"The utilitarian or servile arts enable one to be a servant - of another person, of the state, of a corporation, or of a business - and to earn a living. The liberal arts, in contrast, teach one how to live; they train the faculties and bring them to perfection; they enable a person to rise above his material environment to live an intellectual, a rational, and therefore a free life in gaining truth." -- Sister Miriam Joseph, C.S.C., Ph.D., The Trivium (1937)
"It should be known that history, in matter of fact, is information about human social organization, which itself is identical with world civilization. It deals with such conditions affecting the nature of civilization as, for instance, savagery and sociability, group feelings, and the different ways by which one group of human beings achieves superiority over another. It deals with royal authority and ... with the different kinds of gainful occupations and ways of making a living, with the sciences and crafts that human beings pursue as part of their activities and efforts, and with all the other institutions that originate in civilization through its very nature." -- Ibn Khaldun of Tunis (d. 1406) The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, (trans. Franz Rosenthal, Routledge 1958) v. 1, p. 71, cited in Civilization (11e), 217.
"The future's an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it." -- Milan Kundera
"The lust for money may be distasteful, the desire for power ignoble, but neither will drive its devotees to the criminal excess of an idea on the march. Whether the idea is the triumph of the working class or of a master race, ideology leads to the graveyard." -- Corey Robin (London Review of Books)
"After a while, marriage is a sibling relationship - marked by occasional, and rather regrettable, episodes of incest." -- Martin Amis, Yellow Dog
"Manure is worth more than a man with a doctorate." -- Polish nobleman Anzelm Gostomski, Gospodarstwo , cited by J. R. McNeill, "Bridges: World Environmental History: the First 100,000 Years," Historically Speaking (July/August 2007), p. 7.
Note: This concludes my regular miscellaneous quotation collection, which was the very origin of this blog. I'm not going away, nor have I run out of quotables, really. I have a series of quotations from John Tosh's Historians on History which I still have in the queue. Next year.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2008!