Best 220 of Will Durant quotes - MyQuotes

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Will Durant
By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Art lies in conceiving and designing, not in the actual execution' - this was left for lesser minds.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew…

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

What if it is for life's sake that we must die? In truth we are not individuals; and it is because we think ourselves such that death seems unforgivable. We are temporary organs of the race, cells in the body of life; we die and drop away that life may remain young and strong. If we were to live forever, growth would be stifled, and youth would find no room on earth. Death, like style, is the removal of rubbish, the circumcision of the superfluous. In the midst of death life renews itself immortally.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Inquiry is fatal to certainty.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

The experience of the past lives little doubt that every economic system must sooner or later rely upon some form of the profit motive to stir individuals and groups to productivity. Substitutes like slavery, police supervision, or ideological enthusiasm prove too unproductive, too expensive, or too transient.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

If a man is fortunate he will, before he dies, gather up as much as he can of his civilized heritage and transmit it to his children.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Hunting is now to most of us a game, whose relish seems based upon some mystic remembrance, in the blood, of ancient days when to hunter as well as hunted it was a matter of life and death.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

The future never just happened. It was created.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Will Durant

Nobody loves a policeman until he needs one.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Will Durant

Magic begins in superstition, and ends in science. ... At every step the history of civilization teaches us how slight and superficial a structure civilization is, and how precariously it is poised upon the apex of a never-extinct volcano of poor and oppressed barbarism, superstition and ignorance. Modernity is a cap superimposed upon the Middle Ages, which always remain.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Will Durant

The state is the soul of man enlarged under the microscope of history.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Will Durant

[N]o language has ever had a word for a virgin man.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Four elements constitute it: economic provision, political organization, moral tradition, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts. It begins where chaos and insecurity end. For when fear is overcome, curiosity and constructiveness are free, and man passes by natural impulse towards the understanding and embellishment of life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

Truth always originates in a minority of one, and every custom begins as a broken precedent.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Bankers know that history is inflationary and that money is the last thing a wise man will hoard

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

Time sanctifies everything; even the most arrant theft in the hands of the robber's grandchildren becomes sacred and inviolable property.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

We Americans are the best informed people on earth as to the events of the last twenty-four hours; we are the not the best informed as the events of the last sixty centuries.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism needs but a day.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

An emperor knows how to govern when poets are free to make verses, people to act plays, historians to tell the truth, ministers to give advice, the poor to grumble at taxes, students to learn lessons aloud, workmen to praise their skill and seek work, people to speak of anything, and old men to find fault with everything.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Will Durant

The matter of sedition is of two kinds: much poverty and much discontentment....The causes and motives of sedition are, innovation in religion; taxes; alteration of laws and customs; breaking of privileges; general oppression; advancement of unworthy persons, strangers; dearths; disbanded soldiers; factions grown desperate; and whatsoever in offending people joineth them in a common cause.' The cue of every leader, of course, is to divide his enemies and to unite his friends. 'Generally, the dividing and breaking of all factions...that are adverse to the state, and setting them at a distance, or at least distrust, among themselves, is not one of the worst remedies; for it is a desperate case, if those that hold with the proceeding of the state be full of discord and faction, and those that are against it be entire and united.' A better recipe for the avoidance of revolutions is an equitable distribution of wealth: 'Money is like muck, not good unless it be spread.' But this does not mean socialism, or even democracy; Bacon distrusts the people, who were in his day quite without access to education; 'the lowest of all flatteries is the flattery of the common people;' and 'Phocion took it right, who, being applauded by the multitude, asked, What had he done amiss?' What Bacon wants is first a yeomanry of owning farmers; then an aristocracy for administration; and above all a philosopher-king. 'It is almost without instance that any government was unprosperous under learned governors.' He mentions Seneca, Antonius Pius and Aurelius; it was his hope that to their names posterity would add his own.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

We have conferred a mystic popularity upon officials whose only virtue is their timidity; while our scorn of rebels and reformers is so great that we have ceased to persecute them. The capitals and governments of the world are in the hands of caution; and change comes over them only in the night, unseen.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Will Durant

