"Academies that are founded at public expense are instituted not so
much to cultivate men's natural abilities as to restrain them."
Baruch Spinoza
(1632-1677) Dutch philosopher of Sephardi Portuguese origin
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Reader comments about this quote:
I can bear witness to that.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    And I can bear witness against that... those who would believe this are those who would take us back to the dark ages.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
  • 1 2
    Anon from R, not to the dark ages, that would make the quote true also; but rather back to open minds and the pursuit of truth, liberty, and law.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 5
    It does not matter at whom's expense it is. Acquistion of head knowledge requres a person to spen much time in doors, seated and thinking, sutudying. Much knowledge requires a building block approach. Recreating afterwards is a good idea. A sound mind in a sound body. I deny that there is an intentional desire to restrain natural abilities. That is why colleges teach basket weaving.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 2 3
    O what an elitist society we have especially coming from Spinoza who was inspired while at school to write philosophy and learn Latin. I believe this statement comes from his radical side as he was against most establishments.
     -- RobertSRQ     
  • 2
    Agree. Restrain them and limit them.
     -- Me Again     
  • 2
    Once again those that disagree with the quote argue that public schooling is the same as an education. I think we all can agree that we need to learn, the distiction is whether we should be forced to send our children to government institutions for that learning. Yes, it does matter who's expense it is. As has been expressed many times by many who are considered 'wise' today, public/government 'education' is generally considered to be a way to make loyal subjects to the ruling class more than it is for inspiring children to rise above their circumstances. Spinoza was expelled by his Jewish community for his ideas, He studied under Franciscus van den Enden, who taught him Latin in his youth and may have introduced him to modern philosophy. Van den Enden was a Cartesian and atheist who was forbidden by the city government to propagate his doctrines publicly. These were the dark ages -- and out of them came more independent thinkers than we have today, that is for sure. Spinoza's genius of course was ignored during his lifetime -- only years after his death was he recognized for his rational philosophy and his magnum opus Ethics.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    The primary job of schools, major publishers and national organizations is to indoctrinate rather than educate. They must lie, intimidate and keep secrets for their Marxist masters, The most repeated lie is that governments spend money. The best kept secrets are that the dollar is still by law, a measure of silver and that taxes cannot be paid with strips of paper or with copper tokens disguised with nickel to look like silver and government has no need for dollars of money when all of us will risk or even lose our lives for checks that no bank will give us lawful money for when they only dispense paper and copper tokens,. The job of so called "revenue agents" is to regulate our use of those tokens and thus conceal the fraud that is perpetrated with them, a fraud that the Federal Reserve has admitted on page 3 of Modern Money Mechanics. If wars were financed with lawful silver coins, there could be no significant wars. "My people perish for lack of knowledge" Hosea 4:6
     -- Dave Wilber, St. Louis     
  • 2
     -- Dick, Fort Worth      
    So true, to this day, in Holland university education is free to those bright students with parents that do not have the means to pay for it. For others it is heavily subsidised. The majority of graduates would seek security working for the public sector. However the meaning behind "restrain" 350 years ago is a lot different today
     -- reinier, Hamilton Ontario     
  • 1
     -- Roland, Bonner's Ferry      
     -- RBE, Somewhere in Europe      
    Even with pure reason one can stand in doubt. Spinoza, is a Pantheist, a system of belief that all reality is identical with divinity.
    or that everything composes an all-encompassing immanent god. Pantheist thus do not believe in a distinct personal God. Hence his stance opposed to Descartes separation of body and spirit, Dualism. Spinoza is spiritually "discerned" and found to be lacking in understanding the natural law of morality, as put forth by Immanuel Kant. The deontological moral philosophy and categorical imperative. pantheist lend themselves to socialism well. Where as the categorical imperative aligns itself with natural law and Freedom with liberty. It is the very presence of God that exposes the fault and unperfect duty by pure reason and the carnal mind, the natural man. " But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for thy are foolishness unto him; neither can he "know" them because they are spiritually discerned." But he that is spiritual judgeth all things." yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." I Corin 2:14,15,16. The Spirit of Liberty, the presence of God.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    This being the case, and it's probably not  much BS,  I stress, and I have long professed, the student be prepared, as he moves into academia, to teach as well as learn. By the way kayaking in enjoyable in Santa Barbara.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
    This being the case, and it's probably not much BS, I stress, as I have long professed, the student be prepared, as she or he moves through academia, to teach as well as to learn. By the way kayaking is enjoyable in Santa Barbara.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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