History Quotes (displaying: 91 - 120 of 6339 quotes )
Moreover, we look in vain to philosophy for the answer to the great riddle. Despite its noble purpose and history, pure philosophy long ago abandoned the foundational questions about human existence. The question itself is a reputation killer. It has become a Gorgon for philosophers, upon whose visage even the best thinkers fear to gaze. They have good reason for their aversion. Most of the history of philosophy consists of failed models of the mind. The field of discourse is strewn with the wreckage of theories of consciousness. After the decline of logical positivism in the middle of the twentieth century, and the attempt of this movement to blend science and logic into a closed system, professional philosophers dispersed in an intellectual diaspora. They emigrated into the more tractable disciplines not yet colonized by science? intellectual history, semantics, logic, foundational mathematics, ethics, theology, and, most lucratively, problems of personal life adjustment. Philosophers flourish in these various endeavors, but for the time being, at least, and by a process of elimination, the solution of the riddle has been left to science. What science promises, and has already supplied in part, is the following. There is a real creation story of humanity, and one only, and it is not a myth. It is being worked out and tested, and enriched and strengthened, step by step. (9-10)
What Tyler says about the crap and the slaves of history, that's how I felt. I wanted to destroy something beautiful I'd never have. Burn the Amazon rain forests. Pump chlorofluorocarbons straight up to gobble the ozone. Open the dump valves on supertankers and uncap offshore oil wells. I wanted to kill all the fish I couldn't afford to eat, and smother the French beaches I'd never see. I wanted the whole world to hit bottom. Pounding that kid, I really wanted to put a bullet between the eyes of every endangered panda that wouldn't screw to save its species and every whale or dolphin that gave up and ran itself aground
People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It's not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.
Fulfillment, Shevek thought, is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal, The variety seeking of the spectator, the thrill hunter, the sexually promiscuous, always ends in the same place. It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell. Outside the locked room is the landscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbable roads and cities of fidelity: a landscape inhabitable by human beings. It is not until an act occurs within the landscape of the past and the future that it is a human act. Loyalty, which asserts the continuity of past and future, binding time into a whole, is the root of human strength; there is no good to be done without it.
She shut her eyes: the sweet word "promiscuity" came to her mind and suffused her; she enunciated silently to herself: "promiscuity of ideas." How could such contradictory attitudes follow after one another in a single head like two mistresses in the same bed? In the past that nearly infuriated her, but today it entrances her: for she knows that the contract between what Leroy used to say and what he's professing today doesn't matter in the slightest. Because one idea is as good as another. Because all statements and positions carry the same value, can rub against one another, nestle, snuggle, fondle, mingle, diddle, cuddle, couple.
In History, stagnant waters, whether they be stagnant waters of custom or those of despotism, harbour no life; life is dependent on the ripples created by a few eccentric individuals. In homage to that life and vitality, the community has to brave certain perils and must countenance a measure of heresy. One must live dangerously if one wants to live at all.
He was an atheist and it had been years since he read a book, despite the fact that he had amassed a more than decent library of works in his specialty, as well as volumes of philosophy and Mexican history and a novel or two. Sometimes he thought it was precisely because he was an atheist that he didn't read anymore. Not reading, it might be said, was the highest expression of atheism or at least of atheism as he conceived of it. If you don't believe in God, how do you believe in a fucking book? he asked himself.
We never keep to the present. We recall the past; we anticipate the future as if we found it too slow in coming and were trying to hurry it up, or we recall the past as if to stay its too rapid flight. We are so unwise that we wander about in times that do not belong to us, and do not think of the only one that does; so vain that we dream of times that are not and blindly flee the only one that is. The fact is the present usually hurts.
i realize that the future, though invisible, has weight. We are in the gravitational pull of past and future. It takes huge energy -speed of light power- to break the gravitational pull. How many of us ever get free of our orbit? We tease ourselves with fancy notions of free will and self-help courses that direct our lives. We believe we can be our own miracles, and just a lottery win or Mr.right will make the world new.
Undoubtedly, our path is not of the easiest; but, just as undoubtedly, we are not to be frightened by difficulties. Paraphrasing from the well-known words of Luther, Russia might say:?Here I stand on the frontier between the old, capitalist world and the new, socialist world. Here on this frontier I unite the efforts of the proletarians of the West and of the peasantry of the East in order to shatter the old world. May the god of history be my aid!