Monday, April 25, 2005

Quotations #053

"Learning preserves the errors of the past as well as its wisdom. For this reason dictionaries are public dangers, although they are necessities." -- Alfred North Whitehead

"To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization." -- Arnold Toynbee

"History is only a confused heap of facts." -- Earl of Chesterfield (1699-1773)

"History's lessons are no more enlightening than the wisdom of those who interpret them." --David Schoenbrun

"All that is necessary is that we recognize the contingency of any and all historical outcomes and, in response, that we robustly bracket our sense of already knowing the trajectory of human existence. ... [Lee and DeVore] observed that whether industrialization will 'end up' being a long-term trend in human existence or a momentary exception is not something we can know in advance of a future that has yet to be made." Daniel A. Segal, "'Western Civ' and the Staging of History," AHR, v105, n3 (June 2000), p. 802.

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