full of water, so that the shit floats in it, visible, but not to be inspected. [...] It is clear that none of these versions can be accounted for in purely utilitarian terms: each involves a certain ideological perception of how the subject should relate to excrement. Hegel was among the first to see in the geographical triad of Germany, France and England an expression of three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism. [...] The point about toilets is that they enable us not only to discern this triad in the most intimate domain, but also to identify its underlying mechanism in the three different attitudes towards excremental excess: an ambiguous contemplative fascination; a wish to get rid of it as fast as possible; a pragmatic decision to treat it as ordinary and dispose of it in an appropriate way. It is easy for an academic at a round table to claim that we live in a post-ideological universe, but the moment he visits the lavatory after the heated discussion, he is again knee-deep in ideology.
Slavoj Žižek (The Plague of Fantasies)
Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and the scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have no technique for discovering.
A.W. Tozer
Man is a phase of nature, and only as he is related to nature does he matter, does he have any account whatever above the dust.
Frank Lloyd Wright
And if one loves me for my judgement, memory, he does not love me, for I can lose these qualities without losing myself. Where, then, is this Ego, if it be neither in the body nor in the soul? And how love the body or the soul, except for these qualities which do not constitute me, since they are perishable? For it is impossible and would be unjust to love the soul of a person in the abstract and whatever qualities might be therein. We never, then, love a person, but only qualities. Let us, then, jeer no more at those who are honoured on account of rank and office; for we love a person only on account of borrowed qualities.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
Today the most civilized countries of the world spend a maximum of their income on war and a minimum on education. The twenty-first century will reverse this order. It will be more glorious to fight against ignorance than to die on the field of battle. The discovery of a new scientific truth will be more important than the squabbles of diplomats. Even the newspapers of our own day are beginning to treat scientific discoveries and the creation of fresh philosophical concepts as news. The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere 'stick' in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis. Progress along such lines will be impossible while nations persist in the savage practice of killing each other off. I inherited from my father, an erudite man who labored hard for peace, an ineradicable hatred of war.
Nikola Tesla
(on A History of Western Philosophy) I was sometimes accused by reviewers of writing not a true history but a biased account of the events that I arbitrarily chose to write of. But to my mind, a man without a bias cannot write interesting history - if, indeed, such man exists.
Bertrand Russell (The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell)
Go is to Western chess what philosophy is to double-entry accounting.
Trevanian (Shibumi)
The beginning of wisdom, I believe, is our ability to accept an inherent messiness in our explanation of what's going on. Nowhere is it written that human minds should be able to give a full accounting of creation in all dimensions and on all levels. Ludwig Wittgenstein had the idea that philosophy should be what he called "true enough." I think that's a great idea. True enough is as true as can be gotten. The imagination is chaos. New forms are fetched out of it. The creative act is to let down the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended and then to attempt to bring out of it ideas.
Rupert Sheldrake
The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it. The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?
Virginia Woolf (Jacob's Room)
What other agents then are there, which, at the same time that they are under the influence of man's direction, are susceptible of happiness? They are of two sorts: (1) Other human beings who are styled persons. (2) Other animals, which, on account of their interests having been neglected by the insensibility of the ancient jurists, stand degraded into the class of things... But is there any reason why we should be suffered to torment them? Not any that I can see. Are there any why we should not be suffered to torment them? Yes, several. The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps, the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being? The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes.
Jeremy Bentham (The Principles of Morals and Legislation)
Philosophy is like science and unlike history in that it seeks general truths rather than an account of particular events, either in the near or distant past.
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book)
We have spent centuries of philosophy trying to solve "the problem of evil," yet I believe the much more confounding and astounding issue is the "problem of good." How do we account for so much gratuitous and sheer goodness in this world? Tackling this problem would achieve much better results.
Richard Rohr (Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self)
The Love that dare not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the "Love that dare not speak its name," and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.
Oscar Wilde
Philosophy cannot and should not give us an account of faith, but should understand itself and know just what it has indeed to offer, without taking anything away, least of all cheating people out of something by making them think it is nothing.
Søren Kierkegaard
We see a lot of feature-driven product design in which the cost of features is not properly accounted. Features can have a negative value to customers because they make the products more difficult to understand and use. We are finding that people like products that just work. It turns out that designs that just work are much harder to produce that designs that assemble long lists of features.
Douglas Crockford (JavaScript: The Good Parts)
Identity and resemblance would then be no more than inevitable illusions - in other words, concepts of reflection which would account for our inveterate habit of thinking difference on the basis of the categories of representation.
Gilles Deleuze (Difference and Repetition)
Remember the philosophy of the U.S. Navy SEALs: “I will never quit...My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates...I am never out of the fight.
Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10)
No non-poetic account of reality can be complete.
John Myhill
We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatever.
Isaac Newton
How do we account for this paradox that the absence of Law universalizes prohibition ... The psychoanalytic name for this obscene injunction for this obscene call, ENJOY, is superego. The problem today is not how to get rid of your inhibitions and to be able to spontaneously enjoy. The problem is how to get rid of this injunction to enjoy.
Slavoj Žižek
Public education does not serve a public. It creates a public. And in creating the right kind of public, the schools contribute toward strengthening the spiritual basis of the American Creed. That is how Jefferson understood it, how Horace Mann understood it, how John Dewey understood it, and in fact, there is no other way to understand it. The question is not, Does or doesn't public schooling create a public? The question is, What kind of public does it create? A conglomerate of self-indulgent consumers? Angry, soulless, directionless masses? Indifferent, confused citizens? Or a public imbued with confidence, a sense of purpose, a respect for learning, and tolerance? The answer to this question has nothing whatever to do with computers, with testing, with teacher accountability, with class size, and with the other details of managing schools. The right answer depends on two things, and two things alone: the existence of shared narratives and the capacity of such narratives to provide an inspired reason for schooling.
Neil Postman (The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School)
When it comes down to it, government is simply an abandonment of responsibility on the assumption that there are people, other than ourselves, who really know how to manage things. But the government, run ostensibly for the good of the people, becomes a self-serving corporation. To keep things under control, it proliferates law of ever-increasing complexity and unintelligibility, and hinders productive work by demanding so much accounting on paper that the record of what has been done becomes more important than what has actually been done. [...] The Taoist moral is that people who mistrust themselves and one another are doomed.
Alan W. Watts
All we think about in the cycle of violence is men. If we miss the oestrogen factor we cannot solve the cycle of violence. We cannot bring peace to the world unless we hold women accountable and morally responsible, particularly for their attacks upon children.
Stefan Molyneux
There are — how do you say — things in this world our philosophy cannot account for.
Haruki Murakami (Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2))
History, therefore, is firmly rooted in philosophy. It deserves to be accounted a branch of philosophy.
Ibn Khaldun (THE MUQADDIMAH: An Introduction to History)
Empirical science, empiricism, takes no account of the soul, no account of what constitutes and determines personal being.
Oliver Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales)
But we must not forget that all things in the world are connected with one another and depend on one another, and that we ourselves and all our thoughts are also a part of nature. It is utterly beyond our power to measure the changes of things by time. Quite the contrary, time is an abstraction, at which we arrive by means of the change of things; made because we are not restricted to any one definite measure, all being interconnected. A motion is termed uniform in which equal increments of space described correspond to equal increments of space described by some motion with which we form a comparison, as the rotation of the earth. A motion may, with respect to another motion, be uniform. But the question whether a motion is in itself uniform, is senseless. With just as little justice, also, may we speak of an “absolute time” --- of a time independent of change. This absolute time can be measured by comparison with no motion; it has therefore neither a practical nor a scientific value; and no one is justified in saying that he knows aught about it. It is an idle metaphysical conception.
Ernst Mach (The Science of Mechanics: A Critical and Historical Account of Its Development)
A fundamental approach to life transformation is using social media for therapy; it forces you to have an opinion, provides intellectual stimulation, increases awareness, boosts self-confidence, and offers the possibility of hope.
Germany Kent
From now on, he wrote, we must always take into account our knowledge that we can destroy ourselves at will, with all our history and perhaps life on earth itself. Nothing stops us but our own free choosing. If we want to survive, we have to decide to live. Thus, he offered a philosophy designed for a species that had just scared the hell out of itself, but that finally felt ready to grow up and take responsibility.
Sarah Bakewell (At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails)
was a fundamental principle of the Gradgrind philosophy that everything was to be paid for. Nobody was ever on any account to give anybody anything, or render anybody help without purchase. Gratitude was to be abolished, and the virtues springing from it were not to be. Every inch of the existence of mankind, from birth to death, was to be a bargain across a counter. And if we didn’t get to Heaven that way, it was not a politico-economical place, and we had no business there.
Charles Dickens (Hard Times)
In fact, the belief that neurophysiology is even relevant to the functioning of the mind is just hypothesis. Who knows if we're looking at the right aspects of the brain at all. Maybe there are other aspects of the brain that nobody has even dreamt of looking at yet. That's often happened in the history of science. When people say that the mental is the neurophysiological at a higher level, they're being radically unscientific. We know a lot about the mental from a scientific point of view. We have explanatory theories that account for a lot of things. The belief that neurophysiology is implicated in these things could be true, but we have every little evidence for it. So, it's just a kind of hope; look around and you see neurons; maybe they're implicated.
Noam Chomsky (Language and Thought (Anshen Transdisciplinary Lectureships in Art, Science and the Philosophy of Culture, #3))
Love of Truth is one of the strongest motives for replacing what really happens by a streamlined account or, to express it in a less polite manner -- love of truth is one of the strongest motives for deceiving oneself and others.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Conquest of Abundance: A Tale of Abstraction versus the Richness of Being)
Existing political philosophies all developed before evolutionary game theory, so they do not take equilibrium selection into account. Socialism pretends that individuals are not selfish sexual competitors, so it ignores equilibria altogether. Conservatism pretends that there is only one possible equilibrium—a nostalgic version of the status quo—that society could play. Libertarianism ignores the possibility of equilibrium selection at the level of rational social discourse, and assumes that decentralized market dynamics will magically lead to equilibria that yield the highest aggregate social benefits. Far from being a scientific front for a particular set of political views, modern evolutionary psychology makes most standard views look simplistic and unimaginitive.
Geoffrey Miller (The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature)
Some people are doing evil and bad things. To ease their conscious they are always blame others, because they don't want to to be accountable of what they are doing. Blaming others makes them feel like they are good people or doing something good.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
A man is not allowed to practise medicine unless he knows something of the human body, but a financier is allowed to operate freely without any knowledge at all of the multifarious effects of his activities, with the sole exception of the effect upon his bank account.
Bertrand Russell (In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays)
Christianity had, in Nietzsche’s account, emerged from the minds of timid slaves in the Roman Empire who had lacked the stomach to climb to the tops of mountains, and so had built themselves a philosophy claiming that their bases were delightful. Christians had wished to enjoy the real ingredients of fulfilment (a position in the world, sex, intellectual mastery, creativity) but did not have the courage to endure the difficulties these goods demanded. They had therefore fashioned a hypocritical creed denouncing what they wanted but were too weak to fight for while praising what they did not want but happened to have. Powerlessness became ‘goodness’, baseness ‘humility’, submission to people one hated ‘obedience’ and, in Nietzsche’s phrase, ‘not-being-able-to-take-revenge’ turned into ‘forgiveness’. Every feeling of weakness was overlaid with a sanctifying name, and made to seem ‘a voluntary achievement, something wanted, chosen, a deed, an accomplishment’. Addicted to ‘the religion of comfortableness’, Christians, in their value system, had given precedence to what was easy, not what was desirable, and so had drained life of its potential.
Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy)
The history of philosophy, and perhaps especially of moral, social and political philosophy, is there to prevent us from becoming too readily bewitched. The intellectual historian can help us to appreciate how far the values embodied in our present way of life, and our present ways of thinking about those values, reflect a series of choices made at different times between different possible worlds. This awareness can help to liberate us from the grip of any one hegemonal account of those values and how they should be interpreted and understood. Equipped with a broader sense of possibility, we can stand back from the intellectual commitments we have inherited and ask ourselves in a new spirit of enquiry what we should think of them.
Quentin Skinner (Liberty Before Liberalism)
Christians must show that misery fits the good for heaven, while happiness prepares the bad for hell; that the wicked get all their good things in this life, and the good all their evil; that in this world God punishes the people he loves, and in the next, the ones he hates; that happiness makes us bad here, but not in heaven; that pain makes us good here, but not in hell. No matter how absurd these things may appear to the carnal mind, they must be preached and they must be believed. If they were reasonable, there would be no virtue in believing. Even the publicans and sinners believe reasonable things. To believe without evidence, or in spite of it, is accounted as righteousness to the sincere and humble christian. In short, Christians are expected to denounce all pleasant paths and rustling trees, to curse the grass and flowers, and glorify the dust and weeds. They are expected to malign the wicked people in the green and happy fields, who sit and laugh beside the gurgling springs or climb the hills and wander as they will. They are expected to point out the dangers of freedom, the safety of implicit obedience, and to show the wickedness of philosophy, the goodness of faith, the immorality of science and the purity of ignorance.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
man was given two ears and one mouth for a reason
Account of The Stoic Zeno by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Haselman
For other great mathematicians or philosophers, he used the epithets magnus, or clarus, or clarissimus; for Newton alone he kept the prefix summus.
W.W. Rouse Ball (A Short Account of the History of Mathematics)
You should not measure your worth by how much money you have in your bank account
Justice Chinemelum
I see things in windows and I say to myself that I want them. I want them because I want to belong. I want to be liked by more people, I want to be held in higher regard than others. I want to feel valued, so I say to myself to watch certain shows. I watch certain shows on the television so I can participate in dialogues and conversations and debates with people who want the same things I want. I want to dress a certain way so certain groups of people are forced to be attracted to me. I want to do my hair a certain way with certain styling products and particular combs and methods so that I can fit in with the In-Crowd. I want to spend hours upon hours at the gym, stuffing my body with what scientists are calling 'superfoods', so that I can be loved and envied by everyone around me. I want to become an icon on someone's mantle. I want to work meaningless jobs so that I can fill my wallet and parentally-advised bank accounts with monetary potential. I want to believe what's on the news so that I can feel normal along with the rest of forever. I want to listen to the Top Ten on Q102, and roll my windows down so others can hear it and see that I am listening to it, and enjoying it. I want to go to church every Sunday, and pray every other day. I want to believe that what I do is for the promise of a peaceful afterlife. I want rewards for my 'good' deeds. I want acknowledgment and praise. And I want people to know that I put out that fire. I want people to know that I support the war effort. I want people to know that I volunteer to save lives. I want to be seen and heard and pointed at with love. I want to read my name in the history books during a future full of clones exactly like me. The mirror, I've noticed, is almost always positioned above the sink. Though the sink offers more depth than a mirror, and mirror is only able to reflect, the sink is held in lower regard. Lower still is the toilet, and thought it offers even more depth than the sink, we piss and shit in it. I want these kind of architectural details to be paralleled in my every day life. I want to care more about my reflection, and less about my cleanliness. I want to be seen as someone who lives externally, and never internally, unless I am able to lock the door behind me. I want these things, because if I didn't, I would be dead in the mirrors of those around me. I would be nothing. I would be an example. Sunken, and easily washed away.
Dave Matthes
This ground itself needs to be properly accounted for by that for which it accounts, that is, by the causation through the supremely original matter – and that is the cause as causa sui. This is the right name for the god of philosophy. Man can neither pray nor sacrifice to this god. Before the causa sui, man can neither fall to his knees in awe nor can he play music and dance before this god.
Martin Heidegger
The extent of Christian stupidity and of Christian ignorance would have been the most unaccountable of all the phenomena of the universe, if its own history had not supplied the account. Men have been trained to prefer ignorance to learning, and have chosen to be driven mad and wild by faith, rather than to be instructed, enlightened and improved by reason and philosophy – Rev. Robert Taylor The Devil’s Pulpit, 1830)
Michael Tsarion (The Irish Origins of Civilization, Volume Two)
To meditate is to sail a course, to navigate, among problems many of which we are in the process of clearing up. After each one looms another, whose shores are even more attractive, more suggestive. Certainly, it requires strength and perseverance to get to windward of problems, but there is no greater delight than to reach new shores, and even to sail, as Camoëns says, “through seas that keel has never cut before.” If you will now open a bank-account of attention for me, I foretell sun-smitten landscapes and promise archipelagoes.
José Ortega y Gasset (Man and People)
[T]aking the Third into account does not bring us into the position of pragmatic consideration, of comparing different Others; the task is rather to learn to distinguish between "false" conflicts and the "true" conflict. For example, today's conflict between Western liberalism and religious fundamentalism is a "false" one, since it is based on the exclusion of the third term which is its "truth": the Leftist emancipatory position.
