Quotations by Mumford, Lewis


The clock, not the steam-engine, is the key-machine of the modern industrial age.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
Technics and Civilization (1934)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

For even the humblest person, a day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search for truth and perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
The Condition of Man (1944)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Feb-21 | Last updated 17-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

What is any established institution but a Society for the Prevention of Change?

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
The Conduct of Life, 4.3 (1951)
Added on 19-Apr-11 | Last updated 19-Apr-11
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

Men become susceptible to ideas, not by discussion and argument, but by seeing them personified and by loving the person who so embodies them.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
The Conduct of Life, 4.3 (1951)
Added on 20-Mar-12 | Last updated 5-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

A courageous effort consecrates an unhappy end.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
The Conduct of Life, 9.10 (1951)
Added on 6-Oct-09 | Last updated 6-Oct-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

Life is a score we play at sight, not merely before we have divined the intentions of the composer, but even before we have mastered our own instruments; even worse, a large part of the score has been only roughly indicated, and we must improvise the music for our particular instrument, over long passages. On these terms the whole operation seems one of endless difficulty and frustration; and indeed, were it not for the fact that some of the passages have been played so often by our predecessors that, when we come to them, we seem to recall some of the score and can anticipate the natural sequence of the notes, we might often give up in sheer despair. The wonder is not that so much cacophony appears in our actual individual lives, but that there is any appearance of harmony and progression.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
The Conduct of Life, 9.5 (1951)
Added on 14-Sep-11 | Last updated 5-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

One of the functions of intelligence is to take account of the dangers that come from trusting solely to intelligence.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
The Transformations of Man, 7.1 (1956)
Added on 28-Jul-15 | Last updated 17-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

I’m a pessimist about probabilities; I’m an optimist about possibilities.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
In Carey Winfrey, “Lewis Mumford Remembers,” New York Times (6 Jul 1977)
Added on 17-Nov-11 | Last updated 17-Nov-11
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis