A Quote by Jack Vance on civilization, experience, ideas, abstraction, symbol, and convention

You used the word "civilization", which means a set of abstractions, symbols, conventions. Experience tends to be vicarious; emotions are predigested and electrical; ideas become more real than things.

Jack Vance

Source: The Gray Prince

Contributed by: bajarbattu

A Quote by Parker Thomas Moon on politics, war, violence, government, and abstraction

When one uses the simple monosyllabic 'France' one thinks of France as a unit, an entity. When. . . we say 'France sent her troops to conquer Tunis'—we impute not only unity but personality to the country. The very words conceal the facts and make international relations a glamorous drama in which personalized nations are the actors, and all too easily we forget the flesh-and- blood men and women who are the true actors.. . if we had no such word as 'France' . . . then we should more accurately describe the Tunis expedition in some such way as this: 'A few of...thirty-eight million persons sent thirty thousand others to conquer Tunis.' This way of putting the fact immediately suggests a question, or rather a series of questions. Who are the 'few'? Why did they send the thirty thousand to Tunis? And why did these obey? Empire-building is done not by 'nations,' but by men. The problem before us is to discover the men, the active, interested minorities in each nation, who are directly interested in imperialism and then to analyze the reasons why the majorities pay the expenses and fight the wars.

Parker Moon

Source: Imperialism and World Politics (New York: Macmillan, 1930), p. 58.

Contributed by: peter

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, thinking, abstraction, generalization, and self-culturalization

Most people traffic in abstractions and generalizations because they are grossly incompetent at culturing their intuition or powers of evidency, refining it to grasp the Thisness (Haecceitas) of what is before them.  Thinking is like a Stradivarius that has more potential variations in how it is played than any human can finitely perform or capture.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Gaston Bachelard on concept, image, science, knowledge, and abstraction

In scientific thought, the concept functions all the better for being cut off from all background images. In its full exercise, the scientific concept is free from all the delays of its genetic evolution, an evolution which is consequently explained by simple psychology. The virility of knowledge increases with each conquest of the constructive abstraction.

Gaston Bachelard (1884 - 1962)

Source: The Poetics of Reverie, Pages: 52

Contributed by: Chris

A Quote by Michael Jackson, 1940 on abstraction, evil, africa, sierra leone, and where most evil begins

This extravagant dwelling, as domineering as it was distant, brought home to me the intimateconnection between tyranny and abstraction, and put me in mind of John Berger's observation that "abstraction's capacity to ignore what is real is undoubtedly where most evil begins."

Michael Jackson

Source: In Sierra Leone

Contributed by: jess

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