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

Katharine Anthony, fully Katharine Susan Anthony

Foremost among the barriers to equality is the system which ignores the mother’s service to Society in making a home and rearing children. The mother is still the uncharted servant of the future, who receives from her husband, at his discretion, a share in his wages.

Character | Children | Discretion | Equality | Future | Husband | Mother | Service | Society | System | Society |

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

Instinct gave place temporarily to a system of habits, each one of which became contingent, their convergence of which became contingent, their convergence towards the preservation of society being alone necessary, and this necessity bringing back instinct with it. The necessity of the whole, felt behind the contingency of the parts, is what we call moral obligation in general - it being understood that the parts are contingent in the eyes of society only; to the individual, into whom society inculcates its habits, the part is as necessary as the whole.

Character | Individual | Instinct | Necessity | Obligation | Society | System | Society |

Andrei Bitov, fully Andrei Georgiyevich Bitov

Life has neither material nor idealistic secrecy or mystery about it. Life is equal to itself only, hence perceiving its meaning is out of the question... The exaggeration of our mental abilities has given rise to what we perceive as “the problem” of discerning life’s purpose... If it is beyond our powers to disembowel love and beauty - we can only ravish them - it means that they are given to us not for cognition but for reflection. Similarly, the freedom of choice granted to man, a freedom denied the rest of the living species, is man’s task, a duty to exercise and fulfill, not merely an opportune option.

Beauty | Character | Choice | Duty | Exaggeration | Freedom | Life | Life | Love | Man | Meaning | Means | Mystery | Purpose | Purpose | Question | Reflection | Rest | Secrecy | Beauty |

Kenneth Burke

If decisions were a choice between alternatives, decisions would become easy. Decision is the selection of alternatives.

Character | Choice | Decision |

Jacques Delille

Chance makes our parents, but choice makes our friends.

Chance | Character | Choice | Parents |

Friedrich Engels

The freer a man’s judgment is in relation to a definite question, the greater is the necessity with which the content of this judgment will be determined; while the uncertainty, founded on ignorance, which seems to make an arbitrary choice among many different and conflicting possible decisions, shows precisely by this that it is not free, that it is controlled by the very object it should itself control. Freedom therefore consists in the control over ourselves and over external nature, an control founded on knowledge of natural necessity; it is therefore necessarily a product of historical development.

Character | Choice | Control | Freedom | Ignorance | Judgment | Knowledge | Man | Nature | Necessity | Object | Question | Uncertainty | Will |

Thomas Dreier

It is better to give love. Hatred is a low and degrading emotion and is so poisonous that no man is strong enough to use it safely. The hatred we think we are directing against some person or thing or system has a devilish way of turning back upon us. When we seek revenge we administer slow poison to ourselves. When we administer affection it is astonishing what magical results we obtain.

Better | Character | Enough | Love | Man | Revenge | System | Think |

John Dewey

The essential problem of freedom, it seems to me, is the problem of the relation of choice and unimpeded effective action to each other... There is an intrinsic connection between choice as freedom and power of action as freedom. A choice which intelligently manifests individuality enlarges the range of action, and this enlargement in turn confers upon our desires greater insight and foresight, and makes choice more intelligent.

Action | Character | Choice | Foresight | Freedom | Individuality | Insight | Power |

Elliot W. Eisner

We have inadvertently designed a system in which being good at what you do as a teacher is not formally rewarded, while being poor at what you do is seldom corrected nor penalized.

Character | Good | System | Teacher |

John Dewey

The whole history of science, art and morals proves that the mind that appears in individuals, is not as such individual mind. The former is in itself a system of belief, recognitions, and ignorances, of acceptances and rejections, of expectancies and appraisals of meanings which have been instituted under the influence of custom and tradition.

Art | Belief | Character | Custom | History | Individual | Influence | Mind | Science | System | Tradition | Art |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

It seems not to be true that there is a power in the universe, which watches over the well-being of every individual with parental care and brings all his concerns to a happy ending. On the contrary, the destinies of man are incompatible with a universal principle of benevolence or with - what is to some degree contradictory - a universal principle of justice... Dark, unfeeling, and unloving powers determine human destiny; the system of rewards and punishments, which according to religion, governs the world, seems to have no existence.

Benevolence | Care | Character | Destiny | Existence | Happy | Individual | Justice | Man | Power | Religion | System | Universe | World |

Immanual Hermann Fichte

Our system of thought and opinion, is often the only history of our heart. Men do not so much will according to their reason, as reason according to their will.

Character | Heart | History | Men | Opinion | Reason | System | Thought | Will | Thought |

Henry Fielding

There is a sort of knowledge beyond the power of learning to bestow, and this is to be had in conversation; so necessary is this to the understanding the characters of men, that none are more ignorant of them than those learned pedants whose lives have been entirely consumed in colleges and among books; for however exquisitely human nature may have been described by writers the true practical system can be learned only in the world.

Books | Character | Conversation | Human nature | Knowledge | Learning | Men | Nature | Power | System | Understanding | World |

William H. P. Faunce

We have in America the largest public school system on earth, the most expensive college buildings, the most extensive curriculum, but nowhere else is education so blind to its objectives, so indifferent to any specific outcome as in America. One trouble has been its negative character. It has aimed at the repression of faults rather than the creation of virtues.

Character | Earth | Education | Objectives | Public | System | Trouble |

J. G. Fichte, fully Johann Gottlieb Fichte

What sort of philosophy one chooses depends, therefore, on what sort of man one is; for a philosophical system is not a dead piece of furniture that we can reject or accept as we wish; it is rather a thing animated by the soul of the person who holds it. A person indolent by nature or dulled and distorted by mental servitude, learned luxury, and vanity will never raise himself to the level of idealism.

Character | Idealism | Luxury | Man | Nature | Philosophy | Servitude | Soul | System | Will |

Nancy Gibbs

Of all ennobling sentiments, patriotism may be the most easily manipulated. On the one hand, it gives powerful expression to what is best in a nation’s character: a commitment to principle, a willingness to sacrifice, a devotion to the community by the choice of the individual. But among its toxic fruits are intolerance, belligerence and blind obedience, perhaps because it blooms most luxuriantly during times of war.

Character | Choice | Commitment | Devotion | Individual | Intolerance | Obedience | Patriotism | Sacrifice | War |