Frases de Richard M. Weaver

110   0

Richard M. Weaver

Data de nascimento: 3. Março 1910
Data de falecimento: 1. Abril 1963

Publicidade

Richard Malcolm Weaver, Jr was an American scholar who taught English at the University of Chicago. He is primarily known as an intellectual historian, political philosopher and a mid-20th century conservative and as an authority on modern rhetoric. Weaver was briefly a socialist during his youth, a lapsed leftist intellectual , a teacher of composition, a Platonist philosopher, cultural critic, and a theorist of human nature and society. Described by biographer Fred Young as a "radical and original thinker," Richard Weaver's books Ideas Have Consequences and The Ethics of Rhetoric remain influential among conservative theorists and scholars of the American South. Weaver was also associated with the "New Conservatives," a group of scholars who in the 1940s and 1950s promoted traditionalist conservatism.

Citações Richard M. Weaver

„The disappearance of the heroic ideal is always accompanied by the growth of commercialism. There is a cause-and-effect relationship here, for the man of commerce is by the nature of things a relativist; his mind is constantly on the fluctuating values of the marketplace“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: The disappearance of the heroic ideal is always accompanied by the growth of commercialism. There is a cause-and-effect relationship here, for the man of commerce is by the nature of things a relativist; his mind is constantly on the fluctuating values of the marketplace, and there is no surer way to fail than to dogmatize and moralize about things. p. 32.

„He has been told that knowledge is power, and knowledge consists of a great many small things.“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: In the popular arena, one can tell … that the average man … imagines that an industrious acquisition of particulars will render him a man of knowledge. With what pathetic trust does he recite his facts! He has been told that knowledge is power, and knowledge consists of a great many small things. p. 13.

Publicidade

„They are assuming that individual real objects are carriers of meaning, that the meaning is found in them as redness is found in an apple, and that it ought to be expressed with the main object of fidelity to the particular. What they overlook is that meaning does not exist in this sense, that it is something that we create for purposes of cognition and communication, and that the ideal construct has the virtue of its ideality.“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: One type of critic today tends to attack language as a means of communication on this very ground — the ground that words are conventional in their meaning and are therefore falsifying. The point of the criticism is that a convention is something abstracted and, therefore, untrue, a generalized sign of the thing itself, which we use because we are unable or unwilling to render the thing in itself in its fullness. A word in this conception is nothing but a stereotype, and “stereotype” is here an expression of disparagement, because it is felt that “typing” anything that is real distorts the thing by presenting it in something less than its full individuality and concreteness. Let us suppose that I make reference to a tree standing in my yard. The term “tree” does not designate the object with any degree of particularity. It does not tell whether the tree is young or old, low or tall, an oak, pine, or maple. The term is, therefore, merely a utility symbol, which I employ in communicating because in my laziness or incompetence I cannot find a fuller and more individualizing way of expressing this tree. If I were really communicating, the argument goes, I would reject the falsifying stereotype and produce something more nearly like the picture of the tree. But if the analysis I have offered earlier is correct, these critics are beginning at the wrong end. They are assuming that individual real objects are carriers of meaning, that the meaning is found in them as redness is found in an apple, and that it ought to be expressed with the main object of fidelity to the particular. What they overlook is that meaning does not exist in this sense, that it is something that we create for purposes of cognition and communication, and that the ideal construct has the virtue of its ideality. Hence it appears that they misconceive the function of the word as conventional sign or “typifier.” For if it is true that the word conveys something less than the fullness of the thing signified, it is also true that it conveys something more. A word in this role is a generalization. the value of a generalization is that while it leaves out the specific feature that are of the individual or of the moment, it expresses features that are general to a class and may be lacking or imperfect in the single instance. “Relativism and the Use of Language,” pp. 124-126.

