Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Object

"Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"Distinction is the consequence, never the object, of a great mind." -

"Good is the cause of love, as being its object. But good is not the object of the appetite, except as apprehended. And therefore love demands some apprehension of the good that is loved... Accordingly knowledge is the cause of love for the same reason as good is, which can be loved only if known." -

"It is impossible for any created good to constitute man’s happiness. For happiness is the perfect good, which quiets the appetite altogether since it would not be the last end if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, that is, of man’s appetite, is the universal good, just as the object of the intellect is the universal true. Hence it is evident that nothing can quiet man’s will except the universal good. This is to be found not in any creature, but in God alone, because every creature has goodness by participation. Therefore God alone can satisfy the will of man." -

"Prudence considers the means of acquiring happiness, but wisdom considers the very object of happiness." -

"Youth is a cause of hope for three reasons... And these three reasons may be gathered from the three conditions of the good which is the object of hope - namely, that it is future, arduous and possible... For youth has much of the future before it, and little of the past; and therefore since memory is of the past, and hope of the future, it has little to remember and lives very much in hope. Again, youths, on account of the heat of their nature, are full of spirit, so that their heart expands, and it is owing to the heart being expanded that one tends to that which is arduous; therefore youths are spirited and hopeful. Likewise they who have not suffered defeat, nor had experience of obstacles to their efforts, are prone to count a thing possible to them. Therefore youths, through inexperience of obstacles and of their own shortcomings, easily count a thing possible, and consequently are of good hope." -

"I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand." - H. B.

"Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine, or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo. And in so doing you must let go of your subjective preoccupation with yourself.... Your poetry arises by itself when you and the object become one." - Matsuo Bashō, born Matsuo Kinsaku, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa

""Know thyself," said, the old philosophy. "Improve thyself," saith the new. Our great object in time is not to waste our passions and gifts on the things external that we must leave behind, but that we cultivate within us all that we carry into the eternal progress beyond." -

"Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"The object of art is to crystallize emotion into thought, and then to fix it in form." - Francois Delsarte

"Some people gauge their value by what they own. But in reality the entire concept of ownership of possessions is based on an illusion. When you obtain a material object, it does not become part of you. Ownership is merely your right to use specific objects whenever you wish and that no one has a right to take them away from you. How unfortunate is the person who has an ambition to cleave to something impossible to cleave to. Such a person will not obtain what he desires and will experience suffering." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"To assume that anything can be known in isolation from its connections with other things is to identify knowing with merely having some object before perception or in , and is thus to lose the key to the traits that distinguish an object as known... The more connections and interactions we ascertain, the more we know the object in question." - John Dewey

"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." - Friedrich Engels

"Contemplation is necessary to generate an object, but action must propagate it." - Owen Feltham

"Beauty may be the object of liking - great qualities of admiration - good ones of esteem - but love only is the object of love." - Henry Fielding

"A small minority are enabled... to find happiness along the path of love; but far-reaching mental transformations of the erotic function are necessary before this is possible. These people make themselves independent of their object’s acquiescence by transferring the main value from the fact of being loved to their own act of loving; they protect themselves against loss of it by attaching their love not to individual objects but to all men equally, and they avoid the uncertainties and disappointments of genital love by turning away from its sexual aim and modifying the instinct which they induce in themselves by this process - an unchangeable, undeviating, tender attitude - has little superficial likeness to the stormy vicissitudes of genital love, from which it is nevertheless derived." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our love object or its love." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"Friendship, like love, is self-forgetful. The only inequality is knows is one that exalts the object, and humbles self." - Henry Giles

"There is only one object... for which we have at present the strength... and that is the moral object -the emancipation of ourselves from the inner slavery and spiritual degradation which assimilation has produced within us." -

"Home, in one form or another, is the great object of life." - Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

"Nothing can ever be present to the mind but an image or perception, and that the senses are only the inlets, through which these images are conveyed, without being able to produce any immediate intercourse between the mind and the object... The mind has never anything present to it but the perceptions, and cannot possibly reach any experience of their connection with objects. The supposition of such a connection is, therefore, without any foundation in reasoning." - 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." - David Hume

"The only difference betwixt the natural vices and justice lies in this, that the good, which results from the former, arises from every single act, and is the object of some natural passion: whereas a single act of justice, consider’d in itself, may often be contrary to the public good; and ‘tis only the concurrence of mankind, in a general scheme or system of action, which is advantageous." - David Hume

"Charity... unlike the lower forms of love, is not an emotion. It begins as an act of the will and is consummated as a purely spiritual awareness, a unitive love-knowledge of the essence of its object." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The idolatrous worship of ethical values in and for themselves defeats its own object - and defeats it not only because... there is a lack of all-around development, but also and above all because even the highest forms of moral idolatry are God-eclipsing and therefore guarantee the idolater against the enlightening and liberating knowledge of Reality." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The object of studying philosophy is to know one's own mind, not other people's." - William Ralph Inge

"Instinctive reactions and emotional expressions thus shade imperceptibly into each other. Every object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well." - William James

"No love and no expression of love may, in the merely human and worldly sense, be deprived of a relationship to God. Love is a passionate emotion, but in this emotion, even before he enters into a relation with the object of his love, the man just first enter into a relationship with God, and thereby realize the claim that love is the fulfillment of the law." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"Those who have arrived at any very eminent degree of excellence in the practice of an art or profession have commonly been actuated by a species of enthusiasm in their pursuit of it. They have kept one object in view amidst all the vicissitudes of time and fortune." - John Knox

