We may conclude, therefore, that, in order to establish laws for the regulation of property, we must be acquainted with the nature and situation of man; must reject appearances, which may be false, though specious; and must search for those rules, which are, on the whole, most useful and beneficial.
The greatest secret of monarchic rule...is to keep men deceived and to cloak in the specious name of religion the fear by which they must be checked, so that they will fight for slavery as they would for salvation, and will think it not shameful, but a most honorable achievement, to give their life and blood that one man may have a ground for boasting.
There is a constant rush to judgment in Foucault. He is filled with specious generalizations, false categories, distortions, fudging, pretenses to knowledge in areas where he was ignorant. He had no ability whatsoever to distinguish among historical sources, where he makes terrible blunders.
Ashamed of the many frailties they feel within, all men endeavor to hide themselves, their ugly nakedness, from each other, and wrapping up the true motives of their hearts in the specious cloak of sociableness, and their concern for the public good, they are in hopes of concealing their filthy appetites and the deformity of their desires.
Bernard de Mandeville
Since inequalities of privilege are greater than could possibly be defended rationally, the intelligence of privileged groups is usually applied to the task of inventing specious proofs for the theory that universal values spring from, and that general interests are served by, the special privileges which they hold.
It's difficult for most people to imagine the creative process in tennis. Seemingly it's just an athletic matter of hitting the ball consistently well within the boundaries of the court. That analysis is just as specious as thinking that the difficulty in portraying King Lear on stage is learning all the lines.
None but those who have learned the art of subjecting their senses as well as reason to hypothetical systems can be persuaded by the most specious rhetorician that the lots of life are equal; yet it cannot be denied that every one has his peculiar pleasures and vexations, that external accidents operate variously upon different minds, and that no man can exactly judge from his own sensations what another would feel in the same circumstances.
Jargon is the verbal sleight of hand that makes the old hat seem newly fashionable; it gives an air of novelty and specious profundity to ideas that, if stated directly, would seem superficial, stale, frivolous, or false. The line between serious and spurious scholarship is an easy one to blur, with jargon on your side.
The creation of George Smiley, the retired spy recalled to hunt for just such a high-ranking mole in 'Tinker, Tailor,' was extremely personal. I borrowed elements of people I admired and invested them in this mythical character. I'm such a fluent, specious person now, but I was an extremely awkward fellow in those days.
John le Carre
The inner defenses are unconscious. They consist of a kind of magic aura which the mind builds around cherished belief. Arguments which penetrate into the magic aura are not dealt with rationally but by a specific type of pseudo-reasoning. Absurdities and contradictions are made acceptable by specious rationalizations.
Seriously, I do not know what to say of this book [ Absalom, Absalom!] except that it seem to point to the final blowup of what was once a remarkable, if minor, talent... this is a penny dreadful tricked up in fancy language and given a specious depth by the expert manipulation of a series of eccentric technical tricks. The characters have no magnitude and no meaning because they have no more reality than a mince-pie nightmare.
But if, in despotic statecraft, the supreme and essential mystery be to hoodwink the subjects, and to mask the fear, which keeps them down, with the specious garb of religion, so that men may fight as bravely for slavery as for safety, and count it not shame but highest honor to risk their blood and their lives for the vainglory of a tyrant; yet in a free state no more mischievous expedient could be planned or attempted.
By consequence I hold that no one ever did, or can do, anything for "society."... Comte invented the term altruism as an antonym for egoism , and it found its way at once into everyone's mouth, although it is utterly devoid of meaning, since it points to nothing that ever existed in mankind; This hybrid or rather this degenerate form of hedonism served powerfully to invest collectivism 's principles with a specious moral sanction, and collectivists naturally made the most of it.
Albert J. Nock
I submit that Zooey's face was close to being a wholly beautiful face. As such, it was of course vulnerable to the same variety of glibly undaunted and usually specious evaluations that any legitimate art object is. I think it just remains to be said that any one of a hundred everyday menaces "" a car accident, a head cold, a lie before breakfast "" could have disfigured or coarsened his bounteous good looks in a day or a second.
J. D. Salinger
America overflows with specious 'victims' demanding redress for spurious grievances. However, one genuinely oppressed minority is getting overdue relief. Beginning with spring training in Arizona and Florida, Major League Baseball, taking pity on traumatized pitchers, is directing umpires to enforce the strike zone as defined in the rulebook. What a concept.
My best experience as a writer was working with Michael Ondaatje. He let me dismantle his novel, reimagine it, and still had dinner with me and gave me good notes. But the best thing about writing has been the writer's life, the sense of being expressed, the ownership of the day, the entirely specious sense of freedom we have, however slave we are to some boss or other. I wouldn't trade it for any other life.
Homeopathy may be defined as a specious mode of doing nothing. While it waits on the natural progress of disease and the restorative tendence of nature on the one hand, or the injurious advance of disease on the other, it supplies the craving for activity, on the part of the patient and his friends, by the formal and regular administration of nominal medicine. Although homeopathy will, at some future time, be classed with historical delusions.
The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true. The specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.
Robert K. Merton
If the emperor had capriciously decreed the death of the most eminent and virtuous citizen of the republic, the cruel order would have been executed without hesitation by the ministers of open violence or of specious injustice. The caution, the delay, the difficulty with which he proceeded in the condemnation and punishment of a popular bishop, discovered to the world that the privileges of the church had already revived a sense of order and freedom in the Roman government.
Nature is indeed a specious ward, nay, there is a great deal in it if it is properly understood and applied, but I cannot bear to hear people using it to justify what common sense must disavow. Is not Nature modifed by art in many things? Was it not designed to be so? And is it not happy for human society that it is so? Would you like to see your husband let his beard grow, until he would be obliged to put the end of it in his pocket, because this beard is the gift of Nature?
Mary Wortley Montagu
But, historians, and even common sense, may inform us, that, however specious these ideas of perfect equality may seem, they are really, at bottom, impracticable; and were they not so, would be extremely pernicious to human society. Render possessions ever so equal, men's different degrees of art, care, and industry will immediately break that equality. Or if you check these virtues, you reduce society to the most extreme indigence; and instead of preventing want and beggary in a few, render it unavoidable to the whole community.
Many statements about God are confidently made by theologians on grounds that today at least sound specious. Thomas Aquinas claimed to prove that God cannot make another God, or commit suicide, or make a man without a soul, or even make a triangle whose interior angles do not equal 180 degrees. But Bolyai and Lobachevsky were able to accomplish this last feat (on a curved surface) in the nineteenth century, and they were not even approximately gods.
There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the upright; friendship with the sincere; and friendship with the man of much observation: these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs; friendship with the insinuatingly soft; and friendship with the glib-tongued: these are injurious.
Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals - have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and 'animals' is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.
Humans "" who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals "" have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and 'animals' is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them "" without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.
Why should not the knowledge, the skill, the expertness, the assiduity, and the spirited hazards of trade and commerce, when crowned with success, be entitled to give those flattering distinctions by which mankind are so universally captivated? Such are the specious, but false arguments for a proposition which always will find numerous advocates, in a nation where men are every day starting up from obscurity to wealth. To refute them is needless. The general sense of mankind cries out, with irresistible force, "Un gentilhomme est toujours gentilhomme.
Notwithstanding what some regard as the institutionalization of compassion, the transfer society quashes genuine virtue. Redistribution of income by means of government coercion is a form of theft. Its supporters attempt to disguise its essential character by claiming that democratic procedures give it legitimacy, but this justification is specious. Theft is theft, whether it be carried out by one thief or by a hundred million thieves acting in concert. And it is impossible to found a good society on the institutionalization of theft.
People pontificate, "Suicide is selfishness." Career churchmen like Pater go a step further and call in a cowardly assault on the living. Oafs argue this specious line for varying reason: to evade fingers of blame, to impress one's audience with one's mental fiber, to vent anger, or just because one lacks the necessary suffering to sympathize. Cowardice is nothing to do with it - suicide takes considerable courage. Japanese have the right idea. No, what's selfish is to demand another to endure an intolerable existence, just to spare families, friends, and enemies a bit of soul-searching.
When the minds of men slip from realities to fantasies without thinking of the future consequences, then we must ponder. When the hearts of men are entangled with what though might seem great but yet, specious ambitions without pondering over the resulting footprints, then we ought to take precautions. When the hands of men unwittingly and for the sake of self-gratification find the right weapons and dexterity for the wrong purpose, then massacre and cruelties leave indelible footprints of sorrow and bitterness in the hearts of men. We shall always look back to the footprints of yesterday to say had we know if we don't take a critical look at today's footsteps. There is always an alternative that is better than good
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
The actions of government, we are told, bear down only on imprudent souls who provoke them. The man who resigns himself and keeps silent is always safe. Reassured by this worthless and specious argument, we do not protest against the oppressors. Instead we find fault with the victims. Nobody knows how to be brave even prudentially. Everyone stays silent, keeping his head low in the self-deceiving hope of disarming the powers that be by his silence. People give despotism free access, flattering themselves they will be treated with consideration. Eyes to the ground, each person walks in silence the narrow path leading him safely to the tomb.
Police and prosecutors are morally and professionally obligated to make every effort to identify specious rape reports, safeguard the civil rights of rape suspects, and prevent the falsely accused from being convicted. At the same time, however, police and prosecutors are obligated to do everything in their power to identify individuals who have committed rape and ensure that the guilty are brought to justice. These two objectives are not mutually exclusive. A meticulous, expertly conducted investigation that begins by believing the victim is an essential part of prosecuting and, ultimately, convicting those who are guilty of rape. It also happens to be the best way to exonerate those who have been falsely accused. Rape victims provide police with more information-and better information-when detectives interview them from a position of trust rather than one of suspicion.
The fundamental basis by which the court's decision might be made is, in itself, imperfect and subject to contradictions. There is very little consideration given to a priori knowledge regarding the circumstances being presented and as a result, arguments must be made empirically, under the assumption that assumptions themselves are, in fact, likely to give way to specious reasoning... Decisions must be made meticulously and according to specific, yet immeasurable criteria that can only be further manipulated by any cunning lawyer with the ability to make emotional pleas based on a requisite amount of inconsequential evidence to affect a decision beneficial to his clients. And so, in this respect, the law is capable of proving nothing except that its absurd attention to detail is really a kind of a fae§ade meant to cover up the fact that a truly logical and just way to deal with such matters has not yet been devised. And the absence of adequate definition to its principles has given way to a kind of apathy among the men employed by the courts, who want nothing more now than to make a living for themselves and their families and not work themselves into too much of a frenzy about how little can be changed through their own initiative. Thus things aren't likely to.
To the bankrupt poet, to the jilted lover, to anyone who yearns to elude the doubt within and the din without, the tidal strait between Manhattan Island and her favorite suburb offers the specious illusion of easy death. Melville prepared for the plunge from the breakwater on the South Street promenade, Whitman at the railing of the outbound ferry, both men redeemed by some Darwinian impulse, maybe some epic vision, which enabled them to change leaden water into lyric wine. Hart Crane rejected the limpid estuary for the brackish swirl of the Caribbean Sea. In each generation, from Washington Irving's to Truman Capote's, countless young men of promise and talent have examined the rippling foam between the nation's literary furnace and her literary playground, questioning whether the reams of manuscript in their Brooklyn lofts will earn them garlands in Manhattan's salons and ballrooms, wavering between the workroom and the water. And the city had done everything in its power to assist these men, to ease their affliction and to steer them toward the most judicious of decisions. It has built them a bridge.
Jacob M. Appel
Aubade I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what's really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse -The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused-nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear-no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can't escape, Yet can't accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.