It was not necessarily the best of times in America when Catholics and Protestants were suspicious of and hated one another; but at least they were taking their beliefs seriously, and the more or less satisfactory accommodations they worked out were not simply the result of apathy about the state of their souls.
The old view was that delicacy of language was part of the nature, the sacred nature, of eros and that to speak about it in any other way would be to misunderstand it. What has disappeared is the risk and the hope of human connectedness embedded in eros. Ours is a language that reduces the longing for an other to the need for individual, private satisfaction and safety.
view quotesdelicacy quoteslanguage quotespart quotesnature quotessacred quoteseros quotesspeak quotesmisunderstand quotesdisappeared quotesrisk quoteshope quoteshuman quotesconnectedness quotesembedded quoteseros quotesreduces quoteslonging quotesindividual quotesprivate quotessatisfaction quotessafety quotes
Continental thinkers have been obsessed with bourgeois man as representing the worst and most contemptible failure of modernity, which must at all costs be overcome. Nihilism in its most palpable sense means that the bourgeois has won, that the future, all foreseeable futures, belong to him, that all heights above him and all depths beneath him are illusory and that life is not worth living on these terms.
continental quotesthinkers quotesobsessed quotesbourgeois quotesman quotesrepresenting quotesworst quotescontemptible quotesfailure quotesmodernity quotescosts quotesovercome quotesnihilism quotespalpable quotessense quotesmeans quoteswon quotesfuture quotesforeseeable quotesfutures quotesbelong quotesheights quotesdepths quotesbeneath quotesillusory quoteslife quotesworth quotesliving quotesterms quotes
The de-eroticization of the world, a companion to its disenchantment ... seems to result from a combination of causes our democratic regime and its tendencies toward leveling and self-protection, a reductionist-materialist science that inevitably interprets eros as sex, and the atmosphere generated by "the death of God" and of the subordinate god, Eros.
deeroticization quotesworld quotescompanion quotesdisenchantment quotesresult quotescombination quotesdemocratic quotesregime quotestendencies quotesleveling quotesselfprotection quotesreductionistmaterialist quotesscience quotesinevitably quotesinterprets quoteseros quotessex quotesatmosphere quotesgenerated quotesdeath quotesgod quotessubordinate quotesgod quoteseros quotes
There is a perennial and unobtrusive view that morality consists in such things as telling the truth, paying one's debts, respecting one's parents and doing no voluntary harm to anyone. Those are all things easy to say and hard to do; they do not attract much attention, and win little honor in the world.
The utilitarian behaves sensibly in all that is required for preservation but never takes account of the fact that he must die...His whole life is absorbed in avoiding death, which is inevitable, and therefore he might be thought to be the most irrational of men, if rationality has anything to do with understanding ends or comprehending the human situation as such. He gives way without reserve to his most powerful passion and the wishes it engenders.
utilitarian quotesbehaves quotessensibly quotesrequired quotespreservation quotestakes quotesaccount quotesfact quotesdiehis quoteslife quotesabsorbed quotesavoiding quotesdeath quotesinevitable quotesthought quotesirrational quotesmen quotesrationality quotesunderstanding quotesends quotescomprehending quoteshuman quotessituation quotesreserve quotespowerful quotespassion quoteswishes quotesengenders quotes
There are two threats to reason, the opinion that one knows the truth about the most important things and the opinion that there is no truth about them. Both of these opinions are fatal to philosophy; the first asserts that the quest for truth is unnecessary, while the second asserts that it is impossible. The Socratic knowledge of ignorance, which I take to be the beginning point of all philosophy, defines the sensible middle ground between two extremes.
threats quotesreason quotesopinion quotestruth quotesimportant quotesthings quotesopinions quotesfatal quotesphilosophy quotesasserts quotesquest quotesunnecessary quotesimpossible quotessocratic quotesknowledge quotesignorance quotesbeginning quotespoint quotesphilosophy quotesdefines quotesmiddle quotesground quotesextremes quotes
The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contradictory simulacra of community, is the community of those who seek the truth, of the potential knowers... of all men to the extent they desire to know. But in fact, this includes only a few, the true friends, as Plato was to Aristotle at the very moment they were disagreeing about the nature of the good... They were absolutely one soul as they looked at the problem. This, according to Plato, is the only real friendship, the only real common good. It is here that the contact people so desperately seek is to be found... This is the meaning of the riddle of the improbable philosopher-kings. They have a true community that is exemplary for all other communities.
real quotescommunity quotesman quotesmidst quotesselfcontradictory quotessimulacra quotescommunity quotesseek quotestruth quotespotential quotesknowers quotesmen quotesextent quotesdesire quotesfact quotesincludes quotestrue quotesfriends quotesplato quotesaristotle quotesmoment quotesdisagreeing quotesnature quotesgood quotesabsolutely quotessoul quoteslooked quotesproblem quotesplato quotesfriendship quotescommon quotesgood quotescontact quotespeople quotesdesperately quotesfound quotesmeaning quotesriddle quotesimprobable quotesphilosopherkings quotesexemplary quotescommunities quotes
As Western nations became more prosperous, leisure, which had been put off for several centuries in favor of the pursuit of property, the means to leisure, finally began to be of primary concern. But, in the meantime, any notion of the serious life of leisure, as well as men's taste and capacity to live it, had disappeared.
