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Emotion doesn’t travel in a straight line. Like water, our feelings trickle down through cracks and crevices, seeking out the little pockets of neediness and neglect, the hairline fractures in our character usually hidden from public view.

Sue Grafton
Sue Grafton (1940-2017) American novelist, screenwriter
“I” is for Innocent (1992)
Added on 29-Oct-21 | Last updated 29-Oct-21
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Truth and goodness are the same for all people. But pleasure varies from one to another.

Ἀνθρώποις πᾶσι τωὐτὸν ἀγαθὸν καὶ ἀληθές· ἡδὺ δὲ ἄλλωι ἄλλο.

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 69 (Diels) [tr. @sententiq (2018), fr. 68]
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Diels citation "69. (6 N.) DEMOKRATES. 34.". Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter. Alternate translations:
  • "For all men, good and true are the same; but pleasant differs for different men." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "The same thing is good and true for all men. But what is pleasant differs from one to another." [Warren (2008)]
  • "Goodness and truth are the same for all men: but pleasure differs from man to man." [Source]
Added on 16-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-May-21
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In a courtroom there is no system on trial, no history or historical trend, no ism, anti-Semitism for instance, but a person, and if the defendant happens to be a functionary, he stands accused precisely because even a functionary is still a human being, and it is in this capacity that he stands trial.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
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Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
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Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty. One person may even perceive deformity, where another is sensible of beauty; and every individual ought to acquiesce in his own sentiment, without pretending to regulate those of others.

David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher, economist, historian, empiricist
“Of the Standard of Taste” (1739)
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Added on 16-Sep-20 | Last updated 16-Sep-20
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There are a lot of things we don’t want to know about the people we love.

Chuck Palahniuk (b. 1962) American novelist and freelance journalist
Fight Club ch. 13 (1996)
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Added on 21-Jul-20 | Last updated 21-Jul-20
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The grandest of heroic deeds are those which are performed within four walls and in domestic privacy.

Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [Johann Paul Friedrich Richter; pseud. Jean Paul]
(Attributed)

In Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Added on 13-Jul-16 | Last updated 13-Jul-16
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On a recent Sunday evening, Theo came up with an aphorism: the bigger you think, the crappier it looks. Asked to explain he said, “When we go on about the big things, the political situation, global warming, world poverty, it all looks really terrible, with nothing getting better, nothing to look forward to. But when I think small, closer in — you know, a girl I’ve just met, or this song we’re going to do with Chas, or snowboarding next month, then it looks great. So this is going to be my motto — think small.”

Ian McEwan (b. 1948) English novelist and screenwriter
Saturday (2005)
Added on 5-Jul-16 | Last updated 5-Jul-16
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One lesson the arts teach is that there can be more than one answer to a question and more than one solution to a problem; variability of outcome is okay. […] The arts teach children that their personal signature is important and that answers to questions and solutions to problems need not be identical. There is, in the arts, more than one interpretation to a musical score, more than one way to describe a painting or a sculpture, more than one appropriate form for a dance performance, more than one meaning for a poetic rendering of a person or a situation. In the arts diversity and variability are made central. That is one lesson that education can learn from the arts.

Elliot Eisner (1933-2014) Academic, researcher, professor of art and education
The Arts and the Creation of Mind, ch. 8 (2002)
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Variant: "The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution; questions can have more than one answer. If they do anything, the arts embrace diversity of outcome."
Added on 29-Jul-15 | Last updated 29-Jul-15
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The religious experience which we are studying is that which lives itself out within the private breast. First-hand individual experience of this kind has always appeared as a heretical sort of innovation to those who witnessed its birth. Naked comes it into the world and lonely; and it has always, for a time at least, driven him who had it into the wilderness …

William James (1842-1910) American psychologist and philosopher
The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lectures 14-15 “The Value of Saintliness” (1902)
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Added on 31-Mar-14 | Last updated 31-Mar-14
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I must ever believe that religion substantially good which produces an honest life, and we have been authorised by one, whom you and I equally respect, to judge of the tree by it’s fruit. Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone. I enquire after no man’s, and trouble none with mine: nor is it given to us in this life to know whether your’s or mine, our friend’s or our foe’s are exactly the right.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Miles King (26 Sep 1814)
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Added on 26-Sep-13 | Last updated 14-Jul-22
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Truth is found neither in traditional capitalism nor in classical communism. Each represents a partial truth. Capitalism fails to see the truth in collectivism. Communism fails to see the truth in individualism. Capitalism fails to realize that life is social. Communism fails to realize that life is personal.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967)
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Added on 8-Jun-12 | Last updated 9-Nov-20
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The holiest of holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
“Holidays” (1876)
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Added on 10-Jan-08 | Last updated 16-Apr-21
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I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our god and our consciences, for which we were accountable to him, and not to the priests. I never told my own religion, nor scrutinised that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another’s creed. I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives: and by this test, my dear Madam, I have been satisfied yours must be an excellent one, to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read. By the same test the world must judge me.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Margaret Bayard Smith (6 Aug 1816)
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Added on 5-Dec-07 | Last updated 18-Jul-22
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Religion, a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his maker, in which no other, & far less the public, had a right to intermeddle.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Richard Rush (31 May 1813)
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Added on 29-Jun-04 | Last updated 2-Aug-22
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For there was never a philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5, sc. 1, l. 37ff [Leonato] (1598)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 29-Jun-22
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Never thrust your sickle into another’s corn.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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