Slavoj Žižek (God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse)
During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes. Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. That is, if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him? (Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A 1934 Symposium published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941; from Einstein's Out of My Later Years, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970, pp. 26-27.)
Albert Einstein
Now the history of philosophy shows that religious belief which is primarily mystical may very well be compatible with a pronounced sense of reality in the field of empirical fact; it may even support it directly on account of the repudiation of dialectic doctrines. Furthermore, mysticism may indirectly even further the interests of rational conduct.
Max Weber (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism)
Dear Sirs," Flick began before loudly inhaling, "On account of there being no heat down here in account of the being no electricity on account of the brand-new energy rations so thoughtfully and nobly and honorably imposed on the steerage decks by Sovereign Nicolaeus on account of the blackouts - Aster fell prey to a brief fit of hypothermia-induced delirium de spoke against you in her maddery. She's healed up now so you don't have to worry about it happening again.
Rivers Solomon (An Unkindness of Ghosts)
Human nature presents human minds with a puzzle which they have not yet solved and may never succeed in solving, for all that we can tell. The dichotomy of a human being into 'soul' and 'body' is not a datum of experience. No one has ever been, or ever met, a living human soul without a body... Someone who accepts—as I myself do, taking it on trust—the present-day scientific account of the Universe may find it impossible to believe that a living creature, once dead, can come to life again; but, if he did entertain this belief, he would be thinking more 'scientifically' if he thought in the Christian terms of a psychosomatic resurrection than if he thought in the shamanistic terms of a disembodied spirit.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (Experiences)
In the past he had been unable to see the great, teh unfathomable, the infinite, in anything. He had only felt that it must exist somewhere and had been seeking it. In everything near and comprehensible he had seen only what was limited, petty, commonplace, and meaningless. He had equipped himself with a mental telescope and gazed into the distance where the distance had seemed to him great and infinite only because they were not clearly visible. Such had Europan life, politics, Masonry, philosophy, and philanthropy seemed to him. Bet even then, at moments of weakness as he had accounted them, his mind had penetrated that distance too, and he had seen there the same triviality, worldliness, and absurdity. Now, however, he had learned to see the great, the eternal, the infinite in everything, and therefore, in order to look at it, to enjoy his contemplation of it, he naturally discarded teh telescope through which he had till then been gazing over the heads of men, and joyfully surveyed the ever-changeing, eternally great, unfathomable, and infinite life around him. And the closer he looked, the happier and more seren he was. The awful question: What for? a simple answer was now always ready in his soul: Because there is a God, that God without whose will not one hair of a man's head falls.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Should a traveler, returning from a far country, bring us an account of men wholly different from any with whom we were ever acquainted, men who were entirely divested of avarice, ambition, or revenge, who knew no pleasure but friendship, generosity, and public spirit, we should immediately, from these circumstances, detect the falsehood and prove him a liar with the same certainty as if he had stuffed his narration with stories of centaurs and dragons, miracles and prodigies.
David Hume (A Treatise of Human Nature)
Consider the following sequence of cases, which we shall call the Tale of the Slave, and imagine it is about you. 1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master’s whims. He is often cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on. 2. The master is kindlier and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time. 3. The master has a group of slave, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on. 4. The master allows the slave four days on their own and requires them to work only three days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own. 5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, cigarette smoking. 6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what use to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on. 7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter into discussion of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vast range of their powers. 8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselve3s to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master may also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.) 9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome. The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of the slave?
Robert Nozick (Anarchy, State, and Utopia)
You can’t be treating people bad, speaking bad about them , creating fake accounts to insults, swear, stalk, fight and bully them and then you preach karma everyday , when someone does you wrong.Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
De philosopher DJ Kyos
A critic of the Bible who was more radical than Hobbes was Isaac La Peyrère (1596–1676), a French heretic who believed that the world would soon be run by a Jewish messiah acting in partnership with the king of France. La Peyrère was apparently of Marrano origin and probably met Spinoza. He argued that the Bible offered not an account of human history but only an account of the history of the Jews; that there were other men before Adam (in China, for example); and that the flood was merely a little local difficulty in Palestine. Spinoza
Anthony Gottlieb (The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy)
Oersted would never have made his great discovery of the action of galvanic currents on magnets had he stopped in his researches to consider in what manner they could possibly be turned to practical account; and so we would not now be able to boast of the wonders done by the electric telegraphs. Indeed, no great law in Natural Philosophy has ever been discovered for its practical implications, but the instances are innumerable of investigations apparently quite useless in this narrow sense of the word which have led to the most valuable results.
William Thomson
Paul was the only scholar among the apostles. He never displays his learning, considering it of no account as compared with the excellency of the knowledge of Christ, for whom he suffered the loss of all things, but he could not conceal it, and turned it to the best use after his conversion. Peter and John had natural genius, but no scholastic education; Paul had both, and thus became the founder of Christian theology and philosophy.
Philip Schaff (History of the Christian Church - From The 1st To The 20th Century (All 8 Volumes))
Language as a Prison The Philippines did have a written language before the Spanish colonists arrived, contrary to what many of those colonists subsequently claimed. However, it was a language that some theorists believe was mainly used as a mnemonic device for epic poems. There was simply no need for a European-style written language in a decentralized land of small seaside fishing villages that were largely self-sufficient. One theory regarding language is that it is primarily a useful tool born out of a need for control. In this theory written language was needed once top-down administration of small towns and villages came into being. Once there were bosses there arose a need for written language. The rise of the great metropolises of Ur and Babylon made a common written language an absolute necessity—but it was only a tool for the administrators. Administrators and rulers needed to keep records and know names— who had rented which plot of land, how many crops did they sell, how many fish did they catch, how many children do they have, how many water buffalo? More important, how much then do they owe me? In this account of the rise of written language, naming and accounting seem to be language's primary "civilizing" function. Language and number are also handy for keeping track of the movement of heavenly bodies, crop yields, and flood cycles. Naturally, a version of local oral languages was eventually translated into symbols as well, and nonadministrative words, the words of epic oral poets, sort of went along for the ride, according to this version. What's amazing to me is that if we accept this idea, then what may have begun as an instrument of social and economic control has now been internalized by us as a mark of being civilized. As if being controlled were, by inference, seen as a good thing, and to proudly wear the badge of this agent of control—to be able to read and write—makes us better, superior, more advanced. We have turned an object of our own oppression into something we now think of as virtuous. Perfect! We accept written language as something so essential to how we live and get along in the world that we feel and recognize its presence as an exclusively positive thing, a sign of enlightenment. We've come to love the chains that bind us, that control us, for we believe that they are us (161-2).
David Byrne (Bicycle Diaries)
If we are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate, then works of art are perhaps a little to blame, for in them we find at work the same process of simplification or selection as in the imagination. Artistic accounts include severe abbreviations of what reality will force upon us. A travel book may tell us, for example, that the narrator journeyed through the afternoon to reach the hill town of X and after a night in its medieval monastery awoke to a misty dawn. But we never simply 'journey through an afternoon'. We sit in a train. Lunch digests awkwardly within us. The seat cloth is grey. We look out the window at a field. We look back inside. A drum of anxieties resolves in our consciousness. We notice a luggage label affixed to a suitcase in a rack above the seats opposite. We tap a finger on the window ledge. A broken nail on an index finger catches a thread. It starts to rain. A drop wends a muddy path down the dust-coated window. We wonder where our ticket might be. We look back at the field. It continues to rain. At last, the train starts to move. It passes an iron bridge, after which it inexplicably stops. A fly lands on the window And still we may have reached the end only of the first minute of a comprehensive account of the events lurking within the deceptive sentence 'He journeyed through the afternoon'. A storyteller who provides us with such a profusion of details would rapidly grow maddening. Unfortunately, life itself often subscribes to this mode of storytelling, wearking us out with repetitions, misleading emphases[,] and inconsequential plot lines. It insists on showing us Burdak Electronics, the safety handle in the car, a stray dog, a Christmas card[,] and a fly that lands first on the rim and then the centre of a laden ashtray. Which explains the curious phenomenon whereby valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
For, occupied incessantly with the consideration of the limits prescribed to their power by nature, they [philosophers of former times] became so entirely convinced that nothing was at their disposal except their own thoughts, that this conviction was of itself sufficient to prevent their entertaining any desire of other objects; and over their thoughts they acquired a sway so absolute, that they had some ground on this account for esteeming themselves more rich and more powerful, more free and more happy, than other men who, whatever be the favors heaped on them by nature and fortune, if destitute of this philosophy, can never command the realization of all their desires.
René Descartes (Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy)
As formal teaching and training grow in extent, there is the danger of creating an undesirable split between the experience gained in more direct associations and what is acquired in school. This danger was never greater than at the present time, on account of the rapid growth in the last few centuries of knowledge and technical modes of skill.
John Dewey (Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education)
Just as soon as I meet and learn to love a friend we must part and go our separate ways, never to meet on quite the same ground again. For, disguise the fact as we will, when friends, even the closest-and perhaps the more so on account of that very closeness-meet again after a separation there is always a chill, lesser or greater, of change. Neither finds the other quite the same. This is only natural. Human nature is ever growing or retrograding-never stationary. But still, with all our philosophy who of us can repress a little feeling of bewildered disappointment when we realize that our friend is not and never can be just the same as before-even although the change may be an improvement?
L.M. Montgomery
Every right comes with responsibility. If you choose to go to work, church, gym, school, mall, club, park, tavern , to visit your friends, family or to go and buy alcohol, because it is your right. You also should know you are responsible for your own safety and other people safety. Whatever the outcome is. You should be held accountable for your actions.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
An accountable waitress is more capable of running a nation than a bigoted scholar.
Abhijit Naskar (Good Scientist: When Science and Service Combine)
We may have plenty of pompous ideologies and schools of thought, but if we don't have an everyday concern for our society, then they are all meaningless.
Abhijit Naskar (I Vicdansaadet Speaking: No Rest Till The World is Lifted)
The real rich people doesn't have bank accounts, they have treasures.
Amit Kalantri
For of what account are Truth and Love when Life itself has ceased to seem desirable?
Clifford Whittingham Beers
Enough is not in the volume of money owned or size of one’s account. It is in the needs that can be consistently met without having to work for money anymore
Ola Barnabas
Measure your life not by the dimension of your bank account but by the expansion of your kindness and love.
Debasish Mridha
An hour of innocence builds more trust than years of diplomacy.
Abhijit Naskar (Hurricane Humans: Give me accountability, I'll give you peace)
I do not believe in anything but take into account everything .
Vintea Alexandru
Despite our live-for-today philosophy, eventually tomorrow came. Upon returning home, I discovered with dismay that my bank accounts were almost empty.
Caryl Matrisciana (Out of India: A True Story about the New Age Movement)
Political writers argue in regard to the love of liberty with the same philosophy that philosophers do in regard to the state of nature; by the things they see they judge of things very different which they have never seen, and they attribute to men a natural inclination to slavery, on account of the patience with which the slaves within their notice carry the yoke; not reflecting that it is with liberty as with innocence and virtue, the value of which is not known but by those who possess them, though the relish for them is lost with the things themselves. I know the charms of your country, said Brasidas to a satrap who was comparing the life of the Spartans with that of the Persepolites; but you can not know the pleasures of mine.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality)
Proverbs is in many respects a work on ethics, presenting arguments concerning the manner in which moral precepts relate to life and the good; Job investigates the reasons good individuals (and, by implication, good nations) should suffer catastrophe; Esther seeks an account of how God’s will works in political circumstances in which one sees nothing but the decisions and deeds of human actors; and so forth.
Yoram Hazony (The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture)
People or friends these days uses two mobile numbers, two apps or applications, two social media accounts. They use the first one to talk to you and the second one to talk about you. Choose to trust no one.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
..this noticeable in the South, where theology and religious philosophy are on this account a long way behind the North, and where the religion of the poor whites is a plain copy of Negro thought and methods.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
We become philosophical when our inherited understanding can no longer account for our experience and we are forced to create for ourselves an authentic understanding capable of giving meaning to our experience.
James P. Danaher (Philosophical Imagination and the Evolution of Modern Philosophy)
In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast ... 'To physics and metaphysics.' Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy—truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and ... the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else. The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.
Carl Sagan
Now Christianity proposes a completely different account of how history comes to a climax and what precisely constitutes the new order of the ages—which helps to explain why so many of modernity’s avatars, from Diderot to Christopher Hitchens, have specially targeted Christianity. On the Christian reading, history reached its highpoint when a young first-century Jewish rabbi, having been put to death on a brutal Roman instrument of torture, was raised from the dead through the power of the God of Israel. The state-sponsored murder of Jesus, who had dared to speak and act in the name of Israel’s God, represented the world’s resistance to the Creator. It was the moment when cruelty, hatred, violence, and corruption—symbolized in the Bible as the watery chaos—spent itself on Jesus. The resurrection, therefore, showed forth the victory of the divine love over those dark powers. St. Paul can say, “I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God,” precisely because he lived on the far side of the resurrection.
Robert Barron
If a faithful account was rendered of man's ideas upon the Divinity, he would be obliged to acknowledge, that for the most part the word Gods has been used to express the concealed, remote, unknown causes of the effects he witnessed; that he applies this term when the spring of natural, the source of known causes ceases to be visible: as soon as he loses the thread of these causes, or as soon as his mind can no longer follow the chain, he solves the difficulty, terminates his research, by ascribing it to his gods; thus giving a vague definition to an unknown cause, at which either his idleness, or his limited knowledge, obliges him to stop. When, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon, the novelty or the extent of which strikes him with wonder, but of which his ignorance precludes him from unravelling the true cause, or which he believes the natural powers with which he is acquainted are inadequate to bring forth; does he, in fact, do any thing more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe?
Paul-Henri Thiry (System of Nature)
Surely the first obligation of a political thinker is to understand the nature of man. The Conservative does not claim special powers of perception on this point, but he does claim a familiarity with the accumulated wisdom and experience of history, and he is not too proud to learn from the great minds of the past. The first thing he has learned about man is that each member of the species is a unique creature. Man’s most sacred possession is his individual soul—which has an immortal side, but also a mortal one. The mortal side establishes his absolute differentness from every other human being. Only a philosophy that takes into account the essential differences between men, and, accordingly, makes provision for developing the different potentialities of each man can claim to be in accord with Nature. We have heard much in our time about “the common man.” It is a concept that pays little attention to the history of a nation that grew great through the initiative and ambition of uncommon men. The Conservative knows that to regard man as part of an undifferentiated mass is to consign him to ultimate slavery.
Barry M. Goldwater (Conscience of a Conservative)
What then is it which justifies virtue or the morally good disposition, in making such lofty claims? It is nothing less than the privilege it secures to the rational being of participating in the giving of universal laws, by which it qualifies him to be a member of a possible kingdom of ends, a privilege to which he was already destined by his own nature as being an end in himself, and on that account legislating in the kingdom of ends; free as regards all laws of physical nature, and obeying those only which he himself gives, and by which his maxims can belong to a system of universal law, to which at the same time he submits himself. For nothing has any worth except what the law assigns it.
Immanuel Kant (The Metaphysics of Morals)
But Miss Ferguson preferred science over penmanship. Philosophy over etiquette. And, dear heavens preserve them all, mathematics over everything. Not simply numbering that could see a wife through her household accounts. Algebra. Geometry. Indecipherable equations made up of unrecognizable symbols that meant nothing to anyone but the chit herself. It was enough to give Miss Chase hives. The girl wasn’t even saved by having any proper feminine skills. She could not tat or sing or draw. Her needlework was execrable, and her Italian worse. In fact, her only skills were completely unacceptable, as no one wanted a wife who could speak German, discuss physics, or bring down more pheasant than her husband.
Eileen Dreyer (It Begins with a Kiss (Drake's Rakes, #4))
I have the better right to indulgence herein, because my devotion to letters strengthens my oratorical powers, and these, such as they are, have never failed my friends in their hour of peril. Yet insignificant though these powers may seem to be, I fully realize from what source I draw all that is highest in them. Had I not persuaded myself from my youth up, thanks to the moral lessons derived from a wide reading, that nothing is to be greatly sought after in this life save glory and honour, and that in their quest all bodily pains and all dangers of death or exile should be lightly accounted, I should never have borne for the safety of you all the burnt of many a bitter encounter, or bared my breast to the daily onsets of abandoned persons. All literature, all philosophy, all history, abounds with incentives to noble action, incentives which would be buried in black darkness were the light of the written word not flashed upon them.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
It is my sincerest hope to leave this world in better shape than which I found it. Everyone says that. However the distinction I feel that is necessary to make is. I hope to leave this world better in spite of my departure, not because of it.