"Since the mind, in all its thoughts and reasonings, hath no other immediate object but its own ideas, which it alone does or can contemplate, it is evident that our knowledge is only conversant about them... Knowledge then seems to me to be nothing but the perception of the connection of and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our ideas. In this alone it consists. Where this perception is, there is knowledge, and where it is not, there, though we may fancy, guess, or believe, yet we always come short of knowledge." - John Locke

"What keeps persons down in the world, besides lack of capacity, is not a philosophical contempt of riches or honors, but thoughtlessness and improvidence, a love of sluggish torpor, and of present gratification. It is not from preferring virtue to wealth - the goods of the mind to those of fortune - that they take no thought for the morrow; but from want of forethought and stern self-command. The restless, ambitious man too often directs these qualities to an unworthy object; the contented man is generally deficient in the qualities themselves. The one is a stream that flows too often in a wrong channel, and needs to have its course altered, the other is a stagnant pool." -

"In the destiny of every moral being there is an object more worthy of God than happiness. It is character. And the grand aim of man's creation is the development of grand character - and grand character is, by its very nature, the product of probationary discipline." - Austin Phelps

"Knowledge has three degrees: opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. To the last I subordinate reason. It is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known." - Plotinus NULL

"The hatred of the wicked is only roused the more from the impossibility of finding any just grounds on which it rest; and the very consciousness of their own injustice is only a grievance the more against him who is the object of it." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Wherever there is lost the consciousness that every man is an object of concern for us just because he is a man, civilization and morals are shaken, and the advance to fully developed inhumanity is only a question of time." - Albert Schweitzer

"Recreation is not being idle; it is easing the wearied part by change of occupation. To re-create strength, rest. To re-create mind, repose. To re-create cheerfulness, hope in God, or change the object of attention to one more elevated and worthy of thought." - Charles Simmons

"The goal of life is imminent in each moment, each thought, word, act, and does not have to be sought apart from these. It consists in no specific achievement, but the start of mind in which everything is done, the quality infused into existence. The function of man is not to attain an object, but to fulfill a purpose; not to accomplish but be accomplished." - Stephen Berrien Stanton

"These men (chronic fault-finders) should consider that it is their envy which deforms everything, and that the ugliness is not in the object, but in the eye." - Richard Steele, fully Sir Richard Steele

"Didst thou every descry a glorious eternity in a winged moment of time? Didst thou ever see a bright infinite in the narrow point of an object? Then thou knowest what spirit means - the spire-top, whither all things ascend harmoniously, where they meet and sit contented in an unfathomed Depth of Life." - Peter Sterry

"Socialists are filled with the enthusiasm of equality... Equality of possession or of rights and equality before the law are diametrically opposed to each other. The object of equality before the law is to make the state entirely neutral." - William Graham Sumner

"If anger be the basis of our political activities, the excitement tends to become an end in itself, at the expense of the object to be achieved. side issues then assume an exaggerated importance, and all gravity of thought and action is lost; such excitement is not an exercise of strength, but a display of weakness." -

"The pious sectarian is proud because he is confident of his right of possession in God. The man of devotion is meek because he is conscious of God’s right of love over his life and soul. The object of our possession becomes smaller than ourselves, and without acknowledging it in so many words the bigoted sectarian has an implicit belief that God can be kept secured for certain individuals in a cage which is of their own make. In a similar manner the primitive races of men believe that their ceremonials have a magic influence upon their deities." -

"When any person of really eminent virtue becomes the object of envy, the clamor and abuse by which he is assailed is but the sign and accompaniment of his success in doing service to the public. And if he is truly a wise man, he will take no more notice of it than the moon does of the howling of the dogs. Her only answer to them is to shine on." - Richard Whately

"Then still a purpose enclosing all, and over and beneath all, ever since what might be call’d thought, or the budding of thought, fairly began in my youthful mind, I had had a desire to attempt some worthy record of that entire faith and acceptance to justify the ways of God to man... which is the foundation of moral America... to formulate a poem whose every thought or fact should directly or indirectly be or connive at an implicit belief in the wisdom, health, mystery, beauty of every process, every concrete object, every human or other existence, not only consider’d from the point of view of all, but of each. While I can not understand it or argue it out, I fully believe in a clue and purpose in Nature, entire and several; and that invisible spiritual results, just as real and definite as the visible, eventuate all concrete life and all materialism through Time." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Distinction is the consequence, never the object of a great mind." - Washington Allston

"The whole object of education is, or should be, to develop mind. The mind should be a thing that works. It should be able to pass judgment on events as they arise, make decisions." - Sherwood Anderson

"Religion directs man to God not as its object but as its end." -

"One of the great problems that must be solved in any attempt to work out a scientific world-view is that of bringing the being who puts forward the world-view within the world-view. By treating man, including his mental processes, as a purely, as a purely physical object, operating according to exactly the same laws as all other physical things, this object is achieved with the greatest possible intellectual economy. The knower differs from the world he knows only in the greater complexity of his physical organization." - David Malet Armstrong, aka D. M. Armstrong

"The relation of faith between subject and object is unique in every case. Hundreds may believe, but each has to believe by himself." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden