The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.
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|Liberty, according to my metaphysics, is an intellectual quality, an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. Neither possesses it, neither is capable of it. There is nothing moral or immoral in the idea of it. The definition of it is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power; it can elect between objects, indifferent in point of morality, neither morally good nor morally evil.
|[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few.
|It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.
|American Library Association
|Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access of all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.
|Henri Frederic Amiel
|The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal.
|Rev. Henry Ward Beecher
|There are three schoolmasters for everybody that will employ them - the senses, intelligent companions, and books.
|The people’s right to obtain information does not, of course, depend on any assured ability to understand its significance or use it wisely. Facts belong to the people simply because they relate to interests that are theirs, government that is theirs, and votes that they may desire to cast, for they are entitled to an active role in shaping every fundamental decision of state.
|The rub is that the pursuit of happiness, as an end in itself, tends automatically, and widely, to be replaced by the pursuit of pleasure with a consequent general softening of the fibers of will, intelligence, spirit.
|William Ellery Channing
|I call the mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith...
|I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.
|Thus arbitrary power will have divided men of superior intelligence into two groups: the former will be seditious, the latter corrupt...
|Clarence S. Darrow
|The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom. The modern world is the child of doubt and inquiry, as the ancient world was the child of fear and faith.
|Michel De Montaigne
|It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man's oration -- nay, it is a very easy matter; but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.
|Alexis de Tocqueville
|Where are we then? The religionists are the enemies of liberty, and the friends of liberty attack religion; the high-minded and the noble advocate subjection, and the meanest and most servile minds preach independence; honest and enlightened citizens are opposed to all progress, whilst men without patriotism and without principles are the apostles of civilization and intelligence. Has such been the fate of the centuries which have preceded our own? and has man always inhabited a world like the present, where nothing is linked together, where virtue is without genius, and genius without honor; where the love of order is confounded with a taste for oppression, and the holy rites of freedom with a taste for law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?
|The only freedom that is of enduring importance is the freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and of judgment, exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worth while. The commonest mistake made about freedom is, I think, to identify it with freedom of movement, or, with the external or physical side of activity.
|The non-producers now receive the larger share of what those who labor produce. The result is natural. Discontent culminates in exactly the same ratio that intelligence sustains aspiration.
|Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
|The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
|Ralph Waldo Emerson
|Fame is proof that the people are gullible.
|The persecuting spirit has its origin morally in the disposition
of man to domineer over his fellow creatures; intellectually,
in the assumption that one's own opinions are infallibly
|If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking, it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier stages of culture and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories which are intelligible and can be validated.
|Ulysses S. Grant
|If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.
|A. Whitney Griswold
|Certain things we cannot accomplish… by any process of government. We cannot legislate intelligence. We cannot legislate morality. No, and we cannot legislate loyalty, for loyalty is a kind of morality.
|The most fluent talkers or the most plausible reasoners are not always the justest thinkers.
|Robert A. Heinlein
|Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.
|Whosoever wishes to know about the world
must learn about it in its particular details.
Knowledge is not intelligence.
In searching for the truth be ready for the unexpected.
Change alone is unchanging.
The same road goes both up and down.
The beginning of a circle is also its end.
Not I, but the world says it: all is one.
And yet everything comes in season.
|Another perceived attribute of intellectuals that needs rethinking and revision: the assumption that they are deeply and unequivocally committed to personal, political and intellectual freedom and especially free expression…many Western intellectuals’ commitment to intellectual freedom is selective at best.
|Robert G. Ingersoll
|There is no slavery but ignorance.
Liberty is the child of intelligence.
|Robert G. Ingersoll
|The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and his fellow men.
|Lyndon B. Johnson
|You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered.
|Dr. Samuel Johnson
|Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intelligence.
|Rational argument can be conducted with some prospect of success only so long as the emotionality of a given situation does not exceed a certain critical degree. If the affective temperature rises above this level, the possibility of reason’s having any effect ceases and its place is taken by slogans and chimerical wish fantasies. That is to say, a sort of collective possession results which rapidly develops into a psychic epidemic.