Kay Whitley (Out Loud: A collection of spoken word poetry)
It always has been and always will be the same. The old folk of our grandfathers' young days sang a song bearing exactly the same burden; and the young folk of to-day will drone out precisely similar nonsense for the aggravation of the next generation. "Oh, give me back the good old days of fifty years ago," has been the cry ever since Adam's fifty-first birthday. Take up the literature of 1835, and you will find the poets and novelists asking for the same impossible gift as did the German Minnesingers long before them and the old Norse Saga writers long before that. And for the same thing sighed the early prophets and the philosophers of ancient Greece. From all accounts, the world has been getting worse and worse ever since it was created. All I can say is that it must have been a remarkably delightful place when it was first opened to the public, for it is very pleasant even now if you only keep as much as possible in the sunshine and take the rain good-temperedly.
Jerome K. Jerome (Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow)
The argument against faith is all based upon the rigorous analysis of the scriptures, and not upon the objective observation of the actual individual sensation of faith. Historical experiences of the Kingdom of God gave rise to all the scriptures in the world, but the scriptures themselves don’t account for the actual globally prevalent psychological element of faith or divinity in the human mind. Faith is a natural evolutionary trait of the human mind, selected by Mother Nature as an internal coping-mechanism.
Abhijit Naskar
The Accounting of Love and Hospitality - Sermon on the Account Do enough for others that it's impossible For them to keep accounts Of what they owe you Or what you've done. Lose the account yourself, Expect nothing in return. Make a habit of giving things away. Pay for other people's meal, Friends and strangers. Keep no accounts on that either. Take what is offered to you, But expect or demand nothing. Tell the people in your life That you appreciate them As often as you can. There may be a day when you can't. Tell your kids and spouse that you love them, Often and every night. Remind yourself What it is you love about them. Look for ways to be kind and helpful, There are plenty to find. Do things without telling others You've done them. Don't even remind yourself. Do acts of kindness, then let them go. Live a life without clinging to expectations About who you should be. Your friends and family will change, Everything does, you will. Life has a lot of additions and subtraction; Change is inevitable. Spend time mindfully changing yourself Towards kindness and patience. At the end of your life, Which could be any moment, Let the ones that knew you Have lived a better life because you were there. Let your accounts be settled And forgive other people's.
Eric Overby
If we believed that those agencies were appointed by a benevolent Providence as the means of accomplishing wise purposes which could not be compassed if they did not exist, then everything done by mankind which tends to chain up these natural agencies or to restrict their mischievous operation, from draining a pestilential marsh down to curing the toothache, or putting up an umbrella, ought to be accounted impious ; which assuredly nobody does account them, notwithstanding an undercurrent of sentiment setting in that direction which is occasionally perceptible.
John Stuart Mill (Three Essays on Religion: Nature, the Utility of Religion, Theism (Great Books in Philosophy): Nature, the Utility of Religion and Theism)
By now you may have concluded that the conversation was neither about Descartes nor about philosophy, although it certainly was about mind, brain, and body. My friend suggested it should take place under the Sign of Descartes, since there was no way of approaching such themes without evoking the emblematic figure who shaped the most commonly held account of their relationship. At this point I realized that, in a curious way, the book would be about Descartes' Error. You will, of course, want to know what the Error was, but for the moment I am sworn to secrecy. I promise, though, that it will be revealed.
António R. Damásio
The inner meaning of history . . . involves speculation and an attempt to get at the truth, subtle explanation of the causes and origins of existing things, and deep knowledge of the how and why of events. (History,) therefore, is firmly rooted in philosophy. It deserves to be accounted a branch of (philosophy).
Robert Irwin (Ibn Khaldun: An Intellectual Biography)
Ergo, while the Argument from Design appears to be a nice, neat answer to account for the presence of a multifarious Universe, the truth is that it backfires on itself, shifting the need for an explanation back and back and back…and back…without end, without resolution. This is called an infinite regress, and its presence in the logic of the argument fails to prove the existence of God; if anything, it reveals that the idea of a designer is patently ridiculous, even more so than a godless Cosmos. The argument therefore answers nothing; it merely moves the mystery of origins to an even higher level, demanding that the Creator have his own Creator.
Michael Vito Tosto (Portrait of an Infidel: The Acerbic Account of How a Passionate Christian Became an Ardent Atheist)
For we find even the excellent Descartes, who gave the first impulse to subjective reflection and thereby became the father of modern philosophy, still entangled in confusions for which it is difficult to account ; and we shall soon see to what serious and deplorable consequences these confusions have led with regard to Metaphysics.
Arthur Schopenhauer
The inability of Darwinian psychology to account for human reasoning is devastating to its pretensions to be a science. The prestige of science depends on the application of highly advanced practical and theoretical reason. A 'science' that is incompatible with such reasoning is therefore at odds with the very essence of scientific activity.
Angus J.L. Menuge (Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science)
It’s your crap that’s endearing. It’s the basis of any relationship, way beyond even the choice of who wins on to whom. It’s crap that sustains things. The mutual vulnerability that comes from knowing each other’s crap. How shallow would we be if you only felt things for people on account of their successes? How likely would that be to survive?
Nick Earls (Zigzag Street)
Science has marched forward. But civilization’s values remain rooted in philosophies, religious traditions, and ethical frameworks devised many centuries ago. Even our economic system, capitalism, is half a millennium old. The first stock exchange opened in 1602 in Amsterdam. By 1637, tulip mania had caused the first speculation bubble and crash. And not a lot has changed. Virtually every business stills uses the double-entry bookkeeping and accounting adopted in thirteenth –century Venice. So our daily dealings are still heavily influenced by ideas that were firmly set before anyone knew the world was round. In many ways, they reflect how we understood the world when we didn’t understand the world at all.
Carl Safina (The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World)
Perhaps you have heard the famous bit of wisdom about how the making of an omelet requires the breaking of eggs? This philosophy, while technically true, does not account for the fact that omelets are universally disappointing to all who eat them - equal parts water and rubber and slime. Who among us would not prefer a good cobbler or spiced pudding? Sophie often thought that Bustleburgh was not unlike the omelet maker who, having grown obsessed with his task, had decided that all eggs everywhere must be broken at any cost. While she acknowledged the convenience of living in a modern city, she wasn't sure it was worth the destruction of so many wondrous things . . . especially if those things included books.
Jonathan Auxier (Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard (Peter Nimble, #2))
It is remarkable, however, that at the very lowest point of Kant's depression, when he became perfectly incapable of conversing with any rational meaning on the ordinary affairs of life, he was still able to answer correctly and distinctly, in a degree that was perfectly astonishing, upon any question of philosophy or of science, especially of physical geography, [Footnote: Physical Geography, in opposition to Political.] chemistry, or natural history. He talked satisfactorily, in his very worst state, of the gases, and stated very accurately different propositions of Kepler’s, especially the law of the planetary motions. And I remember in particular, that upon the very last Monday of his life, when the extremity of his weakness moved a circle of his friends to tears, and he sat amongst us insensible to all we could say to him, cowering down, or rather I might say collapsing into a shapeless heap upon his chair, deaf, blind, torpid, motionless,—even then I whispered to the others that I would engage that Kant should take his part in conversation with propriety and animation. This they found it difficult to believe. Upon which I drew close to his ear, and put a question to him about the Moors of Barbary. To the surprise of everybody but myself, he immediately gave us a summary account of their habits and customs; and told us by the way, that in the word Algiers, the g ought to be pronounced hard (as in the English word gear).
Thomas De Quincey (Biographies and Biographic Sketches (Collected Writings, Vol 4))
I hold it perniciously false to teach that all cultural forms are equally probable and that by mere force of will an inspired individual can at any moment alter the trajectory of an entire cultural system in a direction convenient to any philosophy. Convergent and parallel trajectories far outnumber divergent trajectories in cultural evolution. Most people are conformists. History repeats itself in countless acts of individual obedience to cultural rule and pattern, and individual wills seldom prevail in matters requiring radical alterations of deeply conditioned beliefs and practices. At the same time, nothing I have written in this book supports the view that the individual is helpless before the implacable march of history or that resignation and despair are appropriate responses to the concentration of industrial managerial power. The determinism that has governed cultural evolution has never been the equivalent of the determinism that governs a closed physical system. Rather, it resembles the causal sequences that account for the evolution of plant and animal species.
Marvin Harris (Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures)
The novel, then, provides a reduction of the world different from that of the treatise. It has to lie. Words, thoughts, patterns of word and thought, are enemies of truth, if you identify that with what may be had by phenomenological reductions. Sartre was always, as he explains in his autobiography, aware of their being at variance with reality. One remembers the comic account of this antipathy in Iris Murdoch Under the Net, one of the few truly philosophical novels in English; truth would be found only in a silent poem or a silent novel. As soon as it speaks, begins to be a novel, it imposes causality and concordance, development, character, a past which matters and a future within certain broad limits determined by the project of the author rather than that of the characters. They have their choices, but the novel has its end. * ____________________ * There is a remarkable passage in Ortega y Gasset London essay ' History as a System' (in Philosophy and History, ed. Klibansky and Paton, 1936) which very clearly states the issues more notoriously formulated by Sartre. Ortega is discussing man's duty to make himself. 'I invent projects of being and doing in the light of circumstance. This alone I come upon, this alone is given me: circumstance. It is too often forgotten that man is impossible without imagination, without the capacity to invent for himself a conception of life, to "ideate" the character he is going to be. Whether he be original or a plagiarist, man is the novelist of himself... Among... possibilities I must choose. Hence, I am free. But, be it well understood, I am free by compulsion, whether I wish to be or not... To be free means to be lacking in constitutive identity, not to have subscribed to a determined being, to be able to be other than what one was...' This 'constitutive instability' is the human property lacking in the novels condemned by Sartre and Murdoch. Ortega differs from Sartre on the use of the past; but when he says that his free man is, willy-nilly, 'a second-hand God,' creating his own entity, he is very close to Sartre, who says that to be is to be like the hero in a novel. In one instance the eidetic image is of God, in the other of the Hero.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
The principal advantage of narrative writing is that it assists us place our life experiences in a storytelling template. The act of strict examination forces us to select and organize our past. Narration provides an explanatory framework. Human beings often claim to understand events when they manage to formulate a coherent story or narrative explaining what factors caused a specific incident to occur. Stories assist the human mind to remember and make decisions based on informative stories. Narrative writing also prompts periods of intense reflection that leads to more writing that is ruminative. Contemplative actions call for us to track the conscious mind at work rendering an accounting of our weaknesses and our strengths, folly and wisdom.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I refer to the Gospel account in which Christ weeps at the grave of his friend Lazarus. We need to pause and consider the meaning of these tears, for in this very moment there occurs a unique transformation within religion in relation to the long-standing religious approach to death. Up to this moment the purpose of religion, as well as the purpose of philosophy, consisted in enabling man to come to terms with death, and if possible even to make death desirable: death as the liberation from suffering; death as freedom from this changing, busy, evil world; death as the beginning of eternity. Here, in fact, is the sum total of religious and philosophical teaching before Christ and outside of Christianity - in primitive religions, in Greek philosophy, in Buddhism, and so forth. But Christ *weeps* at the grave of his friend, and in so doing his own struggle with death, his refusal to acknowledge it and to come to terms with it. Suddenly, death ceases to be a normal and natural fact, it appears as something foreign, as unnatural, as fearsome and perverted, and it is acknowledged as an enemy: 'The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Alexander Schmemann (O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?)
Some of the valuable lessons you won’t learn in class or from people, but you will learn them from life. You will only learn them when you choose take accountability ,accept responsibility for the mistakes you make and don’t shift the blame. Life teaches, some of us learn in a hard way and others never learn their lessons at all, until death catches up with them before their time.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Before coming to the Black Wood, I had read as widely in tree lore as possible. As well as the many accounts I encountered of damage to trees and woodland -- of what in German is called Waldsterben, or 'forest-death' -- I also met with and noted down stories of astonishment at woods and trees. Stories of how Chinese woodsmen in the T'ang and S'ung dynasties -- in obedience to the Taoist philosophy of a continuity of nature between humans and other species -- would bow to the trees which they felled, and offer a promise that the tree would be used well, in buildings that would dignify the wood once it had become timber. The story of Xerxes, the Persian king who so loved sycamores that, when marching to war with the Greeks, he halted his army of many thousands of men in order that they might contemplate and admire one outstanding specimen. Thoreau's story of how he felt so attached to the trees in the woods around his home-town of Concord, Massachusetts, that he would call regularly on them, gladly tramping 'eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or yellow-birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines. When Willa Cather moved to the prairies of Nebraska, she missed the wooded hills of her native Virginia. Pining for trees, she would sometimes travel south 'to our German neighbors, to admire their catalpa grove, or to see the big elm tree that grew out of a crack in the earth. Trees were so rare in that country that we used to feel anxious about them, and visit them as if they were persons'....
Robert Macfarlane (The Wild Places)
In all things which have a plurality of parts, and which are not a total aggregate but a whole of some sort distinct from the parts, there is some cause ; inasmuch as even in bodies sometimes contact is the cause of their unity, and sometimes viscosity or some other such quality.But a definition is one account, not by connection, like the Iliad, but because it is a definition of one thing.
Aristotle (Metaphysics)
Give a man entertainment and comfort and watch him throw his dreams and ambitions away like they were nothing. This world is shallow and dictated by trends and what to buy next. Always more, always another thing. It’s a rat race, that’s all it is. A rat race to the grave, and the winner has the most in his bank account and the most cybergenetic enhancements to get rid of what made him human!
Rhett Downing (Crocodile Tears)
perhaps it’s philosophy that best explains why savoring responsibility leads to fulfillment. The model of happiness perpetuated by the cultural juggernauts of Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and Disneyesque fairy tales of everyday effervescence, broad-smiled contentedness, and perfect relationships is a historically anomalous, and for most, unachievable state. In contrast, we shall return to eudaimonia, the classical Greek concept of happiness that essentially means the “flourishing” or “rich” life. With their devotion to training, meticulousness, and desire for quiet power and accountability, Invisibles understand the value of a life not necessarily of the moment-to-moment happiness that many mistakenly strive for, but of an overall richness of experience, a life grounded in eudaimonic values.
David Zweig (Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion)
Pythagoras was born around 570 B.C. in the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea (off Asia Minor), and he emigrated sometime between 530 and 510 to Croton in the Dorian colony in southern Italy (then known as Magna Graecia). Pythagoras apparently left Samos to escape the stifling tyranny of Polycrates (died ca. 522 B.C.), who established Samian naval supremacy in the Aegean Sea. Perhaps following the advice of his presumed teacher, the mathematician Thales of Miletus, Pythagoras probably lived for some time (as long as twenty-two years, according to some accounts) in Egypt, where he would have learned mathematics, philosophy, and religious themes from the Egyptian priests. After Egypt was overwhelmed by Persian armies, Pythagoras may have been taken to Babylon, together with members of the Egyptian priesthood. There he would have encountered the Mesopotamian mathematical lore. Nevertheless, the Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics would prove insufficient for Pythagoras' inquisitive mind. To both of these peoples, mathematics provided practical tools in the form of "recipes" designed for specific calculations. Pythagoras, on the other hand, was one of the first to grasp numbers as abstract entities that exist in their own right.
Mario Livio (The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number)
There is a widespread philosophical tendency towards the view which tells us that Man is the measure of all things, that truth is man-made, that space and time and the world of universals are properties of the mind, and that, if there be anything not created by the mind, it is unknowable and of no account for us. This view, if our previous discussions were correct, is untrue; but in addition to being untrue, it has the effect of robbing philosophic contemplation of all that gives it value, since it fetters contemplation to Self. What it calls knowledge is not a union with the not-Self, but a set of prejudices, habits, and desires, making an impenetrable veil between us and the world beyond. The man who finds pleasure in such a theory of knowledge is like a man who never leaves the domestic circle for fear his word might not be law.
Bertrand Russell (The Problems of Philosophy)
he writer has a grudge against society, which he documents with accounts of unsatisfying sex, unrealized ambition, unmitigated lo neliness, and a sense of local and global distress. The square, overpopulation, the bourgeois, the bomb and the cocktail party are variously identified as sources of the grudge. There follows a little obscenity here, a dash of philosophy there, considerable whining overall, and a modern satirical novel is born.
Renata Adler (Toward a Radical Middle: Fourteen Pieces of Reporting and Criticism)
For philosophy is the study of wisdom, and wisdom is the   knowledge of things divine and human; and their causes." Wisdom is   therefore queen of philosophy, as philosophy is of preparatory culture.   For if philosophy "professes control of the tongue, and the belly, and   the parts below the belly, it is to be chosen on its own account. But   it appears more worthy of respect and pre-eminence, if cultivated for   the honour and knowledge of God.