„When a person blames a change of meaning upon changed facts, he is yielding to the facts and using them to justify a change that should not be made except by “ideal” consent. He is committing the fallacy of supposing that the reason for such change can lie outside the realm of discourse itself — that meaning must somehow tag along after empirical reality.“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: This is what has happened to the word “liberalism.” In the nineteenth century, this word referred to an ideal of maximum individual liberty and minimum state interference, to put it generally. Today, it is being used to refer to something like the ideal of the welfare state, which involves many restrictions upon liberty. Now if those who use the word thus could be brought into a semantic disputation, I think they would argue that the new meaning is justified because the old meaning is no longer possible. And if we pushed them to explain why it is no longer possible, I think they would answer that “circumstances have changed.” I would want to ask them next what changed circumstances have to do with an ideal construct. What they have done is to take the old term “liberalism,” whose meaning polarized around a concept of personal liberty, and to use this to mean something like philanthropic activity through the machinery of the state. The two ideas are manifestly discrete, but they have used the word for the second idea because it carries with it some of the value connotations of the old one. The second idea is, according to them, the only context in which a benevolent man can now operate. In fact, however, liberalism in the old sense is still there as a viable ideal if the mind is disposed to receive that ideal. When they say that the old meaning is no longer possible in the circumstances, what they are really indicating is that they prefer the new circumstances. Then they make the substitution, in disregard of the transcendental basis of language. I believe that this is a very general truth. When a person blames a change of meaning upon changed facts, he is yielding to the facts and using them to justify a change that should not be made except by “ideal” consent. He is committing the fallacy of supposing that the reason for such change can lie outside the realm of discourse itself — that meaning must somehow tag along after empirical reality. All of this seems to reflect a purely materialist or “physicalist” view of the world. But if one believes that physical reality is the sole determinant of all things, including meanings, one collapses the relationship between what is physical and what is symbolic of meaning and value. it is another evidence of bow the modem mind is trying to surrender its constitutive powers to the objective physical world. “Relativism and the Use of Language,” p. 132-133.

„One of the strangest disparities of history lies between the sense of abundance felt by older and simpler societies and the sense of scarcity felt by the ostensibly richer societies of today.“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: One of the strangest disparities of history lies between the sense of abundance felt by older and simpler societies and the sense of scarcity felt by the ostensibly richer societies of today. Charles Péguy has referred to modern man’s feeling of “slow economic strangulation,” his sense of never having enough to meet the requirement which his pattern of life imposes on him. Standards of consumption which he cannot meet, and which he does not need to meet, come virtually in the guise of duties. pp. 14-15.

„If we share to a large extent in the mutuality of spirit which makes meaning possible, we are receptive to true meanings; if we do not, we may accept wrong or perverted ones.“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: If we share to a large extent in the mutuality of spirit which makes meaning possible, we are receptive to true meanings; if we do not, we may accept wrong or perverted ones. And since there is no way of getting outside the human imagination to decide otherwise what a word should mean, we are compelled to realize that the most imaginative users of language are those who are going to have the greatest influence upon vocabulary in the long run. “Relativism and the Use of Language,” pp. 123-124.

„For if it is true that the word conveys something less than the fullness of the thing signified, it is also true that it conveys something more. A word in this role is a generalization. the value of a generalization is that while it leaves out the specific feature that are of the individual or of the moment, it expresses features that are general to a class and may be lacking or imperfect in the single instance.“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: One type of critic today tends to attack language as a means of communication on this very ground — the ground that words are conventional in their meaning and are therefore falsifying. The point of the criticism is that a convention is something abstracted and, therefore, untrue, a generalized sign of the thing itself, which we use because we are unable or unwilling to render the thing in itself in its fullness. A word in this conception is nothing but a stereotype, and “stereotype” is here an expression of disparagement, because it is felt that “typing” anything that is real distorts the thing by presenting it in something less than its full individuality and concreteness. Let us suppose that I make reference to a tree standing in my yard. The term “tree” does not designate the object with any degree of particularity. It does not tell whether the tree is young or old, low or tall, an oak, pine, or maple. The term is, therefore, merely a utility symbol, which I employ in communicating because in my laziness or incompetence I cannot find a fuller and more individualizing way of expressing this tree. If I were really communicating, the argument goes, I would reject the falsifying stereotype and produce something more nearly like the picture of the tree. But if the analysis I have offered earlier is correct, these critics are beginning at the wrong end. They are assuming that individual real objects are carriers of meaning, that the meaning is found in them as redness is found in an apple, and that it ought to be expressed with the main object of fidelity to the particular. What they overlook is that meaning does not exist in this sense, that it is something that we create for purposes of cognition and communication, and that the ideal construct has the virtue of its ideality. Hence it appears that they misconceive the function of the word as conventional sign or “typifier.” For if it is true that the word conveys something less than the fullness of the thing signified, it is also true that it conveys something more. A word in this role is a generalization. the value of a generalization is that while it leaves out the specific feature that are of the individual or of the moment, it expresses features that are general to a class and may be lacking or imperfect in the single instance. “Relativism and the Use of Language,” pp. 124-126.

„Man is constantly being assured that he has more power than ever before in history, but his daily experience is one of powerlessness. …“

—  Richard M. Weaver
Context: Man is constantly being assured that he has more power than ever before in history, but his daily experience is one of powerlessness. … If he is with a business organization, the odds are great that he has sacrificed every other kind of independence in return for that dubious one known as financial. p. 16.

Publicidade
Publicidade
Próximo