Predecessor Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 46 quotes )
It was Plato who bridged the gap between poetry and philosophy; for, in his work, appearance, despised by his Eleatic and Sophist predecessors, became a reflected image of perfection. He set poets the task of writing philosophically, not only in the sense of giving instruction, but in the sense of striving, by the imitation of appearance, to arrive at its true essence and to show its insufficiency measured by the beauty of the Idea.
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself? educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.
It is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences, each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself. If, after doing so, one simply knocks out all the central inferences and presents one's audience with the starting-point and the conclusion, one may produce a startling, though perhaps a meretricious, effect.
The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. Let us not speak well of it either. Let us not speak of it at all. It is true the population has increased.
„Hitlers dictatorship“, he said, „differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history. It was the first dictatorship in the present period of modern technical developement, a dicttorship which made complete use of all technical means for the domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and the loud-speaker, eighty million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man....Earlier dictators needed highly qualified assistants even at the lowest level – men who could think and act independently. The totalirian system in the period of modern technical development can dispense with such men; thanks to modern methods of communication, i tis possible to mechanize the lower leadership. As a result of this there has arisen the new type of uncritical recipient of orders.“ (Albert Speer)
Some say that because the United States was wrong before, it cannot possibly be right now, or has not the right to be right. (The British Empire sent a fleet to Africa and the Caribbean to maintain the slave trade while the very same empire later sent another fleet to enforce abolition. I would not have opposed the second policy because of my objections to the first; rather it seems to me that the second policy was morally necessitated by its predecessor.)
quoting from Neil Kinnock, running against Thatcher in 1987:Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Is it because all our predecessors were thick? Did they lack talent? Those people who could sing, and play, and recite, and write poetry, those people who could make wonderful things with their hands? Those people who could dream dreams, see visions? Why didn't they get it? Was it because they were weak? Those people who could work eight hours underground and then come up and play football? Weak? Those women who could survive eleven childbearings? Were they weak? Anybody really think that they didn't get what we have because they didn't have the talent, or the strength, or the endurance, or the commitment? Of course not. It was because there was no platform on which they could stand.
The experience of mankind on the earth is always changing as man develops and has to deal with new combinations of elements; and the writer who is to be anything more than an echo of his predecessors must always find expression for something which has never yet been expressed, must master a new set of phenomena. ... With each such victory of the human intellect, whether in history, in philosophy or in poetry, we experience a deep satisfaction: we have been cured of some ache of disorder, relieved of some oppressive burden of uncomprehended events.
There was just such a man when I was young—an Austrian who invented a new way of life and convinced himself that he was the chap to make it work. He tried to impose his reformation by the sword, and plunged the civilized world into misery and chaos. But the thing which this fellow had overlooked, my friend, was that he had a predecessor in the reformation business, called Jesus Christ. Perhaps we may assume that Jesus knew as much as the Austrian did about saving people. But the odd thing is that Jesus did not turn the disciples into strom troopers, burn down the Temple at Jerusalem, and fix the blame on Pontius Pilate. On the contrary, he made it clear that the business of the philosopher was to make ideas available, and not to impose them on people.
The whole ground of human life seems to some to have been gone over bytheir predecessors, both the heights and the valleys, and all things tohave been cared for. According to Evelyn, "the wise Solomon prescribedordinances for the very distances of trees; and the Roman prtors havedecided how often you may go into your neighbor's land to gather theacorns which fall on it without trespass, and what share belongs to thatneighbor." Hippocrates has even left directions how we should cut ournails; that is, even with the ends of the fingers, neither shorter norlonger. Undoubtedly the very tedium and ennui which presume to haveexhausted the variety and the joys of life are as old as Adam. But man'scapacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he cando by any precedents, so little has been tried. Whatever have been thyfailures hitherto, "be not afflicted, my child, for who shall assign tothee what thou hast left undone?
Barristan Semly was not a bookish man, but he had often glanced through the pages of the White Book, where the deeds of his predecessors had been recorded. Some had been heroes, some weaklings, knaves, or cravens. Most were only men - quicker and stronger than most, more skilled with sword and shield, but still prey to pride, ambition, lust, love, anger, jealousy, greed for gold, hunger for power, and all the other failing that afflicted lesser mortals. The best of them overcame their flaws, did their duty, and died with their swords in their hands. The worst ...The worst were those who played the game of thrones.