Clement of Alexandria (The Works of Clement of Alexandria: The Stromata, On the Salvation of the Rich Man, Pædagogus and More (5 Books With Active Table of Contents))
Dark matter is currently thought to make up about 23 percent of the mass and energy of the universe, whereas normal matter and energy make up only about 4 percent. Worse still, most contemporary cosmologists think that the continuing expansion of the universe is driven by “dark energy,” whose nature is again obscure. According to the Standard Model of cosmology, dark energy currently accounts for about 73 percent of the matter and energy of the universe. How do dark matter and energy relate to regular matter and energy? And what is the zero-point energy field, also known as the quantum vacuum? Can any of this zero-point energy be tapped? The law of conservation of matter and energy was formulated before these questions arose, and has no ready answer for them. It is based on philosophical and theological theories. Historically, it is rooted in the atomistic school of philosophy in ancient Greece. From the outset it was an assumption. In its modern form, it combines a series of “laws” that have developed since the seventeenth century—the laws of conservation of matter, mass, motion, force and energy. In this chapter I look at the history of these ideas, and show how modern physics throws up questions that the old theories cannot answer. As faith in conservation comes into question, astonishing new possibilities open up in realms ranging from the generation of energy to human nutrition.
Rupert Sheldrake (Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery)
The manner in which animals learn has been much studied in recent years, with a great deal of patient observation and experiment. Certain results have been obtained as regards the kinds ofproblems that have been investigated, but on general principles there is still much controversy. One may say broadly that all the animals that have been carefully observed have behaved so as to confirm the philosophy in which the observer believed before his observations began. Nay, more, they have all displayed the national characteristics of the observer. Animals studied by Americans rush about frantically, with an incredible display of hustle and pep, and at last achieve the desired result by chance. Animals observed by Germans sit still and think, and at last evolve the solution out of their inner consciousness. To the plain man, such as the present writer, this situation is discouraging. I observe, however, that the type ofproblem which a man naturally sets to an animal depends upon his own philosophy, and this probably accounts for the differences in the results. The animal responds to one type of problem in one way and to another in another; therefore the results obtained by different investigators, though different, are not incompatible. But it remains necessary to remember that no one investigator is to be trusted to give a survey of the whole field. -Bertrand Russell, Outline of Philosophy, 192731
Geert Hofstede (Cultures and Organizations: Software for the Mind)
Once we have isolated the computational and neurological correlates of access-consciousness, there is nothing left to explain. It's just irrational to insist that sentience remains unexplained after all the manifestations of sentience have been accounted for, just because the computations don't have anything sentient in them. It's like insisting that wetness remains unexplained even after all the manifestations of wetness have been accounted for, because moving molecules aren't wet.
Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works)
If there is to be toleration in the world, one of the things taught in schools must be the habit of weighing evidence, and the practice of not giving full assent to propositions which there is no reason to believe true. For example, the art of reading the newspapers should be taught. The schoolmaster should select some incident which happened a good many years ago, and roused political passions in its day. 41 He should then read to the school children what was said by the newspapers on one side, what was said by those on the other, and some impartial account of what really happened. He should show how, from the biased account of either side, a practised reader could infer what really happened, and he should make them understand that everything in newspapers is more or less untrue. The cynical scepticism which would result from this teaching would make the children in later life immune from those appeals to idealism by which decent people are induced to further the schemes of scoundrels.
Bertrand Russell (Free Thought and Official Propaganda)
born and raised in Honolulu but had spent four years of his childhood flying kites and catching crickets in Indonesia. After high school, he’d passed two relatively laid-back years as a student at Occidental College in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia, where by his own account he’d behaved nothing like a college boy set loose in 1980s Manhattan and instead lived like a sixteenth-century mountain hermit, reading lofty works of literature and philosophy in a grimy apartment on 109th Street, writing bad poetry, and fasting on Sundays. We laughed about all of it, swapping stories about our backgrounds and what led us to the law. Barack was serious without being self-serious. He was breezy in his manner but powerful in his mind. It was a strange, stirring combination. Surprising to me, too, was how well he knew Chicago. Barack was the first person I’d met at Sidley who had spent time in the barbershops, barbecue joints, and Bible-thumping black parishes of the Far South Side. Before going to law school, he’d worked in Chicago for three years as a community organizer, earning $12,000 a year from a nonprofit that bound together a coalition of churches. His task was to help rebuild neighborhoods and bring back jobs. As he described it, it had been two parts frustration to one part reward: He’d spend weeks planning a community meeting, only to have a dozen people show up. His efforts were scoffed at by union leaders and picked apart by black folks and white folks alike. Yet over time, he’d won a few incremental victories, and this seemed to encourage him. He was in law school, he explained, because grassroots organizing had shown him that meaningful societal change required not just the work of the people on the ground but stronger policies and governmental action as well. Despite my resistance to the hype that had preceded him, I found myself admiring Barack for both his self-assuredness and his earnest demeanor. He was refreshing, unconventional, and weirdly elegant.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, who has written about the philosophical dimension of indigenous thought, reports on a symposium in Manchester, England, where an audience member (who turned out to be Stuart Hall) remarked somewhat skeptically about his talk on “Indian philosophy” that “your Indians seem to have studied in Paris.” By his own account, Viveiros de Castro responded to Hall’s boutade with a boutade of his own: “No, in fact exactly the opposite occurred: Parisians went to study with the Indians.” 138
Ella Shohat (Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (Sightlines))
From my heel to my toe is a measured space of 29.7 centimetres or 11.7 inches. This is a unit of progress and it is also a unit of thought. 'I can only meditate when I am walking,' wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the fourth book of his 'Confessions', 'when I stop I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.' Søren Kierkegaard speculated that the mind might function optimally at the pedestrian pace of three miles per hour, and in a journal entry describes going out for a wander and finding himself 'so overwhelmed with ideas' that he 'could scarcely walk'. Christopher Morley wrote of Wordsworth as 'employ[ing] his legs as an instrument of philosophy' and Wordsworth of his own 'feeling intellect'. Nietzsche was typically absolute on the subject - 'Only those thoughts which come from 'walking' have a value' - and Wallace Stevens typically tentative: 'Perhaps / The truth depends on a walk around the lake.' In all of these accounts, walking is not the action by which one arrives at knowledge; it is itself the means of knowing.
Robert Macfarlane (The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot)
In the first case it emerges that the evidence that might refute a theory can often be unearthed only with the help of an incompatible alternative: the advice (which goes back to Newton and which is still popular today) to use alternatives only when refutations have already discredited the orthodox theory puts the cart before the horse. Also, some of the most important formal properties of a theory are found by contrast, and not by analysis. A scientist who wishes to maximize the empirical content of the views he holds and who wants to understand them as clearly as he possibly can must therefore introduce other views; that is, he must adopt a pluralistic methodology. He must compare ideas with other ideas rather than with 'experience' and he must try to improve rather than discard the views that have failed in the competition. Proceeding in this way he will retain the theories of man and cosmos that are found in Genesis, or in the Pimander, he will elaborate them and use them to measure the success of evolution and other 'modern' views. He may then discover that the theory of evolution is not as good as is generally assumed and that it must be supplemented, or entirely replaced, by an improved version of Genesis. Knowledge so conceived is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges towards an ideal view; it is not a gradual approach to truth. It is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible alternatives, each single theory, each fairy-tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others in greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition, to the development of our consciousness. Nothing is ever settled, no view can ever be omitted from a comprehensive account. Plutarch or Diogenes Laertius, and not Dirac or von Neumann, are the models for presenting a knowledge of this kind in which the history of a science becomes an inseparable part of the science itself - it is essential for its further development as well as for giving content to the theories it contains at any particular moment. Experts and laymen, professionals and dilettani, truth-freaks and liars - they all are invited to participate in the contest and to make their contribution to the enrichment of our culture. The task of the scientist, however, is no longer 'to search for the truth', or 'to praise god', or 'to synthesize observations', or 'to improve predictions'. These are but side effects of an activity to which his attention is now mainly directed and which is 'to make the weaker case the stronger' as the sophists said, and thereby to sustain the motion of the whole.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Against Method)
Nothing is more absolutely necessary than to provide that the highest class, not only when in office, but when out of office, should have leisure and not disgrace themselves in any way; and to this his attention should be first directed. Even if you must have regard to wealth, in order to secure leisure, yet it is surely a bad thing that the greatest offices, such as those of kings and generals, should be bought. The law which allows this abuse makes wealth of more account than virtue, and the whole state becomes avaricious.
Aristotle (Politics)
A comprehensive philosophy of history should interpret the changes in man's condition as a meaningful succession of historical ways of life; in every epoch these ways of life account fro the general situation and the prevailing patterns of action and though. They do not replace each other suddenly. The old is still alive while the new unfolds itself. The mighty breakthrough of the new is bound at first to fail against the staying power and coherence of the old way of life not yet exhausted. Transition is the zone of tragedy.
Karl Jaspers (Tragedy Is Not Enough)
The novels of Daniel Defoe are fundamental to eighteenth-century ways of thinking. They range from the quasi-factual A Journal of the Plague Year, an almost journalistic (but fictional) account of London between 1664 and 1665 (when the author was a very young child), to Robinson Crusoe, one of the most enduring fables of Western culture. If the philosophy of the time asserted that life was, in Hobbes's words, 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short', novels showed ways of coping with 'brutish' reality (the plague; solitude on a desert island) and making the best of it. There was no questioning of authority as there had been throughout the Renaissance. Instead, there was an interest in establishing and accepting authority, and in the ways of 'society' as a newly ordered whole. Thus, Defoe's best-known heroine, Moll Flanders, can titillate her readers with her first-person narration of a dissolute life as thief, prostitute, and incestuous wife, all the time telling her story from the vantage point of one who has been accepted back into society and improved her behaviour.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Self-mastery involves a studious account of all aspects of human life and developing a comprehensive philosophy for living without fear or anxiety throughout the remaining years of a person’s life. A person must live within the limits of the human condition, which does not justify giving into all of our destructive impulses or living a pleasurable and guiltless life. Self-mastery does not require a person to live a life without passion; rather, it entails channeling vibrant personal passions into living in a virtuous manner of created beings.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Most of Jesus’ life is told through the four Gospels of the New Testament, known as the Canonical gospels, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are not biographies in the modern sense but accounts with allegorical intent. They are written to engender faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the incarnation of God, and not to provide factual data about Jesus’s life. This left the door of exaggeration open. And through that door all kinds of mystical non-sense crept in and made place right alongside the good philosophical teachings of Jesus.
Abhijit Naskar (Neurons of Jesus: Mind of A Teacher, Spouse & Thinker)
This defining is philosophy. Philosophy is the account which the human mind gives to itself of the constitution of the world. Two cardinal facts lie forever at the base; the one, and the two.—1. Unity, or Identity; and, 2. Variety. We unite all things by perceiving the law which pervades them; by perceiving the superficial differences and the profound resemblances. But every mental act,—this very perception of identity or oneness, recognizes the difference of things. Oneness and otherness. It is impossible to speak or to think without embracing both.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Man is spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is the self. But what is the self? The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation [which accounts for it] that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but [consists in the fact] that the relation relates itself to its own self. Man is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity, in short it is a synthesis. A synthesis is a relation between two factors. So regarded, man is not yet a self.
Søren Kierkegaard
When, thirty-five years ago, I tried to give a summary of the ideas and principles of that social philosophy that was once known under the name of liberalism, I did not indulge in the vain hope that my account would prevent the impending catastrophes to which the policies adopted by the European nations were manifestly leading. All I wanted to achieve was to offer to the small minority of thoughtful people an opportunity to learn something about the aims of classical liberalism and its achievements and thus to pave the way for a resurrection of the spirit of freedom after the coming debacle.
Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism: The Classical Tradition)
There is no such thing as a computational person, whose mind is like computer software, able to work on any suitable computer or neural hardware whose mind somehow derives meaning from taking meaningless symbols as input, manipulating them by rule, and giving meaningless symbols as output. Real people have embodied minds whose conceptual systems arise from, are shaped by, and are given meaning through living human bodies. The neural structures of our brains produce conceptual systems and linguistic structures that cannot be adequately accounted for by formal systems that only manipulate symbols.
George Lakoff (Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought)
Looking at the works of art that are considered worthy of preservation in our Museums, and that were once the common objects of the market place, I could not but realise that a society can only be considered truly civilised when it is possible for every man to earn his living by the very work he would rather be doing than anything else in the world, a condition that has only been attained in social orders integrated on the basis of vocation, "svadharma". At the same time I should like to emphasis that I have never built up a philosophy of my own or wished to establish a new school of thought. Perhaps the greatest thing I have learnt is never to think for myself; I fully agree with Andre Gide that "Toutes choses sont dites deja", and what I have sought is to understand what has been said, while taking no account of the "inferior philosophers". Holding with Heraclitus that the Word is common to all, and that Wisdom is to know the Will whereby all things are steered, I am convinced with Jeremias that the human cultures in all their apparent diversity are but the dialects of one and the same language of the spirit, that there is a "common universe of discourse" transcending the differences of tongues".
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
The other day I happened to be reading a careful, interesting account of the state of British higher education. The government is a kind of market-oriented government and they came out with an official paper, a ‘White Paper’ saying that it is not the responsibility of the state to support any institution that can’t survive in the market. So, if Oxford is teaching philosophy, the arts, Greek history, medieval history, and so on, and they can’t sell it on the market, why should they be supported? Because life consists only of what you can sell in the market and get back, nothing else. That is a real pathology.
Noam Chomsky
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?" Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions. Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen. But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen." It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.
Frédéric Bastiat (That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen)
The introduction of Christianity in Iceland was attended by no violence. While in the other countries mentioned above the monarchical form of government prevailed, and the people were compelled by their rulers to accept the gospel of Christ, the Icelanders enjoyed civil liberty, had a democratic form of government, and accepted the new religion by the vote of their representatives in the Althing, or Parliament, which convened at Thingvolls in the summer of 1000; and in this way we are able to account for all the heathen and vernacular literature that was put into writing and preserved for us by that remarkable people, who inhabited the island of the icy sea.
George Mentz (The Vikings - Philosophy and History - From Ragnar LodBrok to Norse Mythology: All you need to know for the Scandanavian Movies and Viking Television Channel)
Virtual crime is the new trend. People are joining dark web, or terrorists groups. They are easily influenced to commit crime or to commit treason through social media, because for them as long it is happening online. They think they are untouchable , invincible and should not be responsible or held accountable. People are being reckless not thinking about ramifications or their words and action. This is the result of people using internet without being properly educated or taught and on what damages in can do. Soon we will be fighting world wars caused by internet and influencers, because they are willing to say and do anything for likes, retweets and comments.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
In the following pages I argue that we have both philosophical and scientific reasons to doubt the adequacy of this widely accepted doctrine of materialism. In the history of Western philosophy, as we will see, it has turned out to be notoriously difficult to formulate a viable concept of matter. And physics in the twentieth century has produced weighty reasons to think that some of the core tenets of materialism were mistaken. These results, when combined with the new theories of information, complexity, and emergence summarized elsewhere in this volume, point toward alternative accounts of the natural world that deserve careful attention and critical evaluation.
Paul C.W. Davies (Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics (Canto Classics))
Atheism is the default position in any scientific inquiry, just as a-quarkism or a-neutrinoism was. That is, any entity has to earn its admission into a scientific account either via direct evidence for its existence or because it plays some fundamental explanatory role. Before the theoretical need for neutrinos was appreciated (to preserve the conservation of energy) and then later experimental detection was made, they were not part of the accepted physical account of the world. To say physicists in 1900 were 'agnostic' about neutrinos sounds wrong: they just did not believe there were such things. As yet, there is no direct experimental evidence of a deity, and in order for the postulation of a deity to play an explanatory role there would have to be a lot of detail about how it would act. If, as you have suggested, we are not “good judges of how the deity would behave,” then such an unknown and unpredictable deity cannot provide good explanatory grounds for any phenomenon. The problem with the 'minimal view' is that in trying to be as vague as possible about the nature and motivation of the deity, the hypothesis loses any explanatory force, and so cannot be admitted on scientific grounds. Of course, as the example of quarks and neutrinos shows, scientific accounts change in response to new data and new theory. The default position can be overcome.
