Frases de Will Durant

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Will Durant

Data de nascimento: 5. Novembro 1885
Data de falecimento: 7. Novembro 1981
Outros nomes: ویل دورانت

William James Durant foi um filósofo, historiador e escritor estadunidense, conhecido por sua autoria e coautoria, junto à sua esposa Ariel Durant, da coleção A História da Civilização.

Durant concebeu a filosofia como perspectiva total, ou seja, uma visão das coisas sub specie totius, expressão inspirada pelo sub specie aeternitatis de Spinoza. Procurou em sua obra unificar e humanizar o grande corpo de conhecimento histórico - que havia se tornado muito volumoso e se fragmentado em especializações com terminologias "esotéricas" - vitalizando-o para aplicação contemporânea.

Dotado de um talentoso estilo de prosa e considerado um excelente contador de histórias, Durant ganhou um grande número de leitores, em grande parte por causa da natureza e da excelência da sua escrita, que, em contraste com a linguagem acadêmica, é animada, inteligente, carismática, colorida, ornamentada, epigramática, em suma, "humanizada". Max Schuster, co-fundador da editora Simon & Schuster, comentou que a prosa de Durant "implora para ser lida em voz alta". John Little, que fundou e dirige a Will Durant Foundation e tem dedicado muito esforço para popularizar as obras do autor no século XXI, ecoa a admiração de Schuster em palavras que o próprio Durant se utilizou muitas vezes para descrever algumas das melhores obras da Antiguidade Clássica: "prosa tão bonita rivaliza com a poesia".

Will e Ariel Durant foram agraciados com o Prémio Pulitzer de Não Ficção Geral em 1968, e com a Medalha Presidencial da Liberdade em 1977. Wikipedia

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„If the average man had had his way there would probably never have been any state. Even today he resents it, classes death with taxes, and yearns for that government which governs least. If he asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous.“

—  Will Durant, livro The Story of Civilization

Fonte: The Story of Civilization (1935–1975), I - Our Oriental Heritage (1935), Ch. III : The Political Elements of Civilization, p. 21
Contexto: If the average man had had his way there would probably never have been any state. Even today he resents it, classes death with taxes, and yearns for that government which governs least. If he asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous. In the simplest societies there is hardly any government. Primitive hunters tend to accept regulation only when they join the hunting pack and prepare for action. The Bushmen usually live in solitary families; the Pygmies of Africa and the simplest natives of Australia admit only temporarily of political organization, and then scatter away to their family groups; the Tasmanians had no chiefs, no laws, no regular government; the Veddahs of Ceylon formed small circles according to family relationship, but had no government; the Kubus of Sumatra "live without men in authority" every family governing itself; the Fuegians are seldom more than twelve together; the Tungus associate sparingly in groups of ten tents or so; the Australian "horde" is seldom larger than sixty souls. In such cases association and cooperation are for special purposes, like hunting; they do not rise to any permanent political order.

„The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.“

—  Will Durant, livro The Story of Civilization

Will Durant, The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage page 459.
The Story of Civilization (1935–1975), I - Our Oriental Heritage (1935)
Contexto: The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.

„We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.“

—  Will Durant, livro The Story of Philosophy

Variante: We are what we repeatedly do. Greatness then, is not an act, but a habit
Fonte: The Story of Philosophy (1926), p. 87. The quoted phrases within the quotation are from the Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, 4; Book I, 7.
Contexto: Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; 'these virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions'; we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit: 'the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life... for as it is not one swallow or one fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy'.

„How much more suffering is caused by the thought of death than by death itself.“

—  Will Durant

Fonte: The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers

„Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.“

—  Will Durant

Quoted in "Books: The Great Gadfly", Time magazine, 8 October 1965 (review of The Age of Voltaire by Will and Ariel Durant)
Contexto: Sixty years ago I knew everything. Now I know nothing. Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

„In the end, nothing is lost. Every event, for good or evil, has effects forever.“

—  Will Durant, livro The Story of Civilization

Fonte: The Story of Civilization

„A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean“

—  Will Durant

Fonte: The Story of Civilization (1935–1975), II - Life of Greece (1939), Ch. I: Crete, Section IV: The Fall of Cnossus, P.51

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