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Arthur Koestler Quotes

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Arthur Koestler ( 10 of 39 )

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  8  /  21  

Some tribes [of monkeys] have taken to washing potatoes in the river before eating them, others have not. Sometimes migrating read more

Some tribes [of monkeys] have taken to washing potatoes in the river before eating them, others have not. Sometimes migrating groups of potato-washers meet non-washers, and the two groups watch each other's strange behavior with apparent bewilderment. But unlike the inhabitants of Lilliput, who fought holy crusades over the question at which end to break the egg, the potato-washing monkeys do not go to war with the non-washers, because the poor creatures have no language which would enable them to declare washing a diving commandment and eating unwashed potatoes a deadly heresy.

by Arthur Koestler Found in: Society Quotes,
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  15  /  17  

The continuous disasters of man's history are mainly due to his excessive capacity and urge to become identified with a read more

The continuous disasters of man's history are mainly due to his excessive capacity and urge to become identified with a tribe, nation, church or cause, and to espouse its credo uncritically and enthusiastically, even if its tenets are contrary to reason, devoid of self-interest and detrimental to the claims of self-preservation.We are thus driven to the unfashionable conclusion that the trouble with our species is not an excess of aggression, but an excess capacity for fanatical devotion.

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...the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, read more

...the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, out of a self-sacrificing devotion to the flag, a leader, a religious faith or political conviction.

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  11  /  15  

The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, read more

The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated not, as one might expect, by the ignorant mass- which is easily swayed once its imagination is caught- but by professionals with a vested interest in tradition and in the monopoly of learning. Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse. The academic backwoodsmen have been the curse of genius from Aristarchus to Darwin and Freud; they stretch, a solid and hostile phalanx of pedantic mediocrities, across the centuries.

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...the more original a discovery the more obvious it seems afterwards.

...the more original a discovery the more obvious it seems afterwards.

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Brain-washing starts in the cradle.

Brain-washing starts in the cradle.

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  36  /  28  

If the Creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out.

If the Creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out.

by Arthur Koestler Found in: Boldness Quotes,
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  12  /  11  

...the integrative tendencies of the individual are incomparably more dangerous than his self-assertive tendencies.

...the integrative tendencies of the individual are incomparably more dangerous than his self-assertive tendencies.

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From the psychological point of view, the self-asserting emotions, derived from emergency reactions, involve a narrowing of consciousness; the participatory read more

From the psychological point of view, the self-asserting emotions, derived from emergency reactions, involve a narrowing of consciousness; the participatory emotions an expansion of consciousness by identificatory processes of various kinds.

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...man has an irrepressible tendency to read meaning into the buzzing confusion of sights and sounds impinging on his senses; read more

...man has an irrepressible tendency to read meaning into the buzzing confusion of sights and sounds impinging on his senses; and where no agreed meaning can be found, he will provide it out of his own imagination.

by Arthur Koestler Found in: Society Quotes,
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