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    When we find a thinker reflecting or echoing an apparently erroneous, narrow, or even illogical thought that was popular or authoritative in his time, we must never rule out the possibility that what we have discovered is not the limit of his vision but only an example of his deliberate rhetorical accommodation to reigning prejudice which he does not share but thinks it best not to expose.

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  6  /  11  

Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished. read more

Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished. He is both an unfinished animal and an unfinished man. It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For, in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator. Moreover, the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.

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The desire to belong is partly a desire to lose oneself.

The desire to belong is partly a desire to lose oneself.

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  9  /  10  

Unity and self-sacrifice, of themselves, even when fostered by the most noble means, produce a facility for hating. Even when read more

Unity and self-sacrifice, of themselves, even when fostered by the most noble means, produce a facility for hating. Even when men league themselves mightily together to promote tolerance and peace on earth, they are likely to be violently intolerant toward those not of a like mind.

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Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small read more

Don't be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small steps.

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Lack of sensitivity is perhaps basically an unawareness of ourselves.

Lack of sensitivity is perhaps basically an unawareness of ourselves.

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There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.

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There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man read more

There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness.

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A wonderful discovery--psychoanalysis. Makes quite simple people feel they're complex.

A wonderful discovery--psychoanalysis. Makes quite simple people feel they're complex.

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The human race is divided into two sharply differentiated and mutually antagonistic classes, almost two genera- a small minority that read more

The human race is divided into two sharply differentiated and mutually antagonistic classes, almost two genera- a small minority that plays with ideas and is capable of taking them in, and a vast majority that finds them painful, and is thus arrayed against them, and against all who have traffic with them. The intellectual heritage of the race belongs to the minority, and to the minority only. The majority has no more to do with it than it has to do with ecclesiastic politics on Mars. In so far as that heritage is apprehended, it is viewed with enmity. But in the main it is not apprehended at all.

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