Tim Maudlin
Historical accounts of philosophy deal with both the chronological development of ideas over time and the timeliness of those ideas in response to the specific social conditions and challenges of their eras. The chronological perspective follows a particular line of thought as it develops through the years, emphasizing the progressive aspect of philosophizing. New ideas build on former ideas by expanding, modifying, or even rejecting them. In this way schools of thought emerge and the chronological perspective focuses on a community of thinkers who may agree or disagree, but who always share common ground: a cluster of problems, technical vocabulary, forms of analysis, and points of departure.
James W. Heisig (Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook (Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture))
We are not so at home with the resurrected form of things despite a yearly springtime, healings in our bodies, the ten thousand forms of newness in every event and every life. The death side of things grabs our imagination and fascinates us as fear and negativity always do, I am sad to say. We have to be taught how to look for anything infinite, positive, or good, which for some reason is much more difficult. We have spent centuries of philosophy trying to solve “the problem of evil,” yet I believe the much more confounding and astounding issue is “the problem of good.” How do we account for so much gratuitous and sheer goodness in this world? Tackling this problem would achieve much better results.
Richard Rohr (Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self)
There is much: recognition of the fact that human beings live indeterminate and incomplete lives; recognition of the power exerted over and upon us by our own habits and memories; recognition of the ways in which the world presses in on all of us, for it is an intractable place where many things go awry and go astray, where one may all-too-easily lose one’s very self. The epistemological argument is framed by faith, but it stands on its own as an account of willing, nilling, memory, language, signs, affections, delight, the power and the limits of minds and bodies. To the extent that a prideful philosophy refuses to accept these, Augustine would argue, to that extent philosophy hates the human condition itself.
Jean Bethke Elshtain (Augustine and the Limits of Politics)
I consider myself a Chicagoan now, having lived in the city since I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in accounting. I came here often when I went to Maine West High School out in Des Plaines, which is a short drive west on the Kennedy or a short Blue Line ride toward O’Hare airport, the next-to-last stop in fact. My friends and I would take the Blue Line downtown and then transfer to the Red or Brown Line up to Belmont and Clark, our favorite part of the city when we were 16 and 17, mainly because of The Alley—a store that sold concert shirts, posters, spiked bracelets and stuff like that—and Gramophone Records, the electronic music store that took my virginity, so to speak. - 1st paragraph from Sophomoric Philosophy
Victor David Giron (Sophomoric Philosophy)
Human nature inclines us to have recourse to petition for the purpose of obtaining from another, especially from a person of higher rank, what we hope to receive from him. So prayer is recommended to men, that by it they may obtain from God what they hope to secure from Him. But the reason why prayer is necessary for obtaining something from a man is not the same as the reason for its necessity when there is question of obtaining a favor from God. Prayer is addressed to man, first, to lay bare the desire and the need of the petitioner, and secondly, to incline the mind of him to whom the prayer is addressed to grant the petition. These purposes have no place in the prayer that is sent up to God. When we pray we do not intend to manifest our needs or desires to God, for He knows all things. The Psalmist says to God: "Lord, all my desire is before Thee" and in the Gospel we are told: "Your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things." Again, the will of God is not influenced by human words to will what He had previously not willed. For, as we read in Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor as the son of man, that He should be changed"; nor is God moved to repentance, as we are assured in 1 Kings 15:29. Prayer, then, for obtaining something from God, is necessary for man on account of the very one who prays, that he may reflect on his shortcomings and may turn his mind to desiring fervently and piously what he hopes to gain by his petition. In this way he is rendered fit to receive the favor.
Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas's Shorter Summa: Saint Thomas's Own Concise Version of His Summa Theologica)
I hope I have now made it clear why I thought it best, in speaking of the dissonances between fiction and reality in our own time, to concentrate on Sartre. His hesitations, retractations, inconsistencies, all proceed from his consciousness of the problems: how do novelistic differ from existential fictions? How far is it inevitable that a novel give a novel-shaped account of the world? How can one control, and how make profitable, the dissonances between that account and the account given by the mind working independently of the novel? For Sartre it was ultimately, like most or all problems, one of freedom. For Miss Murdoch it is a problem of love, the power by which we apprehend the opacity of persons to the degree that we will not limit them by forcing them into selfish patterns. Both of them are talking, when they speak of freedom and love, about the imagination. The imagination, we recall, is a form-giving power, an esemplastic power; it may require, to use Simone Weil's words, to be preceded by a 'decreative' act, but it is certainly a maker of orders and concords. We apply it to all forces which satisfy the variety of human needs that are met by apparently gratuitous forms. These forms console; if they mitigate our existential anguish it is because we weakly collaborate with them, as we collaborate with language in order to communicate. Whether or no we are predisposed towards acceptance of them, we learn them as we learn a language. On one view they are 'the heroic children whom time breeds / Against the first idea,' but on another they destroy by falsehood the heroic anguish of our present loneliness. If they appear in shapes preposterously false we will reject them; but they change with us, and every act of reading or writing a novel is a tacit acceptance of them. If they ruin our innocence, we have to remember that the innocent eye sees nothing. If they make us guilty, they enable us, in a manner nothing else can duplicate, to submit, as we must, the show of things to the desires of the mind. I shall end by saying a little more about La Nausée, the book I chose because, although it is a novel, it reflects a philosophy it must, in so far as it possesses novel form, belie. Under one aspect it is what Philip Thody calls 'an extensive illustration' of the world's contingency and the absurdity of the human situation. Mr. Thody adds that it is the novelist's task to 'overcome contingency'; so that if the illustration were too extensive the novel would be a bad one. Sartre himself provides a more inclusive formula when he says that 'the final aim of art is to reclaim the world by revealing it as it is, but as if it had its source in human liberty.' This statement does two things. First, it links the fictions of art with those of living and choosing. Secondly, it means that the humanizing of the world's contingency cannot be achieved without a representation of that contingency. This representation must be such that it induces the proper sense of horror at the utter difference, the utter shapelessness, and the utter inhumanity of what must be humanized. And it has to occur simultaneously with the as if, the act of form, of humanization, which assuages the horror. This recognition, that form must not regress into myth, and that contingency must be formalized, makes La Nausée something of a model of the conflicts in the modern theory of the novel. How to do justice to a chaotic, viscously contingent reality, and yet redeem it? How to justify the fictive beginnings, crises, ends; the atavism of character, which we cannot prevent from growing, in Yeats's figure, like ash on a burning stick? The novel will end; a full close may be avoided, but there will be a close: a fake fullstop, an 'exhaustion of aspects,' as Ford calls it, an ironic return to the origin, as in Finnegans Wake and Comment c'est. Perhaps the book will end by saying that it has provided the clues for another, in which contingency will be defeated, ...
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
looked into remote space, where petty worldliness hiding itself in misty distance had seemed to him great and infinite merely because it was not clearly seen. And such had European life, politics, Freemasonry, philosophy, and philanthropy seemed to him. But even then, at moments of weakness as he had accounted them, his mind had penetrated to those distances and he had there seen the same pettiness, worldliness, and senselessness. Now, however, he had learned to see the great, eternal, and infinite in everything, and therefore—to see it and enjoy its contemplation—he naturally threw away the telescope through which he had till now gazed over men's heads, and gladly regarded the ever-changing, eternally great, unfathomable, and infinite life around him. And the closer he looked the more tranquil
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Christianity had, in Nietzsche’s account, emerged from the minds of timid slaves in the Roman Empire who had lacked the stomach to climb to the tops of mountains, and so had built themselves a philosophy claiming that their bases were delightful. Christians had wished to enjoy the real ingredients of fulfilment (a position in the world, sex, intellectual mastery, creativity) but did not have the courage to endure the difficulties these goods demanded. They had therefore fashioned a hypocritical creed denouncing what they wanted but were too weak to fight for while praising what they did not want but happened to have. Powerlessness became ‘goodness’, baseness ‘humility’, submission to people one hated ‘obedience’ and, in Nietzsche’s phrase, ‘not-being-able-to-take-revenge’ turned into ‘forgiveness’.
Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy (Vintage International))
The facts of physics do not oblige us to accept one philosophy rather than the other...the laws of physics in any one reference frame account for all physical phenomena, including the observations of moving observers. And it is often simplest to work in a single frame, rather than to hurry after each moving object in turn...You can pretend that whatever inertial frame you have chosen is the ether of the 19th century physicists, and in that frame you can confidently apply the ideas of the FitzGerald contraction....It is a great pity that students don't understand this. Very often they are led to believe that Einstein somehow swept away all that went before. This is not true. Much of what went before survived the theory of relativity, with the added freedom that you can choose any inertial frame of reference in which to apply all those ideas.
John S. Bell
The new vantage from which Christian theology as a discourse on Christian identity must operate in the modern world, then, is the Christological horizon of Mary-Israel. To be Christian is to enter into this horizon. But where is the horizon concretely displayed, where is it made visible if not in despised dark (and especially dark female) flesh? Is this not the flesh of homo sacer . . .the flesh that is impoverished, "despised and rejected of men," flesh that in shame we "hide our faces from" (cf. Isa. 53:3)? But if this is the case, it follows that the poverty of dark flesh is where one finds the wealthy God. . . In (Christ"s) taking on the form of the slave, the from of despised dark (female) flesh there is the diclsoure (sic) of divinity, a disclosure that undoes the social arrangement of the colonial-racial tyranny (tynannos,), as the seventh-century theologian Maximus the Confessor called it, that is the darker side of modernity
J. Kameron Carter (Race: A Theological Account)
It is certainly possible that an individual can, qua individual, suffer some failure of meaning, as in pathological boredom or depression. But any given social world is also a nexus of common significances, saliences, taboos, and a general shared orientation that can also either be sustained or can fail. Indeed one of the most interesting aspects of such a social condition, shared meaningfulness, or intelligibility, is that it can fail, go dead, lose its grip, and a very great deal of what interests Hegel is simply what such shared practical meaningfulness must be that it could fail, and how we should integrate our account of action into a fuller theory of the realization of such a condition and its failure. (His general name for the achievement and maintenance of such a form of intelligible life is “Sittlichkeit” and his case for this sort of priority of Sittlichkeit over strictly individualist accounts of mindedness in-action has not, I want to argue, been properly appreciated.)
Robert B. Pippin (Hegel's Practical Philosophy)
There was a guy next to my cot name of Dan, who had been blowed up inside a tank. He was all burnt and had tubes going in and out of him everyplace, but I never heard him holler. He talk real low and quiet, and after a day or so, him and me got to be friends. Dan came from the state of Connecticut, and he was a teacher of history when they grabbed him up and threw him into the Army. But because he was smart, they sent him to officer school and made him a lieutenant. Most of the lieutenants I know were about as simple minded as me, but Dan was different. He had his own philosophy about why we were here, which was that we were doing maybe the wrong thing for the right reasons, or vice-versa, but whatever it is, we ain't doing it right. Him being a tank officer and all, he say it ridiculous for us to be waging a war in a place where we can't hardly use our tanks on account of the land is mostly swamp or mountains. I told him about Bubba and all, and he nod his head very sadly and said there will be a lot more Bubbas to die before this thing is over.
Winston Groom (Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump, #1))
Nor are his purely intellectual merits by any means to be despised. He has, in many respects, clarified Plato's teaching; he has developed, with as much consistency as possible, the type of theory advocated by him in common with many others. His arguments against materialism are good, and his whole conception of the relation of soul and body is clearer than that of Plato or Aristotle. Like Spinoza, he has a certain kind of moral purity and loftiness, which is very impressive. He is always sincere, never shrill or censorious, invariably concerned to tell the reader, as simply as he can, what he believes to be important. Whatever one may think of him as a theoretical philosopher, it is impossible not to love him as a man. The life of Plotinus is known, so far as it is known, through the biography written by his friend and disciple Porphyry, a Semite whose real name was Malchus. There are, however, miraculous elements in this account, which make it difficult to place a complete reliance upon its more credible portions. Plotinus considered his spatio-temporal appearance
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy)
Geist is Hegel’s counterpart to what figures in Aristotle as the kind of soul that is characteristic of rational animals. It is human beings whom Aristotle defines as rational animals; that corresponds to Hegel’s implicit identification of the philosophy of Geist with the philosophy of the human. On this account, then, Geist is the formally distinctive way of being a living being that characterizes human beings: in Aristotelian terms, the form of a living human being qua living human being. Kinds of soul in Aristotle’s account are not kinds of substance. Souls are not material substances; the only relevant material substances are living beings. And one would miss the point of Aristotle’s conception of the form of a living being qua living if one conceived souls as immaterial substances. So Geist in particular is not a substance, material or immaterial. The idea of Geist is the idea of a distinctive way of living a life; often it is better to speak of Geistigkeit, as the defining characteristic of that distinctive form of life and thereby of the living beings that live it.
John McDowell
Human sin is supposedly inevitable because of our right of free will. This assumption is unmistakably laid out in the greatest origin story ever told — the story of Adam and Eve. The Genesis account of the beginning, foundational to three major world religions, establishes the dichotomies of “light and dark” and “good and evil” as basic to the infrastructure of the universe.1 The greatest transgression is emphatically disobedience. Disobedience drives the action, bringing about the Fall and the permanent loss of paradise. As a result of Adam and Eve ’s eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, all who issue from the seed of Adam are condemned to death. Mortality — dying, regarded as a natural act in most non-Abrahamic-based philosophies — is instead the unnatural outcome of sin. This is yet another demonstration of the Judeo-Christian discomfort with death. Eve and Adam’s disobedience also brought down on us a host of lesser curses — shame, guilt, impurity, suffering, bodily pain, especially while giving birth, physical labor, desire, temptation, greed, crime, sex, and so forth. Why was this tree put there?
Julia Assante (The Last Frontier: Exploring the Afterlife and Transforming Our Fear of Death)
The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments. Undignified as such a treatment may seem to some of my colleagues, I shall have to take account of this clash and explain a good many divergences of philosophers by it. Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries, when philosophizing, to sink the fact of this temperament. Temperament is no conventionally recognized reason, so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions. Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other, making a more sentimental or more hardhearted view of the universe, just as this fact or that principle would. He trusts his temperament. Wanting a universe that suits it, he believes in any representation of the universe that does suit it. He feels men of the opposite temper to be out of key with the world’s character, and in his heart he considers them incompetent and “not in it,” in the philosophic business, even though they may far excel him in dialectical ability. (James 1975a, p. 11)1
Richard J. Bernstein (The Pragmatic Turn)
All the improvements in machinery, however, have by no means been the inventions of those who had occasion to use the machines. Many improvements have been made by the ingenuity of the makers of the machines, when to make them became the business of a peculiar trade; and some by that of those who are called philosophers or men of speculation, whose trade it is not to do anything, but to observe everything; and who, upon that account, are often capable of combining together the powers of the most distant and dissimilar objects. In the progress of society, philosophy or speculation becomes, like every other employment, the principal or sole trade and occupation of a particular class of citizens. Like every other employment too, it is subdivided into a great number of different branches, each of which affords occupation to a peculiar tribe or class of philosophers; and this subdivision of employment in philosophy, as well as in every other business, improves dexterity, and saves time. Each individual becomes more expert in his own peculiar branch, more work is done upon the whole, and the quantity of science is considerably increased by it.
Adam Smith
…let us point out precisely the difficulties of empiricism as a theory of knowledge. First, it begins with two fixed, unchangeable ultimates--mind and matter. Second, it asserts that knowledge is the agreement of ideas with each other, in which case we are not dealing with nature or things at all, and consequently, have left out one of our ultimates. Third, it then asserts (for it is essential that knowledge should somehow or other be connected with things) that knowledge consists in the agreement between an idea and a thing; and in this case we can never tell when the agreement takes place; and furthermore, it is impossible for ideas and things to disagree, for, according to the theory, ideas are copies of things. This means that empiricism can not account for the fact of error. Every theory of knowledge must make a place for error, for, as is evident, error seems to be as industrious as truth. Consequently, if knowledge actually does take place, if there is such an activity, thing, or relation as knowledge, empiricism fails to give an account of it which is free from contradictions. The moral is, as the stories in our school readers say, don't begin with fixed things, for they beguileth one into inconsistencies.
Holly Estil Cunningham
These passages (Nietzsche, GM, 2.16) have an uncanny dual-aspect quality to them, with master morality oscillating between being a mythic trace of our wholly animal past (the articulation of a state of nature) and a specific mode of organizing the cultural dimension of any genuinely human life, and slave morality oscillating between being a later such mode and being the mythical means by which the human animal enters into culture in the first place (by dividing himself in two). Either way, however, the priests who lead the revolution are plainly possessed of an inner life of very significant depth and richness, and so must have already been marked by the very self-scrutinizing, life-denying value-system that Nietzsche’s account also tells us they create in order to marshal their slave army. But if Nietzsche finds himself affirming the paradoxical conclusion that slave morality makes possible not only its cultural hegemony but also its own existence, that indicates a fundamental tendency on his part to view this life-denying value-system as having always already left its traces on human life—as being what first makes genuinely human life possible, and indeed what first makes human beings and the world in which they live at once interesting, profound, momentous, and promising.
