Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

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 |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

What can be the aim of withholding from children, or let us say from young people, this information about the sexual life of human beings? Is it a fear of arousing interest in such matters prematurely, before it spontaneously stirs in them? Is it a hope of retarding by concealment of this kind the development of the sexual instinct in general, until such time as it can find its way into the only channels open to it in the civilized social order? Is it supposed that children would show no interest or understanding for the facts and riddles of sexual life if they were not prompted to do so by outside influence? Is it regarded as possible that the knowledge withheld from them will not reach them in other ways? Or is it genuinely and seriously intended that later on they should consider everything connected with sex as something despicable and abhorrent from which their parents and teachers wish to keep them apart as long as possible? I am really at a loss so say which of these can be the motive for the customary concealment from children of everything connected with sex. I only know that these arguments are one and all equally foolish, and that I find it difficult to pay them the compliment of serious refutation.

Character | Children | Concealment | Fear | Hope | Influence | Instinct | Knowledge | Life | Life | Order | Parents | People | Time | Understanding | Will | Loss |

N. Grou

A simple heart will love all that is most precious on earth, husband or wife, parent or child, brother or friend, without marring its singleness; external things will have no attraction save inasmuch as they lead souls to Him; all exaggeration or unreality, affection and falsehood must pass away from such a one, as the dews dry up before the sunshine. The single motive is to please God, and hence arises total indifference as to what others say and think, so that words and actions are perfectly simple and natural, as in his sight.

Character | Earth | Exaggeration | Falsehood | Friend | God | Heart | Husband | Indifference | Love | Wife | Will | Words | Parent |

Stephan Jay Gould

We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves - from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way.

Character | Life | Life | Meaning | Nature | Sense | Wisdom |

William Ralph Inge

The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values.

Character | Education | Knowledge |

David Hume

Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now ‘tis evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, complete in themselves, and implying no reference to other passions, volitions, and actions. ‘Tis impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason.

Character | Disagreement | Discovery | Existence | Falsehood | Ideas | Object | Reason | Truth | Discovery |

W. Brugh Joy, fully William Brugh Joy

The great spiritual and political viewpoint of the West is that we are all equal and are all capable of developing into the same end product. Anybody who bothers to examine the facts can easily see we are not all equal. What we really are is not so much equal as unique. None of us is the same as anybody else. In this uniqueness is a profound Spiritual Realization: Life is infinitely creative and requires uniqueness for creativity.

Character | Creativity | Life | Life | Unique |

Maurice Nicoll

Life is sufficiently miraculous already - only we do not notice it. If we catch a glimpse of its mystery, we border momentarily on new emotions and thoughts, but this comes from within, as a momentary, individual awakening of the spirit. Eckhart says that we are at fault as long as we see God in what is outside us... All the liberating inner truth and vision that we need, apart from outer truth and facts about things is... ‘native within us.’

Awakening | Character | Emotions | Fault | God | Individual | Life | Life | Mystery | Need | Spirit | Truth | Vision | God | Fault |

Achilles Poincelot

Envy pierces more in the restriction of praises than in the exaggeration of its criticisms.

Character | Envy | Exaggeration |

H. W. Andrews

While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where more and more of your decisions will be right. After all, it is better to be right 51 percent of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision.

Action | Better | Consideration | Courage | Decision | Experience | Failure | Fear | Habit | Judgment | Man | Mind | Nothing | Position | Question | Responsibility | Right | Time | Will | Wisdom | Failure |

Arthur Mortimer Astbury

"Point of view" must mean more than the mere prejudice; it should express conclusions reached by the painful process known as thinking. And when new facts or factors are presented, free men should be as vigilant to change their viewpoints as to confirm them.

Change | Men | Prejudice | Thinking | Wisdom |

J. L. Austin, fully John Langshaw Austin

Words are not (except in their own little corner) facts or things: we need therefore to prise them off the world, to hold them apart from and against it, so that we can realize their inadequacies and arbitrariness, and can re-look at the world without blinkers.

Little | Need | Wisdom | Words | World |

John Anderson

The general conclusion is that all the objects of science, including minds and goods, are things occurring in space and time... and that we can study them in virtue of the fact that we come into spatial and temporal relations with them. And therefore all ideals, ultimates, symbols, agencies and the like are to be rejected, and no such distinction as that of facts and principles, or facts and values, can be maintained. There are only facts, i.e., occurrences in space and time.

Distinction | Ideals | Principles | Science | Space | Study | Time | Virtue | Virtue | Wisdom |

William J. Broad and Nicholas J. Wade

Finding facts in actuality is less rewarded than developing a theory of law that explains the facts, and herein lies an enticement. In making sense out of the unruly substance of nature, and in trying to get there first, a scientist is sometimes tempted to play fast and loose with the facts in order to make a theory look more compelling than it really is.

Law | Nature | Order | Play | Sense | Wisdom |

G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Facts as facts do not always create a spirit of reality, because reality is a spirit.

Reality | Spirit | Wisdom |

Calvin Coolidge, fully John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.

Ability | Discipline | Experience | Knowledge | Mind | Time | Wisdom | Work |

Bernard d'Espagnat

The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and the facts established by experiment.

Consciousness | Doctrine | Existence | Experiment | Wisdom | World |