What is philosophy? It is something that lightens up, that makes bright.
Yes, gentlemen, give me the map of any country, its configuration, its climate, its waters, its winds, and the whole of its physical geography; give me its natural productions, its flora, its zoology, &c., and I pledge myself to tell you, a priori, what will be the quality of man in history:—not accidentally, but necessarily; not at any particular epoch, but in all; in short, —what idea he is called to represent.
All men have an equal right to the free development of their faculties; they have an equal right to the impartial protection of the state; but it is not true, it is against all the laws of reason and equity, it is against the eternal nature of things.
The beautiful cannot be the way to what is useful, or to what is good, or to what is holy; it leads only to itself.
The universal and absolute law is that natural justice which cannot be written down, but which appeals to the hearts of all. Written laws are formulas in which we endeavor to express as concisely as possible that which, under such or such determined circumstances, natural justice demands.
We must have religion for religion's sake, morality for morality's sake, as with art for art's sake…the beautiful cannot be the way to what is useful, or to what is good, or to what is holy; it leads only to itself.
Art neither belongs to religion, nor to ethics; but, like these, it brings us nearer to the Infinite, on of the forms of which it manifests to us. God is the source of all beauty, as of all truth of all religion, of all morality. The most exalted object, therefore, of art is to reveal in its own manner the sentiment of the Infinite.
Moral beauty is the basis of all true beauty. This foundation is somewhat covered and veiled in a nature. Art brings it out, and gives it more transparent forms. It is here and that art, when it knows well its power and resources, engages in a struggle with nature in which it may have the advantage.