Stephen Mulhall (The Ascetic Ideal: Genealogies of Life-Denial in Religion, Morality, Art, Science, and Philosophy)
Say what you will of religion, but draw applicable conclusions and comparisons to reach a consensus. Religion = Reli = Prefix to Relic, or an ancient item. In days of old, items were novel, and they inspired devotion to the divine, and in the divine. Now, items are hypnotizing the masses into submission. Take Christ for example. When he broke bread in the Bible, people actually ate, it was useful to their bodies. Compare that to the politics, governments and corrupt, bumbling bureacrats and lobbyists in the economic recession of today. When they "broke bread", the economy nearly collapsed, and the benefactors thereof were only a select, decadent few. There was no bread to be had, so they asked the people for more! Breaking bread went from meaning sharing food and knowledge and wealth of mind and character, to meaning break the system, being libelous, being unaccountable, and robbing the earth. So they married people's paychecks to the land for high ransoms, rents and mortgages, effectively making any renter or landowner either a slave or a slave master once more. We have higher class toys to play with, and believe we are free. The difference is, the love of profit has the potential, and has nearly already enslaved all, it isn't restriced by culture anymore. Truth is not religion. Governments are religions. Truth does not encourage you to worship things. Governments are for profit. Truth is for progress. Governments are about process. When profit goes before progress, the latter suffers. The truest measurement of the quality of progress, will be its immediate and effective results without the aid of material profit. Quality is meticulous, it leaves no stone unturned, it is thorough and detail oriented. It takes its time, but the results are always worth the investment. Profit is quick, it is ruthless, it is unforgiving, it seeks to be first, but confuses being first with being the best, it is long scale suicidal, it is illusory, it is temporary, it is vastly unfulfilling. It breaks families, and it turns friends. It is single track minded, and small minded as well. Quality, would never do that, my friends. Ironic how dealing and concerning with money, some of those who make the most money, and break other's monies are the most unaccountable. People open bank accounts, over spend, and then expect to be held "unaccountable" for their actions. They even act innocent and unaccountable. But I tell you, everything can and will be counted, and accounted for. Peace can be had, but people must first annhilate the love of items, over their own kind.
Justin Kyle McFarlane Beau
The 1950s and 1960s: philosophy, psychology, myth There was considerable critical interest in Woolf ’s life and work in this period, fuelled by the publication of selected extracts from her diaries, in A Writer’s Diary (1953), and in part by J. K. Johnstone’s The Bloomsbury Group (1954). The main critical impetus was to establish a sense of a unifying aesthetic mode in Woolf ’s writing, and in her works as a whole, whether through philosophy, psychoanalysis, formal aesthetics, or mythopoeisis. James Hafley identified a cosmic philosophy in his detailed analysis of her fiction, The Glass Roof: Virginia Woolf as Novelist (1954), and offered a complex account of her symbolism. Woolf featured in the influential The English Novel: A Short Critical History (1954) by Walter Allen who, with antique chauvinism, describes the Woolfian ‘moment’ in terms of ‘short, sharp female gasps of ecstasy, an impression intensified by Mrs Woolf ’s use of the semi-colon where the comma is ordinarily enough’. Psychological and Freudian interpretations were also emerging at this time, such as Joseph Blotner’s 1956 study of mythic patterns in To the Lighthouse, an essay that draws on Freud, Jung and the myth of Persephone.4 And there were studies of Bergsonian writing that made much of Woolf, such as Shiv Kumar’s Bergson and the Stream of Consciousness Novel (1962). The most important work of this period was by the French critic Jean Guiguet. His Virginia Woolf and Her Works (1962); translated by Jean Stewart, 1965) was the first full-length study ofWoolf ’s oeuvre, and it stood for a long time as the standard work of critical reference in Woolf studies. Guiguet draws on the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre to put forward a philosophical reading of Woolf; and he also introduces a psychobiographical dimension in the non-self.’ This existentialist approach did not foreground Woolf ’s feminism, either. his heavy use of extracts from A Writer’s Diary. He lays great emphasis on subjectivism in Woolf ’s writing, and draws attention to her interest in the subjective experience of ‘the moment.’ Despite his philosophical apparatus, Guiguet refuses to categorise Woolf in terms of any one school, and insists that Woolf has indeed ‘no pretensions to abstract thought: her domain is life, not ideology’. Her avoidance of conventional character makes Woolf for him a ‘purely psychological’ writer.5 Guiguet set a trend against materialist and historicist readings ofWoolf by his insistence on the primacy of the subjective and the psychological: ‘To exist, for Virginia Woolf, meant experiencing that dizziness on the ridge between two abysses of the unknown, the self and
Jane Goldman (The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf)
The general intelligence which is the faculty of arranging concepts “reasonably” and handling words suitably, must therefore aid in the social life just as intelligence in the narrower sense of the word, which is the mathematical function of the mind, presides over the knowledge of matter. It is the first of these we have in mind when we say of a man that he is intelligent. By that we mean that he has the ability and the facility for combining the ordinary concepts and for drawing probable conclusions from them. One can hardly take issue with him on that account, as long as he confines himself to things of every-day life, for which the concepts were made. But one would hardly admit of a man who was merely intelligent undertaking to speak with authority on scientific questions seeing that the intellect, made precise in science, becomes a mathematical, physical and biological attitude of mind, and substitutes for words more appropriate signs. All the more should one forbid him to meddle in philosophy when the questions raised are no longer in the domain of the intelligence alone. But no, it is agreed that the intelligent man is on this point a competent man. Against this I protest most vigorously. I hold the intelligence in high esteem, but I have a very mediocre opinion of the “intelligent man,” whose cleverness consists in talking about all things with a show of truth.
Henri Bergson (The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics)
IT is worth remembering that the rise of what we call literary fiction happened at a time when the revealed, authenticated account of the beginning was losing its authority. Now that changes in things as they are change beginnings to make them fit, beginnings have lost their mythical rigidity. There are, it is true, modern attempts to restore this rigidity. But on the whole there is a correlation between subtlety and variety in our fictions and remoteness and doubtfulness about ends and origins. There is a necessary relation between the fictions by which we order our world and the increasing complexity of what we take to be the 'real' history of that world. I propose in this talk to ask some questions about an early and very interesting example of this relation. There was a long-established opinion that the beginning was as described in Genesis, and that the end is to be as obscurely predicted in Revelation. But what if this came to seem doubtful? Supposing reason proved capable of a quite different account of the matter, an account contradicting that of faith? On the argument of these talks so far as they have gone, you would expect two developments: there should be generated fictions of concord between the old and the new explanations; and there should be consequential changes in fictive accounts of the world. And of course I should not be troubling you with all this if I did not think that such developments occurred. The changes to which I refer came with a new wave of Greek influence on Christian philosophy. The provision of accommodations between Greek and Hebrew thought is an old story, and a story of concord-fictions--necessary, as Berdyaev says, because to the Greeks the world was a cosmos, but to the Hebrews a history. But this is too enormous a tract in the history of ideas for me to wander in. I shall make do with my single illustration, and speak of what happened in the thirteenth century when Christian philosophers grappled with the view of the Aristotelians that nothing can come of nothing--ex nihilo nihil fit--so that the world must be thought to be eternal. In the Bible the world is made out of nothing. For the Aristotelians, however, it is eternal, without beginning or end. To examine the Aristotelian arguments impartially one would need to behave as if the Bible might be wrong. And this was done. The thirteenth-century rediscovery of Aristotle led to the invention of double-truth. It takes a good deal of sophistication to do what certain philosophers then did, namely, to pursue with vigour rational enquiries the validity of which one is obliged to deny. And the eternity of the world was, of course, more than a question in a scholarly game. It called into question all that might seem ragged and implausible in the usual accounts of the temporal structure of the world, the relation of time to eternity (certainly untidy and discordant compared with the Neo-Platonic version) and of heaven to hell.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Kant is sometimes considered to be an advocate of reason. Kant was in favor of science, it is argued. He emphasized the importance of rational consistency in ethics. He posited regulative principles of reason to guide our thinking, even our thinking about religion. And he resisted the ravings of Johann Hamann and the relativism of Johann Herder. Thus, the argument runs, Kant should be placed in the pantheon of Enlightenment greats. That is a mistake. The fundamental question of reason is its relationship to reality. Is reason capable of knowing reality - or is it not? Is our rational faculty a cognitive function, taking its material form reality, understanding the significance of that material, and using that understanding to guide our actions in reality - or is it not? This is the question that divides philosophers into pro- and anti-reason camps, this is the question that divides the rational gnostics and the skeptics, and this was Kant’s question in his Critique of Pure Reason. Kant was crystal clear about his answer. Reality - real, noumenal reality - is forever closed off to reason, and reason is limited to awareness and understanding of its own subjective products… Kant was the decisive break with the Enlightenment and the first major step toward postmodernism. Contrary to the Enlightenment account of reason, Kant held that the mind is not a response mechanism but a constitute mechanism. He held that the mind - and not reality - sets the terms for knowledge. And he held that reality conforms to reason, not vice versa. In the history of philosphy, Kant marks a fundamental shift from objectivity as the standard to subjectivity as the standard. What a minute, a defender of Kant may reply. Kant was hardly opposed to reason. After all, he favored rational consistency and he believed in universal principles. So what is anti-reason about it? The answer is that more fundamental to reason than consistency and universality is a connection to reality. Any thinker who concludes that in principle reason cannot know reality is not fundamentally an advocate of reason… Suppose a thinker argued the following: “I am an advocate of freedom for women. Options and the power to choose among them are crucial to our human dignity. And I am wholeheartedly an advocate of women’s human dignity. But we must understand that a scope of a women’s choice is confined to the kitchen. Beyond the kitchen’s door she must not attempt to exercise choice. Within the kitchen, however, she has a whole feast of choices[…]”. No one would mistake such a thinker for an advocate of women’s freedom. Anyone would point out that there is a whole world beyond the kitchen and that freedom is essentially about exercising choice about defining and creating one’s place in the world as a whole. The key point about Kant, to draw the analogy crudely, is that he prohibits knowledge of anything outside our skulls. The gives reasons lots to do withing the skull, and he does advocate a well-organized and tidy mind, but this hardly makes him a champion of reason… Kant did not take all of the steps down to postmodernism, but he did take the decisive one. Of the five major features of Enlightenment reason - objectivity, competence, autonomy, universality, and being an individual faculty - Kant rejected objectivity.
Stephen R.C. Hicks (Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault)
Hegel’s account avoids falling into a careless historicism by virtue of its appeal to the infinite ends at work in subjectivity, but it maintains its strong historicist commitment by virtue of the way in which Hegel takes himself to have shown that the universal has to particularize itself— a thesis we could formulate rather abstractly as the notion that for speculative (philosophical) concepts, meaning is determined by use but not exhausted by use, such that within a certain historical development, such concepts can be developed into better actualizations. Hegel’s type of philosophical history is not an a priori theory about how those historical particulars were necessitated to line up with each other, nor is it some happy talk Whig account of progress, nor is it a self-congratulatory tale of progressive enlightenment and error-correction, nor is it the explication of any laws of history or any claims about how various regimes inevitably converge at some final point or inevitably lead to a certain result. It is rather an examination of the metaphysical contours of subjectivity and how the self interpreting, self-developing collective human enterprise has moved from one such shape to another in terms of deeper logic of sense-making and how that meant that subjectivity itself had reshaped itself over the course of history. It is not a thesis about what constitutes true causality in history, nor is it even a thesis that unintelligibility causes such breakdowns. Hegel’s philosophy of history is concerned with what various things mean to subjects, individually and collectively, in the historical configurations into which they are thrown.
Terry Pinkard (Does History Make Sense?)
Birds were made by transformation: growing feathers instead of hair, they came from harmless but light-witted men, who studied the heavens but imagined in their simplicity that the surest evidence in these matters comes through the eye. Land animals came from men who had no use for philosophy and paid no heed to the heavens because they had lost the use of the circuits in the head and followed the guidance of those parts of the soul that are in the breast. By reason of these practices they let their forelimbs and heads be drawn down to the earth by natural affinity and there supported, and their heads were lengthened out and took any sort of shape into which their circles were crushed together through inactivity. On this account their kind was born with four feet or many, heaven giving to the more witless the greater number of points to support, that they might be all the more drawn earthward. The most senseless, whose whole bodies were stretched at length upon the earth, since they had no further need of feet, the gods made footless, crawling over the ground. The fourth sort, that live in water, came from the most foolish and stupid of all. The gods who remolded their form thought these unworthy any more to breathe the pure air, because their souls were polluted with every sort of transgression; and, in place of breathing the fine and clean air, they thrust them down to inhale the muddy water of the depths. Hence, came fishes and shellfish and all that lives in the water: in penalty for the last extreme of folly they are assigned the last and lowest habitation. These are the principles on which, now, as then all creatures change one into another, shifting their place with the loss or gain of understanding or folly.
Plato (Timaeus)
A respectable old man gives the following sensible account of the method he pursued when educating his daughter. "I endeavoured to give both to her mind and body a degree of vigour, which is seldom found in the female sex. As soon as she was sufficiently advanced in strength to be capable of the lighter labours of husbandry and gardening, I employed her as my constant companion. Selene, for that was her name, soon acquired a dexterity in all these rustic employments which I considered with equal pleasure and admiration. If women are in general feeble both in body and mind, it arises less from nature than from education. We encourage a vicious indolence and inactivity, which we falsely call delicacy; instead of hardening their minds by the severer principles of reason and philosophy, we breed them to useless arts, which terminate in vanity and sensuality. In most of the countries which I had visited, they are taught nothing of an higher nature than a few modulations of the voice, or useless postures of the body; their time is consumed in sloth or trifles, and trifles become the only pursuits capable of interesting them. We seem to forget, that it is upon the qualities of the female sex, that our own domestic comforts and the education of our children must depend. And what are the comforts or the education which a race of beings corrupted from their infancy, and unacquainted with all the duties of life, are fitted to bestow? To touch a musical instrument with useless skill, to exhibit their natural or affected graces, to the eyes of indolent and debauched young men, who dissipate their husbands' patrimony in riotous and unnecessary expenses: these are the only arts cultivated by women in most of the polished nations I had seen. And the consequences are uniformly such as may be expected to proceed from such polluted sources, private misery, and public servitude.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
Even if we do not suffer from religious mania, unrequited love, loneliness or jealousy, most readers can identify with Burton’s account of information overload over three centuries before the invention of the internet, an extraordinary broadside which is worth quoting in full: I hear new news every day, and those ordinary rumours of war, plagues, fires, inundations, thefts, murders, massacres, meteors, comets, spectrums, prodigies, apparitions, of towns taken cities besieged in France, Germany, Turkey, Persia, Poland &c. daily musters and preparations, and such like, which these tempestuous times afford, battles fought, so many men slain, monomachies, shipwrecks, piracies, and sea-fights, peace, leagues, stratagems, and fresh alarms. A vast confusion of vows, wishes, actions, edicts, petitions, lawsuits, pleas, laws, proclamations, complaints, grievances, are daily brought to our ears. New books every day, pamphlets, currantoes, stories, whole catalogues of volumes of all sorts, new paradoxes, opinions, schisms, heresies, controversies in philosophy, religion &c. Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, entertainments, jubilees, embassies, tilts and tournaments, trophies, triumphs, revels, sports, plays; then again, as in a new shifted scene, treasons, cheating tricks, robberies, enormous villanies in all kinds, funerals, burials, deaths of Princes, new discoveries, expeditions; now comical then tragical matters. To-day we hear of new Lords and officers created, to-morrow of some great men deposed, and then again of fresh honours conferred; one is let loose, another imprisoned; one purchaseth, another breaketh; he thrives, his neighbour turns bankrupt; now plenty, then again dearth and famine; one runs, another rides, wrangles, laughs, weeps &c. Thus I daily hear, and such like, both private and public news.37 And that way, Burton reminds us, that way madness lies…
Catharine Arnold (Bedlam: London and Its Mad)
Bored with Pisit today, I switch to our public radio channel, where the renowned and deeply reverend Phra Titapika is lecturing on Dependent Origination. Not everyone’s cup of chocolate, I agree (this is not the most popular show in Thailand), but the doctrine is at the heart of Buddhism. You see, dear reader (speaking frankly, without any intention to offend), you are a ramshackle collection of coincidences held together by a desperate and irrational clinging, there is no center at all, everything depends on everything else, your body depends on the environment, your thoughts depend on whatever junk floats in from the media, your emotions are largely from the reptilian end of your DNA, your intellect is a chemical computer that can’t add up a zillionth as fast as a pocket calculator, and even your best side is a superficial piece of social programming that will fall apart just as soon as your spouse leaves with the kids and the money in the joint account, or the economy starts to fail and you get the sack, or you get conscripted into some idiot’s war, or they give you the news about your brain tumor. To name this amorphous morass of self-pity, vanity, and despair self is not only the height of hubris, it is also proof (if any were needed) that we are above all a delusional species. (We are in a trance from birth to death.) Prick the balloon, and what do you get? Emptiness. It’s not only us-this radical doctrine applies to the whole of the sentient world. In a bumper sticker: The fear of letting go prevents you from letting go of the fear of letting go. Here’s the good Phra in fine fettle today: “Take a snail, for example. Consider what brooding overweening self-centered passion got it into that state. Can you see the rage of a snail? The frustration of a cockroach? The ego of an ant? If you can, then you are close to enlightenment.” Like I say, not everyone’s cup of miso. Come to think of it, I do believe I prefer Pisit, but the Phra does have a point: take two steps in the divine art of Buddhist meditation, and you will find yourself on a planet you no longer recognize. Those needs and fears you thought were the very bones of your being turn out to be no more than bugs in your software. (Even the certainty of death gets nuanced.) You’ll find no meaning there. So where?
