Quotations about   relativity

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We do not judge men by what they are in themselves, but by what they are relatively to us.

Anne Sophie Swetchine (1782-1857) Russian-French author and salonist [Madame Swetchine]
The Writings of Madame Swetchine, “Airelles”, #25 (1869) [ed. Count de Falloux, tr. Preston]
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Added on 22-Nov-17 | Last updated 22-Nov-17
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“Terrorism” is what we call the violence of the weak, and we condemn it; “war” is what we call the violence of the strong, and we glorify it.

harris-violence-of-the-weak-strong-wist_info-quote

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
“Nations Should Submit to the Rule of Law,” Clearing the Ground (1986)
Added on 19-Dec-16 | Last updated 19-Dec-16
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Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time; effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end: we fancy that we have always possessed what we love, so difficult is it to imagine how we could have lived without it.

Germaine de Staël (1766-1817) Swiss-French writer, woman of letters, critic, salonist [Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, Madame de Staël, Madame Necker]
Corinne, Book 8, ch. 2 (1807) [ed. Hill (1833)]

Alt. trans.: "It is certainly through love that eternity can be understood; it confuses all thoughts about time; it destroys the ideas of beginning and end; one thinks one has always been in love with the person one loves, so difficult is it to conceive that one could live without him." [tr. Raphael (1998)]
Added on 12-Jan-16 | Last updated 12-Jan-16
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Let us then admit that there are two histories: the actual series of events that once occurred; and the ideal series that we affirm and hold in memory. The first is absolute and unchanged — it was what it was whatever we do or say about it; the second is relative, always changing in response to the increase or refinement of knowledge. The two series correspond more or less, it is our aim to make the correspondence as exact as possible; but the actual series of events exists for us only in terms of the ideal series which we affirm and hold in memory.

Carl L. Becker (1873-1945) American historian
“Everyman His Own Historian” (1), speech, American Historical Association, Minneapolis (29 Dec 1931)
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Added on 6-Jan-15 | Last updated 6-Jan-15
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Maybe this world is another planet’s Hell.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
(Attributed)

Quoted in Laurence J. Peter, Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time (1979).
Added on 26-Nov-14 | Last updated 26-Nov-14
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How long is life to the wretched, how short for the happy!

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 621 [tr. Lyman (1862)]
Added on 27-Jul-11 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 847
Added on 15-Apr-09 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
The wide and universal theater
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
As You Like It, Act 2, sc. 7, l. 136 (1599)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-May-16
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