A Quote by Butler Shaffer on consequences, motives, and actions

The older I get, the more I realize that motives are less of a contributor to the problems of the world than is the failure to understand what is implicit in our actions. Anatole France observed that "those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbours very miserable," an insight that should remind us of the disruptive nature of unintended consequences.

Butler Shaffer


Contributed by: peter

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, self-interest, psychoanalysis, and motives

When we analyze or diagnose or psychoanalyze people's motives (e.g. in politics or in reading a mystery novel or decoding some everyday remark), we are trying to puzzle out not just the tangle of emotions or interests that lie all on the same plane, but also the priority or hierarchy of different species of motive and interest:  cui bono? i.e. what element or organismic subsystem in his psyche ultimately benefited from his behavior or his ploy?  Differently put, the contents of experience and self-expression "differ" from one another not just qualitatively but also ordinally, in terms of their ranking or determinative power over one another.  

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on humanity, motives, and trust

And truly it demands something godlike in him who cast off the common motives of humanity and ventured to trust himself for a taskmaster.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Stephen R. Covey on character, improvement, motives, personality, personality, privacy, promises, and relationships

The ''Inside-Out'' approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness means to start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most inside part of self -- with your paradigms, your character, and your motives. The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves recedes making and keeping promises to others. It says it is futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve relationships with others before improving ourselves.

Stephen Covey (1932 -)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Thomas Woodrow Wilson on art, character, gifts, growth, guidance, judgment, life, men, motives, play, purpose, secrets, seriousness, spirit, and spirituality

A man is the part he plays among his fellows. He is not isolated; he cannot be. His life is made up of the relations he bears to others - is made or marred by those relations, guided by them, judged by them, expressed in them. There is nothing else upon which he can spend his spirit - nothing else that we can see. It is by these he gets his spiritual growth; it is by these we see his character revealed, his purpose, his gifts. A few (men) act as those who have mastered the secrets of a serious art, with deliberate subordination of themselves to the great end and motive of the play. These have "found themselves," and have all the ease of a perfect adjustment.

Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Thomas Jefferson on ability, acting, anxiety, character, citizenship, concern, difficulty, duty, honesty, individuality, information, interest, knowledge, men, motives, necessity, time, and understanding

Of the various executive abilities, no one excited more anxious concern than that of placing the interests of our fellow-citizens in the hands of honest men, with understanding sufficient for their stations. No duty is at the same time more difficult to fulfil. The knowledge of character possessed by a single individual is of necessity limited. To seek out the best through the whole Union, we must resort to the information which from the best of men, acting disinterestedly and with the purest motives, is sometimes incorrect.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

Source: Letter to Elias Shipman and others of New Haven, July 12, 1801.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Sir James Matthew Barrie on motives


Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own.

Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860 - 1937)

Source: Courage

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Sigmund Freud on civilization, education, fear, motives, people, and religion

Civilization has little to fear from educated people and brain-workers. In them the replacement of religious motives for civilized behaviours by other, secular motives, would proceed unobtrusively. . . .

Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)

Source: Sigmund Freud, 1927

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Saul Bellow on age, death, design, endurance, envy, future, genius, kindness, labor, love, motives, and secrets

On Broadway it was still bright afternoon and the gassy air was almost motionless under the leaden spokes of sunlight, and sawdust footprints lay about the doorways of butcher shops and fruit stores. And the great, great crowd, the inexhaustible current of millions of every race and kind pouring out, pressing round, of every age, of every genius, possessors of every human secret, antique and future, in every face the refinement of one particular motive or essence - I labor, I spend, I strive, I design, I love, I cling, I uphold, I give way, I envy, I long, I scorn, I die, I hide, I want. Faster, much faster than any man could make the tally. The sidewalks were wider than any causeway; the street itself was immense, and it quaked and gleamed and it seemed . . . to throb at the last limit of endurance.

Saul Bellow

Source: "Seize the Day"

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Dr. Samuel Johnson on god, guidance, motives, originality, and path

From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,- Path, motive, guide, original, and end.

Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)

Source: Motto to the Rambler. No. 7.

Contributed by: Zaady

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