Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Related Quotes

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Conceit is just as natural a thing to human minds as a centre is to a circle. But little-minded people’s thoughts move in such small circles that five minute’s’ conversation gives you an arc long enough to determine their whole curve. An arc in the movement of a large intellect does not differ sensibly from a straight line.

Character | Conversation | Enough | Little | People | Intellect |

Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

A nation is a thing that lives and acts like a man, and men are the particles of which it is composed.

Character | Man | Men |

Stephen Grellet, born Étienne de Grellet du Mabillier

I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Character | Good | Kindness | Neglect | World |

Thomas Hobbes

To this war of every man, against every man, this is also consequent that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law: where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues. Justice, and injustice, are none of the faculties neither of the body, nor mind. If they were, they might be in a man that were alone in the world, as well as his sense, and passions. They are qualities, that relate to men in society, not in solitude. It is consequent also to the same condition, that there be no propriety, no dominion, no mine and thing distinct; but only that to be every man’s, that he can get; and for so long, as he can keep it.

Body | Character | Force | Fraud | Injustice | Injustice | Justice | Law | Man | Men | Mind | Nothing | Power | Qualities | Right | Sense | Society | Solitude | War | World | Wrong |

Ellen Goodman

It is one thing when business is interested in young people as students. Quite another when they are interested in students as consumers. It is one thing when the marketplace supports the schools. Quite another when the schools become a marketplace.

Business | Character | People | Business |

Thomas Hobbes

There is no such thing as perpetual tranquillity of mind, while we live here; because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire, nor without fear, no more than without sense.

Character | Desire | Fear | Life | Life | Mind | Sense | Tranquility |

Hans Hoffman

A thing in itself never expresses anything. It is the relation between things that gives meaning to them and that formulates a thought. A thought functions only as a fragmentary part in the formulation of an idea.

Character | Meaning | Thought | Wisdom | Thought |

Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.

Character | Time |

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.

Character | World |

William James

What may be called “club-opinion” is one of the very strongest forces in life. The thief must not steal from other thieves; the gambler must pay his gambling-debts, though he pay no other debts in the world. The code of honor of fashionable society has throughout history been full of permissions as well as of vetoes, the only reason for following either of which is that so we best serve one of our social selves.

Character | History | Honor | Life | Life | Opinion | Reason | Society | World | Society | Following |

David Hume

‘Tis one thing to know virtue, and another to conform the will to it.

Character | Virtue | Virtue | Will |

Yosef Y. Hurwitz

An honor-seeker is not really interested in self-improvement. He is only interested in gaining approval from others. Hence, he will disregard any fault he has if he knows that others will not notice it. On the other hand, a person who is able to forego his honor is able to focus on truth. His only thought is to do the right thing and he is willing to sacrifice his honor for his principles. Such a person will eventually receive honor, for he will constantly work on improving himself.

Character | Fault | Focus | Honor | Improvement | Principles | Receive | Right | Sacrifice | Self | Self-improvement | Thought | Truth | Will | Work | Approval | Fault | Thought |

William James

A thing is important if anyone think it important.

Character | Important | Think |

William James

So far as man stands for anything, and is productive or originative at all, his entire vital function may be said to have to deal with maybes. Not a victory is gained, not a deed of faithfulness or courage is done, except upon a maybe; not a service, not a sally of generosity, not a scientific exploration or experiment or textbook, that may not be a mistake. It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.

Character | Courage | Enough | Experiment | Faith | Generosity | Man | Mistake | Service |

William James

The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours.

Character | Happy | Learn |

Ikinilik NULL

The only thing of value in a man is the soul. That is why it is the soul that is given everlasting life, either in the Land of the Sky or in the Underworld. The soul is man’s greatest power; it is the soul that makes us human, but how it does so we do not know. Our flesh and blood, our body, is nothing but an envelope about our vital power.

Body | Character | Land | Life | Life | Man | Nothing | Power | Soul | Value |

William James

Nature... is frugal in her operations and will not be at the expense of a particular instinct to give us that knowledge which experience and habit will soon produce. Reproduced sights and contacts tied together with the present sensation in the unity of a thing with a name, these are complex objective stuff out of which my actually perceived table is made. Infants must go through a long education of the eye and ear before they can perceive the realities which adults perceive. Every perception is an acquired perception.

Character | Education | Experience | Habit | Instinct | Knowledge | Nature | Perception | Present | Unity | Will |

Victor Hugo

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.

Character | Time | World |

Yosef Y. Hurwitz

Feelings of envy are based on illusions. What actual loss do you have if someone else has more money and receives more honor than you?

Character | Envy | Feelings | Honor | Money | Loss |