„No man knows fully what has shaped his own thinking“

—  Robert Merton, p. ix (1957 edition)
Robert Merton photo
Robert Merton
1910 - 2003
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„Each man has two countries, I think: His own, and France.“

—  Benjamin Franklin American author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, a… 1706 - 1790
Henri de Bornier, La Fille de Roland, act III, scene ii, p. 65 (1875): "Tout homme a deux pays, le sien et puis la France!" Also misattributed to Thomas Jefferson in 1880 http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=940CE2DB143FEE3ABC4151DFB166838B699FDE

„Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.“

—  Sydney J. Harris American journalist 1917 - 1986
"Purely Personal Prejudices" http://books.google.com/books?id=DLcEAQAAIAAJ&q=%22Nobody+can+be+so+amusingly+arrogant+as+a+young+man+who+has+just+discovered+an+old+idea+and+thinks+it+is+his+own%22&pg=PA227#v=onepage

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„The finished man among his enemies?—
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?“

—  W.B. Yeats Irish poet and playwright 1865 - 1939
Context: What matter if I live it all once more? Endure that toil of growing up; The ignominy of boyhood; the distress Of boyhood changing into man; The unfinished man and his pain Brought face to face with his own clumsiness; The finished man among his enemies?— How in the name of Heaven can he escape That defiling and disfigured shape The mirror of malicious eyes Casts upon his eyes until at last He thinks that shape must be his shape? II, st. 1

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„The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll, The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child
Context: Only a few years ago there was a great awakening of the human mind. Men began to inquire by what right a crowned robber made them work for him? The man who asked this question was called a traitor. Others asked by what right does a robed hypocrite rule my thought? Such men were called infidels. The priest said, and the king said, where is this spirit of investigation to stop? They said then and they say now, that it is dangerous for man to be free. I deny it. Out on the intellectual sea there is room enough for every sail. In the intellectual air there is space enough for every wing. The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.

Golda Meir photo

„Above all, this country is our own. Nobody has to get up in the morning and worry what his neighbors think of him. Being a Jew is no problem here.“

—  Golda Meir former prime minister of Israel 1898 - 1978
On 30th anniversary of the founding of Israel, in International Herald Tribune (11 May 1978)

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R. G. Collingwood photo
Tsunetomo Yamamoto photo

„In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing. These are the levels in general;. But there is one transcending level, and this is the most excellent of all. This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way and never thinks of himself as having finished. He truly knows his own insufficiencies and never in his whole life thinks that he has succeeded.“

—  Tsunetomo Yamamoto Samurai 1659 - 1719
Context: A certain swordsman in his declining years said the following: In one's life. there are levels in the pursuit of study. In the lowest level, a person studies but nothing comes of it, and he feels that both he and others are unskillful. At this point he is worthless. In the middle level he is still useless but is aware of his own insufficiencies and can also see the insufficiencies of others. In a higher level he has pride concerning his own ability, rejoices in praise from others, and laments the lack of ability in his fellows. This man has worth. In the highest level a man has the look of knowing nothing. These are the levels in general;. But there is one transcending level, and this is the most excellent of all. This person is aware of the endlessness of entering deeply into a certain Way and never thinks of himself as having finished. He truly knows his own insufficiencies and never in his whole life thinks that he has succeeded. He has no thoughts of pride but with self-abasement knows the Way to the end. It is said that Master Yagyu once remarked, "I do not know the way to defeat others, but the way to defeat myself." Throughout your life advance daily, becoming more skillful than yesterday, more skillful than today. This is never-ending.

Махатма Ганди photo

„A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.“

—  Махатма Ганди pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India 1869 - 1948
In Ethical Religion, (Madras: S. Ganesan, 1922), p. 62 http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015002732066?urlappend=%3Bseq=66

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