John Burdett (Bangkok Tattoo (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #2))
The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments. Undignified as such a treatment may seem to some of my colleagues, I shall have to take account of this clash and explain a good many of the divergencies of philosophers by it. Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries when philosophizing to sink the fact of his temperament. Temperament is no conventionally recognized reason, so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions. Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other, making for a more sentimental or a more hard-hearted view of the universe, just as this fact or that principle would. He trusts his temperament. Wanting a universe that suits it, he believes in any representation of the universe that does suit it. He feels men of opposite temper to be out of key with the world's character, and in his heart considers them incompetent and 'not in it,' in the philosophic business, even tho they may far excel him in dialectical ability....But the one thing that has COUNTED so far in philosophy is that a man should see things, see them straight in his own peculiar way, and be dissatisfied with any opposite way of seeing them. There is no reason to suppose that this strong temperamental vision is from now onward to count no longer in the history of man's beliefs. .... Rationalism usually considers itself more religious than empiricism, but there is much to say about this claim, so I merely mention it. It is a true claim when the individual rationalist is what is called a man of feeling, and when the individual empiricist prides himself on being hard-headed. In that case the rationalist will usually also be in favor of what is called free-will, and the empiricist will be a fatalist—I use the terms most popularly current. The rationalist finally will be of dogmatic temper in his affirmations, while the empiricist may be more sceptical and open to discussion. I will write these traits down in two columns. I think you will practically recognize the two types of mental make-up that I mean if I head the columns by the titles 'tender-minded' and 'tough-minded' respectively. THE TENDER-MINDED Rationalistic (going by 'principles'), Intellectualistic, Idealistic, Optimistic, Religious, Free-willist, Monistic, Dogmatical. THE TOUGH-MINDED Empiricist (going by 'facts'), Sensationalistic, Materialistic, Pessimistic, Irreligious, Fatalistic, Pluralistic, Sceptical.
William James
Nietzsche's case is an especially interesting one for whoever wishes to undertake a critical examination of the “neotraditionalist” path. Two main reasons justify this evaluation: ― Nietzsche's work, on the one hand, explicitly and in an exemplary manner articulates the critique of democratic modernity and the denunciation of the argumentative foundation of norms: in this way it permits us ―better than does the work of other philosophers― to grasp all that is involved, within the choice between tradition and argumentation, in the rejection of the latter. ― On the other and perhaps more important hand, the way Nietzsche went about this rejection illustrates in a particularly significant fashion one of the main difficulties this type of philosophical projects comes up against: the neotraditionalist avoidance of democratic modernity makes it necessary to look for and ―we insist on this― whatever could be today's analogue of a traditional universe: the analogue, for (as Nietzsche knew better than anyone) it is out of question that in a time when “God is dead”, tradition should function as it does in theological cultures, in which whatever renders the value of tradition “sacred” and gives it its power is never unrelated to its rootedness in the divine will or in the world order supposed to express this will. Situating as he does his reflections at the same time after the “death of God” and after the (inseparably associated) discovery that the world once “dedivinized”, appears to be devoid of any order and must be thought of as “chaos”, Nietzsche take into account the end of cosmological and theological universe, an end that in general defines the intellectual and cultural location of the Moderns: we are thus dealing here, by definition and, we could say, at the stage of working sketch (since Nietzsche is, in philosophy, the very man who declared the foundations of the traditional universe to be antiquated), with a very peculiar mixture of antimodernism and modernity, of tradition and novelty ―which is why the expression “neotraditionalism” seems perfectly appropriate here, right down to the tension expressed within it. The question is of course one of knowing what such a “mixture” could consists of, both in its content and in its effects. Since, more than most of the representative of ordinary conservatism, Nietzsche cannot contemplate a naïve resumption of tradition, his “neo-conservative” approach permits us to submit the traditionalist option to an interrogation that can best examine its limitations and unintended consequences ―namely: what would a modern analogue of tradition consist of?
Luc Ferry (Why We Are Not Nietzscheans)
What are these substances? Medicines or drugs or sacramental foods? It is easier to say what they are not. They are not narcotics, nor intoxicants, nor energizers, nor anaesthetics, nor tranquilizers. They are, rather, biochemical keys which unlock experiences shatteringly new to most Westerners. For the last two years, staff members of the Center for Research in Personality at Harvard University have engaged in systematic experiments with these substances. Our first inquiry into the biochemical expansion of consciousness has been a study of the reactions of Americans in a supportive, comfortable naturalistic setting. We have had the opportunity of participating in over one thousand individual administrations. From our observations, from interviews and reports, from analysis of questionnaire data, and from pre- and postexperimental differences in personality test results, certain conclusions have emerged. (1) These substances do alter consciousness. There is no dispute on this score. (2) It is meaningless to talk more specifically about the “effect of the drug.” Set and setting, expectation, and atmosphere account for all specificity of reaction. There is no “drug reaction” but always setting-plus-drug. (3) In talking about potentialities it is useful to consider not just the setting-plus-drug but rather the potentialities of the human cortex to create images and experiences far beyond the narrow limitations of words and concepts. Those of us on this research project spend a good share of our working hours listening to people talk about the effect and use of consciousness-altering drugs. If we substitute the words human cortex for drug we can then agree with any statement made about the potentialities—for good or evil, for helping or hurting, for loving or fearing. Potentialities of the cortex, not of the drug. The drug is just an instrument. In analyzing and interpreting the results of our studies we looked first to the conventional models of modern psychology—psychoanalytic, behavioristic—and found these concepts quite inadequate to map the richness and breadth of expanded consciousness. To understand our findings we have finally been forced back on a language and point of view quite alien to us who are trained in the traditions of mechanistic objective psychology. We have had to return again and again to the nondualistic conceptions of Eastern philosophy, a theory of mind made more explicit and familiar in our Western world by Bergson, Aldous Huxley, and Alan Watts. In the first part of this book Mr. Watts presents with beautiful clarity this theory of consciousness, which we have seen confirmed in the accounts of our research subjects—philosophers, unlettered convicts, housewives, intellectuals, alcoholics. The leap across entangling thickets of the verbal, to identify with the totality of the experienced, is a phenomenon reported over and over by these persons.
Alan W. Watts (The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness)
In dealing with judgments of value we refer to facts, that is, to the way in which people really choose ultimate ends. While the value judgments of many people are identical, while it is permissible to speak of certain almost universally accepted valuations, it would be manifestly contrary to fact to deny that there is diversity in passing judgments of value. From time immemorial an immense majority of men have agreed in preferring the effects produced by peaceful cooperation—at least among a limited number of people—to the effects of a hypothetical isolation of each individual and a hypothetical war of all against all. To the state of nature they have preferred the state of civilization, for they sought the closest possible attainment of certain ends—the preservation of life and health—which, as they rightly thought, require social cooperation. But it is a fact that there have been and are also men who have rejected these values and consequently preferred the solitary life of an anchorite to life within society. It is thus obvious that any scientific treatment of the problems of value judgments must take into full account the fact that these judgments are subjective and changing. Science seeks to know what is, and to formulate existential propositions describing the universe as it is. With regard to judgments of value it cannot assert more than that they are uttered by some people, and inquire what the effects of action guided by them must be. Any step beyond these limits is tantamount to substituting a personal judgment of value for knowledge of reality. Science and our organized body of knowledge teach only what is, not what ought to be. This distinction between a field of science dealing exclusively with existential propositions and a field of judgments of value has been rejected by the doctrines that maintain there are eternal absolute values which it is just as much the task of scientific or philosophical inquiry to discover as to discover the laws of physics. The supporters of these doctrines contend that there is an absolute hierarchy of values. They tried to define the supreme good. They said it is permissible and necessary to distinguish in the same way between true and false, correct and incorrect judgments of value as between true and false, correct and incorrect existential propositions. 1 Science is not restricted to the description of what is. There is, in their opinion, another fully legitimate branch of science, the normative science of ethics, whose task it is to show the true absolute values and to set up norms for the correct conduct of men. The plight of our age, according to the supporters of this philosophy, is that people no longer acknowledge these eternal values and do not let their actions be guided by them. Conditions were much better in the past, when the peoples of Western civilization were unanimous in endorsing the values of Christian ethics.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
For clarity's sake, and before going further with this account, I shall identify true aesthetic sorrow a little more closely. Sorrow has the opposite movement to that of pain. So long as one doesn't spoil things out of a misplaced mania for consistency―something I shall prevent also in another way―one may say: the more innocence, the deeper the sorrow. If you press this too far, you destroy the tragic. There is always an element of guilt left over, but it is never properly reflected in the subject; which is why in Greek tragedy the sorrow is so deep. In order to prevent misplaced consistency, I shall merely remark that exaggeration only succeeds in carrying the matter over into another sphere. The synthesis of absolute innocence and absolute guilt is not an aesthetic feature but a metaphysical one. This is the real reason why people have always been ashamed to call the life of Christ a tragedy; one feels instinctively that aesthetic categories do not exhaust the matter. It is clear in another way, too that Christ's life amounts to more than can be exhausted in aesthetic terms, namely from the fact that these terms neutralize themselves in this phenomenon, and are rendered irrelevant. Tragic action always contains an element of suffering, and tragic suffering an element of action; the aesthetic lies in the relativity. The identity of an absolute action and an absolute suffering is beyond the powers of aesthetics and belongs to metaphysics. This identity is exemplified in the life of Christ, for His suffering is absolute because the action is absolutely free, and His action is absolute suffering because it is absolute obedience. The element of guilt that is always left over is, accordingly, not subjectively reflected and this makes the sorrow deep. Tragic guilt is more than just subjective guilt, it is inherited guilt. But inherited guilt, like original sin, is a substantial category, and it is just this substantiality that makes the sorrow deeper. Sophocles' celebrated tragic trilogy, *Oedipus at Colonus*, *Oedipus Rex*, and *Antigone*, turns essentially on this authentic tragic interest. But inherited guilt contains the self-contradiction of being guilt yet not being guilt. The bond that makes the individual guilty is precisely piety, but the guilt which he thereby incurs has all possible aesthetic ambiguity. One might well conclude that the people who developed profound tragedy were the Jews. Thus, when they say of Jehova that he is a jealous God who visits the sins of the fathers on the children unto the third and fourth generations, or one hears those terrible imprecations in the Old Testament, one might feel tempted to look here for the material of tragedy. But Judaism is too ethically developed for this. Jehova's curses, terrible as they are, are nevertheless also righteous punishment. Such was not the case in Greece, there the wrath of the gods has no ethical, but aesthetic ambiguity" (Either/Or).
Søren Kierkegaard
We are living now, not in the delicious intoxication induced by the early successes of science, but in a rather grisly morning-after, when it has become apparent that what triumphant science has done hitherto is to improve the means for achieving unimproved or actually deteriorated ends. In this condition of apprehensive sobriety we are able to see that the contents of literature, art, music—even in some measure of divinity and school metaphysics—are not sophistry and illusion, but simply those elements of experience which scientists chose to leave out of account, for the good reason that they had no intellectual methods for dealing with them. In the arts, in philosophy, in religion men are trying—doubtless, without complete success—to describe and explain the non-measurable, purely qualitative aspects of reality. Since the time of Galileo, scientists have admitted, sometimes explicitly but much more often by implication, that they are incompetent to discuss such matters. The scientific picture of the world is what it is because men of science combine this incompetence with certain special competences. They have no right to claim that this product of incompetence and specialization is a complete picture of reality. As a matter of historical fact, however, this claim has constantly been made. The successive steps in the process of identifying an arbitrary abstraction from reality with reality itself have been described, very fully and lucidly, in Burtt’s excellent “Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science"; and it is therefore unnecessary for me to develop the theme any further. All that I need add is the fact that, in recent years, many men of science have come to realize that the scientific picture of the world is a partial one—the product of their special competence in mathematics and their special incompetence to deal systematically with aesthetic and moral values, religious experiences and intuitions of significance. Unhappily, novel ideas become acceptable to the less intelligent members of society only with a very considerable time-lag. Sixty or seventy years ago the majority of scientists believed—and the belief often caused them considerable distress—that the product of their special incompetence was identical with reality as a whole. Today this belief has begun to give way, in scientific circles, to a different and obviously truer conception of the relation between science and total experience. The masses, on the contrary, have just reached the point where the ancestors of today’s scientists were standing two generations back. They are convinced that the scientific picture of an arbitrary abstraction from reality is a picture of reality as a whole and that therefore the world is without meaning or value. But nobody likes living in such a world. To satisfy their hunger for meaning and value, they turn to such doctrines as nationalism, fascism and revolutionary communism. Philosophically and scientifically, these doctrines are absurd; but for the masses in every community, they have this great merit: they attribute the meaning and value that have been taken away from the world as a whole to the particular part of the world in which the believers happen to be living.
Aldous Huxley (The Perennial Philosophy)
People, for the most part, live in the objective-immediate mode (discussed earlier). This means that they are totally absorbed in and identified with positive worldly interests and projects, of which there is an unending variety. That is to say, although they differ from one another in their individual natures, the contents of their respective positivities, they are all alike in being positive. Thus, although the fundamental relation between positives is conflict (on account of their individual differences), they apprehend one another as all being in the same boat of positivity, and they think of men generally in terms of human solidarity, and say 'we'. But the person who lives in the subjective-reflexive mode is absorbed in and identified with, not the positive world, but himself. The world, of course, remains 'there' but he regards it as accidental (Husserl says that he 'puts it in parentheses, between brackets'), and this means that he dismisses whatever positive identification he may have as irrelevant. He is no longer 'a politician' or 'a fisherman', but 'a self'. But what we call a 'self', unless it receives positive identification from outside, remains a void, in other words a negative. A 'self', however, is positive in this respect—it seeks identification. So a person who identifies himself with himself finds that his positivity consists in negativity—not the confident 'I am this' or 'I am that' of the positive, but a puzzled, perplexed, or even anguished, 'What am I?'. (This is where we meet the full force of Kierkegaard's 'concern and unrest'.) Eternal repetition of this eternally unanswerable question is the beginning of wisdom (it is the beginning of philosophy); but the temptation to provide oneself with a definite answer is usually too strong, and one falls into a wrong view of one kind or another. (It takes a Buddha to show the way out of this impossible situation. For the sotāpanna, who has understood the Buddha's essential Teaching, the question still arises, but he sees that it is unanswerable and is not worried; for the arahat the question no longer arises at all, and this is final peace.) This person, then, who has his centre of gravity in himself instead of in the world (a situation that, though usually found as a congenital feature, can be acquired by practice), far from seeing himself with the clear solid objective definition with which other people can be seen, hardly sees himself as anything definite at all: for himself he is, at best, a 'What, if anything?'. It is precisely this lack of assured self-identity that is the secret strength of his position—for him the question-mark is the essential and his positive identity in the world is accidental, and whatever happens to him in a positive sense the question-mark still remains, which is all he really cares about. He is distressed, certainly, when his familiar world begins to break up, as it inevitably does, but unlike the positive he is able to fall back on himself and avoid total despair. It is also this feature that worries the positives; for they naturally assume that everybody else is a positive and they are accustomed to grasp others by their positive content, and when they happen to meet a negative they find nothing to take hold of.
