A Quote by R K Narayan on education, morons, culture, garbage, roots, and corporate pathos

This education has reduced us to a nation of morons; we were strangers to our own culture and camp followers of another culture, feeding on leavings and garbage . . . What about our own roots? . . . I am up against the system, the whole method and approach of a system of education which makes us morons, cultural morons, but efficient clerks for all your business and administration offices.

R K Narayan

Source: The English Teacher, chp 8, pg 467.

Contributed by: bajarbattu

A Quote by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. on culture, faith, and society

A first grader should understand that her or his culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society...Cultural relativity is defensible, attractive. It’s a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it.

Kurt Vonnegut (1922 -)

Contributed by: MotherTongues

A Quote by Margaret Mead on culture, diversity, place, potential, and values

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.

Margaret Mead (1901 - 1978)

Source: Sex & Temperament

Contributed by: ingebrita

A Quote by Anaïs Nin on writing, sing, and culture

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.

Anaïs Nin (1903 - 1977)

Source: Anais Nin

Contributed by: Saville

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, character, modernity, scientism, capitalism, truth, nature, culture, ideology, egalitarianism, hierarchicalism, libertarianism, values, principles, preconceptions, and logic

The worldview of modern scientism and capitalism are profoundly wrongheaded, rooted in an artificialism and arbitrarialism that cannot begin to see the primordial truth of the way nature actually works, in animals and in ourselves as well. All modern culture and ideology that try to disestablish these principles -- radical egalitarianism, capitalist or bourgeois materialist-artificialist hierarchicalism, arbitrarial libertarianism, etc. -- are flying in the face of the headwinds of both nature and values, the tides of human nature and human character. But these ideologies' fallacies are incomprehensible to them just because their culture systematically prohibits them from thinking about issues at the level of structural principles, of ultimate preconceptions: nothing but good pedestrian mechanical bourgeois logic, as remote as it can possibly be from philosophy.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, culture, form, immediacy, modernity, consciousness, self-centeredness, wisdom, and value

Human cultures are all experiments in trying to find a form that will fit the matter of our immediacy; but it is absolutely not the case that all such experiments are of equal merit or value. Some cultures -- and modernity is patently one -- have managed to transmute consciousness into the "disease" that Nietzsche called it, the self-affliction of a self-centeredness that has purged itself of all vestiges of wisdom and value.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, greeks, aristeia, values, culture, illumination, determination, life, cognoscenti, and vices

The Greeks took for granted a warrior-ethic ("aristeia," the virtues, values, culture and competence of "aristoi") not just between man and nature, and one city and another, and in the competitive contests (agones) between one person or point of view and another, but most especially between the individual mind striving for illumination and the vast surrounding obscure chaos of all that we do not know or understand or, as yet, have the resources to master. Humans from the earliest days of their lives have already planted their feet on one of two paths, one leading toward self-illumination or a determination to live life knowingly, as cognoscenti or "knowers," and one leading toward the absolute minimum of effort at illumination, a default-mentality marked by the vices of ignoranti, the countless herds of the mostly oblivious and passive who are content merely to be, to drift and be driven, not to be morally or philosophically accountable for themselves.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, moderns, values, excellence, worth, culture, fulfillment, purpose, fitness, and justification

Men who have made "life" easier and more bountiful for moderns have done nothing to make life more eminently VALUABLE, fit to be valued. We appreciate our inventors and benefactors but in truth they have done nothing whatsoever to teach us how to make ourselves more excellent, more WORTHY of freedom and life and culture. It is all very well to feed multitudes with self-replicating fishes and loaves; but the question that goes unperceived is, AS WHAT are we helping man to survive? What are we encouraging this consumer to BECOME, to AIM AT, to HUNGER AFTER as the fulfillment of the whole purpose of his living?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, character, fate, eudaimonia, culture, potential, arete, and determinism

Nietzsche is a determinist like Spinoza, a fatalist like the Greeks: character is fate, we only become what we already are (Aristotle's more genteel expression: no one achieves arete IN SPITE OF his base of natural potential, only because of it). Aristic moral "fiber" must exist first of all as an instinctive imperative, and second as an imperative of character, before it can be cultivated by an appropriate directorial culture. The resources that make human beings ultimately philosophical or spiritual (Aristotelian eudaimonia) are so profound and structural that of course they cannot be "learned"; if one has them, they can be developed and cultured, but that is not the same thing as "acquiring" them.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

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