Civilization...is a matter of imponderables, of delight in the thins of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling. Where imponderables, are things of first importance, there is the height of civilization, and, if at the same time, the power of art exists unimpaired, human life has reached a level seldom attained and very seldom surpassed.
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So far, we do not seem appalled at the prospect of exactly the same kind of education being applied to all the school children from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but there is an uneasiness in the air, a realization that the individual is growing less easy to find; an idea, perhaps, of what standardization might become when the units are not machines, but human beings.
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There is a field where all wonderful perfections of microscope and telescope fail, all exquisite niceties of weights and measures, as well as that which is behind them, the keen and driving power of the mind. No facts however indubitably detected, no effort of reason however magnificently maintained, can prove that Bach's music is beautiful.
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When I read educational articles it often seems to me that this important side of the matter, the purely personal side, is not emphasized enough; the fact that it is so much more agreeable and interesting to be an educated person than not. The sheer pleasure of being educated does not seem to be stressed.
It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought-that is to be educated." [Saturday Evening Post, September 27, 1958]
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They yoked themselves to a car and drew her all the long way through dust and heat. Everyone admired their filial piety when they arrived and the proud and happy mother standing before the statue prayed that Hera would reward them by giving them the best gift in her power. As she finished her prayer the two lads sank to the ground. They were smiling and they looked as if they were peacefully asleep but they were dead. (Biton and Cleobis)
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To the Greeks, the word "character" first referred to the stamp upon a coin. By extension, man was the coin, and the character trait was the stamp imprinted upon him. To them, that trait, for example bravery, was a share of something all mankind had, rather than means of distinguishing one from the whole.
Pain is the most individualized thing on earth. It is true that it is the great common bond as well, but that realization only comes when it is over. To suffer is to be alone. To watch another suffer is to know the barrier that shuts each of us away by himself Only individuals can suffer.
Old ideas are continually being slain by new facts. There is nothing stable in the conclusions of the mind, and it is impossible that there ever should be unless we hold that the universe is made to the measure of the human mind, an assumption for which nothing in the past gives any warrant.
...a chasm opened in the earth and out of it coal-black horses sprang, drawing a chariot and driven by one who had a look of dark splendor, majestic and beautiful and terrible. He caught her to him and held her close. The next moment she was being borne away from the radiance of earth in springtime to the world of the dead by the king who rules it.
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In every civilization, life grows easier. Men grow lazier in consequence. We have a picture of what happened to the individual Greek. (I cannot look at history, or at any human action, except as I look at the individual.) The Greeks had good food, good witty talk, pleasant dinner parties; and they were content. When the individual man had reached that condition in Athens, when the thought not of giving to the state but of what the state could give to him, Athens' freedom was doomed.
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One form of religion perpetually gives way to another; if religion did not change it would be dead. ... Each time the new ideas appear they are seen at first as a deadly foe threatening to make religion perish from the earth; but in the end there is a deeper insight and a better life with ancient follies and prejudices gone.
Through Plato, Aristotle came to believe in God; but Plato never attempted to prove His reality. Aristotle had to do so. Plato contemplated Him; Aristotle produced arguments to demonstrate Him. Plato never defined Him; but Aristotle thought God through logically, and concluded with entire satisfaction to himself that He was the Unmoved Mover.