Our Nation, a great stage for the acting out of great thoughts, presents the classic confrontation between Locke's views of the state of nature and Rousseau's criticism of them... Nature is raw material, worthless without the mixture of human labor; yet nature is also the highest and most sacred thing. The same people who struggle to save the snail-darter bless the pill, worry about hunting deer and defend abortion. Reverence for nature, mastery of nature- whichever is convenient.
nation quotesgreat quotesstage quotesacting quotesthoughts quotespresents quotesclassic quotesconfrontation quoteslockes quotesviews quotesstate quotesnature quotesrousseaus quotescriticism quotesnature quotesraw quotesmaterial quotesworthless quotesmixture quoteshuman quoteslabor quoteshighest quotessacred quotesthing quotespeople quotesstruggle quotessave quotessnaildarter quotesbless quotespill quotesworry quoteshunting quotesdeer quotesdefend quotesabortion quotesreverence quotesnature quotesmastery quotesnature quoteswhichever quotesconvenient quotes
humanities quotesgreat quotesparis quotesflea quotesmarket quotesamidst quotesmasses quotesjunk quotespeople quotesgood quoteseye quotesfound quotescast quotestreasuresthey quotesrefugee quotescamp quotesgeniuses quotesdriven quotesjobs quotescountries quotesunfriendly quotesregimes quotesidling quotes
In America we have only the bourgeoisie, and the love of the heroic is one of the few counterpoises available to us. In us the contempt for the heroic is only an extension of the perversion of the democratic principle that denies greatness and wants everyone to feel comfortable in his skin without having to suffer unpleasant comparisons. Students have not the slightest notion of what an achievement it is to free oneself from public guidance and find resources for guidance within oneself.
america quotesbourgeoisie quoteslove quotesheroic quotescounterpoises quotescontempt quotesextension quotesperversion quotesdemocratic quotesprinciple quotesdenies quotesgreatness quotesfeel quotescomfortable quotesskin quotessuffer quotesunpleasant quotescomparisons quotesstudents quotesslightest quotesnotion quotesachievement quotesfree quotesoneself quotespublic quotesguidance quotesfind quotesresources quotesoneself quotes
A good education would be devoted to encouraging and refining the love of the beautiful, but a pathologically misguided moralism instead turns such longing into a sin against the high goal of making everyone feel good, of overcoming nature in the name of equality. ... Love of the beautiful may be the last and finest sacrifice to radical egalitarianism.
good quoteseducation quotesdevoted quotesencouraging quotesrefining quoteslove quotesbeautiful quotespathologically quotesmisguided quotesmoralism quotesturns quoteslonging quotessin quoteshigh quotesgoal quotesmaking quotesfeel quotesgood quotesovercoming quotesnature quotesequality quoteslove quotesbeautiful quotesfinest quotessacrifice quotesradical quotesegalitarianism quotes
The self must be a tense bow. It must struggle with opposites rather than harmonize them, rather than turn the tension over to the great instruments of last manhood the skilled bow unbenders and Jesuits of our days, the psychiatrists, who, in the same spirit and as part of the same conspiracy of modernity as the peace virtuosos, reduce conflict.
tense quotesbow quotesstruggle quotesopposites quotesharmonize quotesturn quotestension quotesgreat quotesinstruments quotesmanhood quotesskilled quotesbow quotesunbenders quotesjesuits quotesdays quotespsychiatrists quotesspirit quotespart quotesconspiracy quotesmodernity quotespeace quotesvirtuosos quotesreduce quotesconflict quotes
Sycophancy toward those who hold power is a fact in every regime, and especially in a democracy, where, unlike tyranny, there is an accepted principle of legitimacy that breaks the inner will to resist.... Flattery of the people and incapacity to resist public opinion are the democratic vices, particularly among writers, artists, journalists and anyone else who is dependent on an audience.
sycophancy quoteshold quotespower quotesfact quotesregime quotesdemocracy quotesunlike quotestyranny quotesaccepted quotesprinciple quoteslegitimacy quotesbreaks quotesresist quotesflattery quotespeople quotesincapacity quotesresist quotespublic quotesopinion quotesdemocratic quotesvices quoteswriters quotesartists quotesjournalists quotesdependent quotesaudience quotes