[Voltaire] theoretically prefers a republic, but he knows its flaws: it permits factions which, if they do not bring on civil war, at least destroy national unity; it is suited only to small states protected by geographic situation, and as yet unspoiled and untorn with wealth; in general "men are rarely worthy to govern themselves." Republics are transient at best; they are the first form of society, arising from the union of families; the American Indians lived in tribal republics, and Africa is full of such democracies. but differentiation of economic status puts an end to these egalitarian governments; and differentiation is the inevitable accompaniment of development.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

Knowledge is power but only wisdom is liberty.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

Power dements even more than it corrupts, lowering the guard of foresight and raising the haste of action.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art; it arises in hypothesis and flows into achievement.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

We teach more by what we are than by what we teach.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

All that is good in our history is gathered in libraries. At this moment, Plato is down there at the library waiting for us. So is Aristotle. Spinoza is there and so is Kats. Shelly and Byron adn Sam Johnson are there waiting to tell us their magnificent stories. All you have to do is walk in the library door and the great company open their arms to you. They are so happy to see you that they come out with you into the street and to your home. And they do what hardly any friend will-- they are silent when you wish to think.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Historically the belief in heaven and the belief in utopia are like compensatory buckets in a well: when one goes down the other comes up. When the classic religions decayed, communistic agitation rose in Athens (430 B.C.), and revolution began in Rome (133 B.C.); when these movements failed, resurrection faiths succeeded, culminating in Christianity; when, in our eighteenth century, Christian belief weakened, communism reappeared. In this perspective the future of religion is secure.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Forget mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Freedom and equality are naturan born enemies.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Can a civilization hold together if man abandons his faith in God?

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

Moral codes adjust themselves to environmental conditions.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

Knowledge that does not generate achievement is a pale and bloodless thing, unworthy of mankind.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Civilization is the order and freedom is promoting cultural activity.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Will Durant

The story of the "bondage" in Egypt, of the use of the Jews as slaves in great construction enterprises, their rebellion and escape - or emigration - to Asia, has many internal signs of essential truth, mingled, of course, with supernatural interpolations customary in all the historical writings of the ancient East.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand years.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

If we have never been amazed by the very fact that we exist, we are squandering the greatest fact of all.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean. At its cradle (to repeat a thoughtful adage) religion stands, and philosophy accompanies it to the grave. In the beginning of all cultures a strong religious faith conceals and softens the nature of things, and gives men courage to bear pain and hardship patiently; at every step the gods are with them, and will not let them perish, until they do. Even then a firm faith will explain that it was the sins of the people that turned their gods to an avenging wrath; evil does not destroy faith, but strengthens it. If victory comes, if war is forgotten in security and peace, then wealth grows; the life of the body gives way, in the dominant classes, to the life of the senses and the mind; toil and suffering are replaced by pleasure and ease; science weakens faith even while thought and comfort weaken virility and fortitude. At last men begin to doubt the gods; they mourn the tragedy of knowledge, and seek refuge in every passing delight. Achilles is at the beginning, Epicurus at the end. After David comes Job, and after Job, Ecclesiastes.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

So the story of man runs in a dreary circle, because he is not yet master of the earth that holds him.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

I came to think of myself, not as a dance and chaos of molecules, but as a brief and minute portion of that majestic process

By Anonym 16 Sep

Will Durant

In some way the god had to be appeased and satisfied; for his worshipers had made him in the image and dream of themselves, and he had no great regard for human life, or womanly tears.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Communism is the opiate of the people.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

but now and then liberty, in the slogans of the strong, means freedom from restraint in the exploitation of the weak.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Will Durant

The health of nations is more important than the wealth of nations.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Will Durant

To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves; let us be above such transparent egotism. If you can't say good and encouraging things, say nothing. Nothing is often a good thing to do, and always a clever thing to say.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom, and in the end superior ability has its way.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Will Durant

Grow strong, my comrade … that you may stand Unshaken when I fall; that I may know The shattered fragments of my song will come At last to finer melody in you; That I may tell my heart that you begin Where passing I leave off, and fathom more.