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Arthur Koestler Quotes

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Arthur Koestler ( 10 of 39 )

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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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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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Brain-washing starts in the cradle.

Brain-washing starts in the cradle.

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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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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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...in the course of the last century science has become so dizzy with its successes, that it has forgotten to read more

...in the course of the last century science has become so dizzy with its successes, that it has forgotten to ask the pertinent questions- or refused to ask them under the pretext that they are meaningless, and in any case not the scientists concern.

by Arthur Koestler Found in: Society Quotes,
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The collective matrix of a science at a given time is determined by a kind of establishment, which includes universities, read more

The collective matrix of a science at a given time is determined by a kind of establishment, which includes universities, learned societies, and, more recently, the editorial offices of technical journals. Like other establishments, they are consciously or unconsciously bent on preserving the status quo- partly because unorthodox innovations are a threat to their authority, but also because of the deeper fear that their laboriously erected an intellectual edifice might collapse under the impact.

by Arthur Koestler Found in: Society Quotes,
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The more backwoodish a social group, juvenile or adult, the stricter its conception of the normal, and the readier it read more

The more backwoodish a social group, juvenile or adult, the stricter its conception of the normal, and the readier it will ridicule any departure from it.

by Arthur Koestler Found in: Society Quotes,
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I think most historians will agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of read more

I think most historians will agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of history was small; first and foremost, the slaughter was meant as an offering to the gods, to king and country, or the future happiness of mankind. The crimes of Caligula shrink to insignificance compared to the havoc wrought by Torquemada. The number of victims of robbers, highwaymen, rapists, gangsters and other criminals at any period of history is negligible compared to the massive numbers of those cheerfully slain in the name of the true religion, just policy, or correct ideology.

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Conscious and unconscious experiences do not belong to different compartments of the mind; they form a continuous scale of gradations, read more

Conscious and unconscious experiences do not belong to different compartments of the mind; they form a continuous scale of gradations, of degrees of awareness.

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