Nanavira Thera
I now turn to a *subjective* consideration that belongs here; yet I can give even less distinctness to it than to the objective consideration just discussed, for I shall be able to express it only by image and simile. Why is our consciousness brighter and more distinct the farther it reaches outwards, so that its greatest clearness lies in sense perception, which already half belongs to things outside us; and, on the other hand, becomes more obscure as we go inwards, and leads, when followed to its innermost recesses, into a darkness in which all knowledge ceases? Because, I say, consciousness presupposes *individuality*; but this belongs to the mere phenomenon, since, as the plurality of the homogeneous, it is conditioned by the forms of the phenomenon, time and space. On the other hand, our inner nature has its root in what is no longer phenomenon but thing-in-itself, to which therefore the forms of the phenomenon do not reach; and in this way, the chief conditions of individuality are wanting, and distinct consciousness ceases therewith. In this root-point of existence the difference of beings ceases, just as that of the radii of a sphere ceases at the centre. As in the sphere the surface is produced by the radii ending and breaking off, so consciousness is possible only where the true inner being runs out into the phenomenon. Through the forms of the phenomenon separate individuality becomes possible, and on this individuality rests consciousness, which is on this account confined to phenomena. Therefore everything distinct and really intelligible in our consciousness always lies only outwards on this surface on the sphere. But as soon as we withdraw entirely from this, consciousness forsakes us―in sleep, in death, and to a certain extent also in magnetic or magic activity; for all these lead through the centre. But just because distinct consciousness, as being conditioned by the surface of the sphere, is not directed towards the centre, it recognizes other individuals certainly as of the same kind, but not as identical, which, however, they are in themselves. Immortality of the individual could be compared to the flying off at a tangent of a point on the surface; but immortality, by virtue of the eternity of the true inner being of the whole phenomenon, is comparable to the return of that point on the radius to the centre, whose mere extension is the surface. The will as thing-in-itself is entire and undivided in every being, just as the centre is an integral part of every radius; whereas the peripheral end of this radius is in the most rapid revolution with the surface that represents time and its content, the other end at the centre where eternity lies, remains in profoundest peace, because the centre is the point whose rising half is no different from the sinking half. Therefore, it is said also in the *Bhagavad-Gita*: *Haud distributum animantibus, et quasi distributum tamen insidens, animantiumque sustentaculum id cognoscendum, edax et rursus genitale* (xiii, 16, trans. Schlegel) [Undivided it dwells in beings, and yet as it were divided; it is to be known as the sustainer, annihilator, and producer of beings]. Here, of course, we fall into mystical and metaphorical language, but it is the only language in which anything can be said about this wholly transcendent theme.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2)
We also find *physics*, in the widest sense of the word, concerned with the explanation of phenomena in the world; but it lies already in the nature of the explanations themselves that they cannot be sufficient. *Physics* is unable to stand on its own feet, but needs a *metaphysics* on which to support itself, whatever fine airs it may assume towards the latter. For it explains phenomena by something still more unknown than are they, namely by laws of nature resting on forces of nature, one of which is also the vital force. Certainly the whole present condition of all things in the world or in nature must necessarily be capable of explanation from purely physical causes. But such an explanation―supposing one actually succeeded so far as to be able to give it―must always just as necessarily be burdened with two essential imperfections (as it were with two sore points, or like Achilles with the vulnerable heel, or the devil with the cloven foot). On account of these imperfections, everything so explained would still really remain unexplained. The first imperfection is that the *beginning* of the chain of causes and effects that explains everything, in other words, of the connected and continuous changes, can positively *never* be reached, but, just like the limits of the world in space and time, recedes incessantly and *in infinitum*. The second imperfection is that all the efficient causes from which everything is explained always rest on something wholly inexplicable, that is, on the original *qualities* of things and the *natural forces* that make their appearance in them. By virtue of such forces they produce a definite effect, e.g., weight, hardness, impact, elasticity, heat, electricity, chemical forces, and so on, and such forces remain in every given explanation like an unknown quantity, not to be eliminated at all, in an otherwise perfectly solved algebraical equation. Accordingly there is not a fragment of clay, however little its value, that is not entirely composed of inexplicable qualities. Therefore these two inevitable defects in every purely physical, i.e., causal, explanation indicate that such an explanation can be only *relatively* true, and that its whole method and nature cannot be the only, the ultimate and hence sufficient one, in other words, cannot be the method that will ever be able to lead to the satisfactory solution of the difficult riddles of things, and to the true understanding of the world and of existence; but that the *physical* explanation, in general and as such, still requires one that is *metaphysical*, which would furnish the key to all its assumptions, but for that very reason would have to follow quite a different path. The first step to this is that we should bring to distinct consciousness and firmly retain the distinction between the two, that is, the difference between *physics* and *metaphysics*. In general this difference rests on the Kantian distinction between *phenomenon* and *thing-in-itself*. Just because Kant declared the thing-in-itself to be absolutely unknowable, there was, according to him, no *metaphysics* at all, but merely immanent knowledge, in other words mere *physics*, which can always speak only of phenomena, and together with this a critique of reason which aspires to metaphysics." ―from_The World as Will and Representation_. Translated from the German by E. F. J. Payne. In Two Volumes, Volume II, pp. 172-173
Arthur Schopenhauer
Always agree with the superior; never follow the inferior.” (Ibid.)
Feng Youlan (A Short History of Chinese Philosophy: A Systematic Account of Chinese Thought from Its Origins to Present Day)
History is not a science, nor is it an art, though the historian must, as a writer, be an artist too, he should write well, lucidly and eloquently, and is not harmed by a lively imagination. What is history? A truthful account of what happened in the past. As this necessarily involves evaluation, the historian is also a moralist. The term 'liberal,' mocked by some, must be retained. Historians are fallible beings who must make up their own minds, constantly aware of the particularised demands of truth. What is seen as odd must be allowed to retain its oddity, upon which later a clearer light may or may not shine. There are many dangers. History must be saved from dictators, from authoritarian politics, from psychology, from anthropology, from science, above all from the pseudo-philosophy of historicism. The study of history is menaced by fragmentation, a distribution of historical thinking among other disciplines, as we see happening in the case of philosophy. Such fragmentation opens a space for false prophets, old and new. Not only the shades of Hegel and Marx and Heidegger, but also those, you know whom I mean, who would degrade history into what they call 'fabulation.' Of course it is a truism, of which much has been made, that we cannot see the past. But we can work hard and faithfully to portray it, to understand and explain it. We need this if we are to possess wisdom and freedom. What brings down dictators, what has liberated Eastern Europe? Most of all a passionate hunger for truth, for the truth about their past, and for the justice which truth begets.
Iris Murdoch (The Green Knight)
Sonnet of Science Science is but a bridge of time, it can, Either take us forward or dump us in prehistory. Science alone does not ensure our advancement, Unless it's practiced with warmth and accountability. Sheer reason without any sentiment is, As dangerous as sheer sentiment without any reason. In order to forge a world fit for humans, We must break the ice between reason and emotion. Problem is that we like picking sides, Either we are too emotional or too rational. A civilized human ought to be none of that, A civilized human acts upon the need of the situation. So I say o mighty human, be not an intellectual moron. Science is a means of service, not intellectual gratification.
Abhijit Naskar (Handcrafted Humanity: 100 Sonnets For A Blunderful World)
Risk Management lets you appreciate the risk while you let someone else shoulder all the worry.
Anthony T. Hincks
A Social Media account that has lot of followers. It is like a loaded gun. If it is in good person hands. It protects and saves lives, but if it is in the bad person hands. It destroys and kills innocent lives.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
In 2018, Small Arms Survey reported that there are over one billion small arms distributed globally, of which 857 million (about 85 percent) are in civilian hands. The Small Arms Survey stated that U.S. civilians alone account for 393 million (about 46 percent) of the worldwide total of civilian held firearms." Guns are beautiful, but not often used in beautiful ways. I think our enlightened friends throughout the cosmos have very good reason not to pick our calls. If we had the capability, we would probably try to conquer them too.
For Frege, an account of what it is for a purely logical power to be in act suffices to allow us to achieve a proper philosophical appreciation of what “content,” “object,” “thought,” “judgment,” and “truth,” as such, are. These notions come to be fully in place through an elucidation of that power, considered apart from our capacity to arrive at kinds of knowledge that are not purely logical in content. Our capacity for empirical judgment, when it comes into view, will come into view as a comparatively complex joint exercise of a variety of faculties, in which the logically fundamental notions that figure in its explication (“content,” “object,” thought,” “judgment,” “truth”) are still supposed to retain the specific sense originally conferred upon them in our explication of the purely logical case, while allowing for their extension to logically impure cases of thought and proposition. A certain picture of the role of reflection on the purely logical case, inthe order of explication of kinds of knowledge, is at work here—a picture that has been enormously influential on the subsequent development of analytic philosophy. On this picture, only if we are armed with a prior account of the case of purely logical thought, supplementing it as we go along, can we come to understand what empirically contentful theoretical thought (or practical thought) is. On this picture, the spatiotemporal bearing and the self-consciousness of the thinking subject do not belong to the form of thought (and hence their treatment does not belong, as Kant held, to a suitably capacious conception of philosophical logic); rather, all such further details among various species of thought are to be subsequently specified, if at all, through the introduction of further indices figuring within the content of thought. (Thoughts are simply conceived of as occurring at a time or at a person.) These consequences of the Fregean picture are not, on the whole, something for which post-Fregean analytic philosophers argue. Rather, it involves an entire philosophical picture that is simply tacitly, and largely unwittingly, assumed—a picture that is already under attack, albeit in very different ways, in both Kant and early Wittgenstein. According to this post-Fregean picture, we can furnish an account of the wider reaches of our capacity for finite theoretical cognition only by assuming the prior intelligibility of some self- standing account of how one of the ingredient capacities in empirical cognition—the capacity for logical thought—off its own bat is able to yield a delimitable sphere of truth-evaluable, object-related thoughts with judgable content, without its yet having entered into any form of co- operation with our other cognitive capacities.
James Ferguson Conant (The Logical Alien: Conant and His Critics)
Stoicism has always been a self-help philosophy with a twist, precisely because it helps us to develop the critical thinking skills and moral accountability that stop us from mistaking feeling better with being better. As Zeno taught, being better means that we are more intentional in our progress toward living virtuously.
Kai Whiting (Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living In)
Some overly enthusiastic feminists have suggested a fundamental bias in the word—and in the process it represents—and have enjoyed proclaiming their account of women in the past as herstory. But “history” comes from Middle English histoire, which is exactly the modern French word for both “history” and “story,” and before that from Latin and Greek—all languages in which “his” is not the masculine personal pronoun. But wordplay among contemporary academic theorists works whether or not it’s true, and this is simply a lie.
Brad Miner (The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man's Guide to Chivalry)
Today we enforce accountability, so that our future generation can act accountable out of their own free will without the support from superficial regulatory institutions.
Abhijit Naskar (Hometown Human: To Live for Soil and Society)
Ideas about transmission of traits between the generations have shifted over the ages. Biological inheritance is a surprisingly recent concept. The word "gene" came into existence only in 1909. Until about two hundred years ago, Western thinking on the matter rested on ancient theories that are largely unknown to us. Those ideas are part of the bedrock of Western philosophy, intertwined with the development of science, inextricable from our history and in some ways from our thinking even now. Much of the source material has been lost. Authorship of what remains is frequently uncertain. Even contemporaneous secondhand accounts can be contradictory. And, of course, most of what humans have thought about reproduction in their time on the planet was never recorded.
Maud Newton (Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation)
No one has more rights than the other. Every right comes with responsibility and accountability. Let your human rights not violate, others humans rights.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Not all christians are loving, but anyone who is loving is a christian. Not all jews are just, but anyone who is just is a jew. Not all buddhists are compassionate, but anyone who is compassionate is a buddhist. Not all muslims are peace-loving, but anyone who is peace-loving is a muslim. Not all hindus are advaita or nonsectarian, but anyone who is nonsectarian is a hindu. Not all humanists are accountable, but anyone who is accountable is a humanist. Our religious identity says nothing about our character, but our behavior towards others says it all.
Abhijit Naskar (Either Reformist or Terrorist: If You Are Terror I Am Your Grandfather)
Apropos of which, this book adopts storytelling not just as a subject but as a method. The text is filled with anecdotes and accounts of effective managers putting to use the very skills that Lissack and Roos call on the rest of us to develop. We visit Southwest Airlines, lKEA, Tripod, and other exemplars of success. Though there is much discussion of chaos and complexity theory, there is no showy science or gratuitous mathematics. Though a work of philosophy by a pair of professional scholars, there's not a speck of academic pretension.
Kamil Karczmarczyk
I think delusion -- in a sense -- is the proper way of life and living sometimes. Since you can't always be grounded on truthhood or falsehood on every account, delusion seemingly acts as an intermediary or "equalizing glue" for the gaps of the unknown or unacceptable, among other things.
Andy Harglesis
The transition from the best regime to the inferior regimes was explicitly ascribed to the Muses speaking “tragically,” and the transition from the best man to the inferior men has in fact a somewhat “comical” touch: poetry takes the lead when the descent from the highest theme—justice understood as philosophy—begins. The return to poetry, which is preceded by the account of the inferior regimes and the inferior souls, is followed by a discussion of “the greatest rewards for virtue,” i.e., the rewards not inherent in justice or philosophy itself.
Leo Strauss (History of Political Philosophy)
One of the therapists that has financially profited from the lore about archetypes is Dr Stanislav Grof, controversial for his LSD psychotherapy, and more recently, on account of his Holotropic Breathwork TM. The commercial trademark is surely indication of an investment that raises questions. Dr Grof describes in one of his books his vision of archetypes (including the anima) while under the influence of 200 milligrams of MDMA (known as ecstasy). That is not proof of archetypal significances, but rather a strong indication of confusions prevailing in alternative therapy. Archetypes are big business, whether or not they carry the credentials of LSD or Ecstasy.
Kevin R.D. Shepherd (Some Philosophical Critiques and Appraisals: An Investigation of Perennial Philosophy, Cults, Occultism, Psychotherapy, and Postmodernism)
The early Greeks had a magnificent philosophy which is embodied in three sequentially arranged words: ethos, pathos, and logos. I suggest these three words contain the essence of seeking first to understand and making effective presentations. Ethos is your personal credibility, the faith people have in your integrity and competency. It’s the trust that you inspire, your Emotional Bank Account. Pathos is the empathic side—it’s the feeling. It means that you are in alignment with the emotional thrust of another person’s communication. Logos is the logic, the reasoning part of the presentation.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
Every day a jailor brought the prisoners their food, and as he laid down the dishes he would say a word to them. If their meal was flesh he would remind them that they were eating corpses, or give them some account of the slaughtering: or, if it was the inwards of some beast, he would read them a lecture in anatomy and show the likeness of the mess to the same parts in themselves—which was the more easily done because the giant’s eyes were always staring into the dungeon at dinner time. Or if the meal were eggs he would recall to them that they were eating the menstruum of a verminous fowl, and crack a few jokes with the female prisoners. So he went on day by day. Then I dreamed that one day there was nothing but milk for them, and the jailor said as he put down the pipkin: ‘Our relations with the cow are not delicate—as you can easily see if you imagine eating any of her other secretions.’ Now John had been in the pit a shorter time than any of the others: and at these words something seemed to snap in his head and he gave a great sigh and suddenly spoke out in a loud, clear voice: ‘Thank heaven! Now at last I know that you are talking nonsense.’ ‘What do you mean?’ said the jailor, wheeling round upon him. ‘You are trying to pretend that unlike things are like. You are trying to make us think that milk is the same sort of thing as sweat or dung.’ ‘And pray, what difference is there except by custom?’ ‘Are you a liar or only a fool, that you see no difference between that which Nature casts out as refuse and that which she stores up as food?’ ‘So Nature is a person, then, with purposes and consciousness,’ said the jailor with a sneer. ‘In fact, a Landlady. No doubt it comforts you to imagine you can believe that sort of thing;’ and he turned to leave the prison with his nose in the air. ‘I know nothing about that,’ shouted John after him. ‘I am talking of what happens. Milk does feed calves and dung does not.
C.S. Lewis
Like other Ionian philosophers, Thales believed in the doctrine of hylozoism . This theory says that matter possesses life, or sensation. In other words, life and matter are inseparable. Soul is in substances. This may be the explanation of another saying attributed to him. A story goes that he saw metal filings being drawn to a magnet. He could not account for how this happened and proclaimed, “Everything is full of gods.
Kenneth Shouler (The Everything Guide to Understanding Philosophy: Understand the basic concepts of the greatest thinkers of all time (Everything®))