„Western civilization presents one of the most difficult tasks for historical analysis, because it is not yet finished, because we are a part of it and lack perspective, and because it presents considerable variation from our pattern of historical change.“

—  Carroll Quigley, Chapter 10, Western Civilization, p. 333-334
Carroll Quigley79
American historian 1910 - 1977
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„It is difficult for a fool's habits to change to selflessness. ... Because we do most things relying only on our own sagacity we become self-interested, turn our backs on reason, and things do not turn out well.“

—  Tsunetomo Yamamoto Samurai 1659 - 1719
Context: It is difficult for a fool's habits to change to selflessness.... Because we do most things relying only on our own sagacity we become self-interested, turn our backs on reason, and things do not turn out well. As seen by other people this is sordid, weak, narrow and inefficient. When one is not capable of true intelligence, it is good to consult with someone of good sense. An advisor will fulfill the Way when he makes a decision by selfless and frank intelligence because he is not personally involved. This way of doing things will certainly be seen by others as being strongly rooted. It is, for example, like a large tree with many roots. One man's intelligence is like a tree that has been simply stuck in the ground. We learn about the sayings and deeds of the men of old in order to entrust ourselves to their wisdom and prevent selfishness. When we throw off our own bias, follow the sayings of the ancients, and confer with other people, matters should go well and without mishap. Variant translation: When all your judgements are based on your own wisdom, you tend towards selfishness and fail by straying from the right path. Your own judgements are narrow minded and have no persuasive power or growth for others. It is best to consult a wise man when a fit decision does not occur to you. A wise man is a fair judge from an objective point of view. He is passing judgement for the benefit of others, not for his own sake. A judgement passed using only one's own wisdom is just like thrusting a stick into the ground and expecting it to grow!

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Max Planck photo

„Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.“

—  Max Planck, Where is Science Going?
Where is Science Going? (1932) Variants: Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature, for in the final analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.

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„I would say the time has not yet come. I rebel against the present, whenever it is, because I have not seen any change, other than oppositions grow stronger.“

—  Nico German musician, model and actress, one of Warhol's superstars 1938 - 1988
Context: I would say the time has not yet come. I rebel against the present, whenever it is, because I have not seen any change, other than oppositions grow stronger. I would be a communist if it was more anarchist. Otherwise, I see only everything as an absurdity, so I can laugh and cry. I have lived in a continuation, from birth and growing towards death in a chain that cannot end. I don't see this decade then that decade. The same things happen in different guises. I am bohemian but at one time you would call me a hippie or a punk. I remain a bohemian whatever you call me. So maybe I am locked in the fifties. But I have never desired to grow up from my world as a child, which is when things are most clear and utopian. They are clear because you are at the center and you see all around you. When you get older you lose your sight … I lost something of my childishness when people around me start dying. Four of my family died within a year. On the decade which she fit in best, as quoted in Life and Lies of an Icon (1995) by Richard Witts.

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Mary Midgley photo

„It is because our culture is changing so fast, because it does not settle on everything that we need to go into these questions.“

—  Mary Midgley British philosopher and ethicist 1919
Context: Other areas were being mapped by anthropologists, who seemed to have some interest in my problem, but who were inclined (at that time) to say that what human beings had in common was not in the end very important; that the key to all the mysteries did lie in culture. This seemed to me shallow. It is because our culture is changing so fast, because it does not settle on everything that we need to go into these questions. Introduction, Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979).

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„We cannot let the bogeyman of al-Qaida and extremism be used to stall historic change in our country“

—  Tawakkol Karman Yemeni journalist, politician, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient 1979

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„Our questions and answers are in part determined by the historical tradition in which we find ourselves.“

—  Karl Jaspers German psychiatrist and philosopher 1883 - 1969
Context: Our questions and answers are in part determined by the historical tradition in which we find ourselves. We apprehend truth from our own source within the historical tradition. The content of our truth depends upon our appropriating the historical foundation. Our own power of generation lies in the rebirth of what has been handed down to us. If we do not wish to slip back, nothing must be forgotten; but if philosophising is to be genuine our thoughts must arise from our own source. Hence all appropriation of tradition proceeds from the intentness of our own life. The more determinedly I exist, as myself, within the conditions of the time, the more clearly I shall hear the language of the past, the nearer I shall feel the glow of its life.

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