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Quotes
Education, Philosophy and Literature Quotes
The following is a collection of quotations that I have come across and appreciated over the years. In many ways they summarize my own thoughts and feelings about my profession and the subject I teach. The quotes are in alphabetical order by author.

“The excellence of a thing is related to its proper function.” -Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics


“In everything, it is no easy task to find the middle.” -Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics


“We must become just be doing just acts.” -Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics


“It is no easy task to be good.” -Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics


“If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good. Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is.” -Aristotle,
Nichomachean Ethics


“Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.” -Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics


“Life in the true sense is perceiving or thinking.” -Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics


“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” -Aristotle


“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce theml fore thse only gave them
life, those the art of living well.” -Aristotle


"We must love one another or die." -W. H. Auden


“The paradox of education is precisely this: that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.”
-James Baldwin


“A child canno be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled.”
-James Baldwin


“If there is any characteristic that is distinctly human, it is the capability for reflective self-consciousness.”
-Albert Bandura, Self Efficacy: The Exercise of Control


"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning


"If a thing loves, it is infinite." -William Blake


“The liberally educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers, not because he is obstinate, but because he knows others worthy of consideration.” -Allan Bloom


“Understanding something in one way does not preclude understanding it in other ways.” -Jerome Burner, The Culture of Education


“Knowledge is justified belief.” -Jerome Bruner, The Culture of Education


“Knowledge helps only when it descends into habits.” -Jerome Bruner, The Culture of Education


"Love not what you are, but what you may become." -Miguel de Cervantes


"Love is like a spice. It can sweeten your life – however, it can spoil it, too." -Confucius


"Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit." -Bill Cosby


“Love is a better fate than wisdom.” -e.e. cummings


“Mankind likes to think in terms of extreme opposites.” -John Dewey, Experience and Education


“Teachers are the agents through which knowledge and skills are communicated and rules of conduct enforced.” -John Dewey, Experience and Education


“Some experiences are mis-educative.  Any experience is mis-educative that has the effect of arresting or distorting the growth of further experience.” -John Dewey, Experience and Education


“It is difficult to connect general principles with such thoroughly concrete things as children.” -John Dewey, The School and Society


“Education is a social process. Education is growth.  Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.” -John Dewey


"For love all love of other sights controls and makes one little room an everywhere" -John Donne


"Love is love's reward." -John Dryden


“It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.” -Albert Einstein


“The sole function of education…[is] to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people’s education, must serve that end exclusively.” -Albert Einstein


"Love is most nearly itself when here and now cease to matter." -T.S. Eliot


“I pay the schoolmaster, but it is the schoolboys who educate my son.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The secret in education lies in respecting the student.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suiced.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


"A mind might ponder its thought for an epoch, and not gain so much self-knowledge as the passion of love shall teach in a day." -Ralph Waldo Emerson


"He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses."-Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Only the educated are free.”  -Epictetus


"He is not a lover who does not love forever." -Euripides


“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him.  An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin


“Love is an act of courage.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


“No reality transforms itself.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


“Only through communication can human life hold meaning.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


“The parent-child relationship in the home usually reflects the objective cultural conditions of the surrounding social structure.  If the conditions which penetrate the home are authoritarian, rigid, and dominating, the home will increase the climate of oppression.  As these authoritarian relations between parents and children intensify, children in their infancy increasingly internalize the paternal authority.”
-Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


“The atmosphere of the home is prolonged in the school, where the students soon discover thatin order to achieve some satisfaction they must adapt to the precepts which have ben set from above.  One of these precepts is not to think.”
-Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


“There is, in fact, no teaching without learning.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


“Teachers who do not take their own education seriously, who do not study, who make little effort to keep
abreast of events have no moral authority to coordinate the activities of the classroom.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


“This is the road I have tried to follow as a teacher: living my convictions; being open to the process of knowing and being sensitive to the experience of teaching as an art; being pushed forward by the challenges that prevent me from bureaucratizing my practice; accepting my limitations, yet always conscious of the necessary effort to overcome them and aware that I cannot hide them because to do so would be a failure to respect both my students and myself as a teacher.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


“I cannot be a teacher without exposing who I am.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


“One of my major preoccupations is the approximation between what I say and what I do, between what I seem to be and what I am actually becoming.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


“The role of the educator is one of tranquil possession of certitude in regard to the teaching of not only contents but also of ‘correct thinking.’” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


“Sometimes a simple, almost insignificant gesture on the part of a teacher can have a profound formative effect on the life of a student.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


“No matter how much someone may irritate me, I have no right to puff myself up with my own self-importance so as to declare that person to be absolutely incompetent, assuming a posture of disdain from my own position of false superiority.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


“It is impossible to talk of respect for students for the dignity that is in the process of coming to be, for the identities that are in the process of construction, without taking into consideration the conditions in which they are living and the importance of the knowledge derived from life experience, which they bring with them to school.  I can in no way underestimate such knowledge.  Or what is worse, ridicule it.” -Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom


"Children are completely egoistic; they feel their needs intensely and strive ruthlessly to satisfy them." -Freud


"If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.” -Erich Fromm, Art of Loving (1957)


“Education is hanging around until you’ve caught on.” -Robert Frost


“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”
-Robert Frost


“Nothing is impossible for pure love.” -Mohandas Gandhi


“I am entirely certain that in twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.”
-John W. Gardner


“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” -Goethe


“Love does not dominate; it cultivates.” -Goethe


"Everyone believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exists for his sake." -Goethe


“Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.” -Emma Goldman, "Marriage and Love" in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)


"Young people are thoughtless as a rule." -Homer


“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will finally know peace.” -Jimi Hendrix


“If I know what love is, it is because of you.” -Hermann Hesse


“People should be free to find or make for themselves the kinds of educational experience they want their children to have.” -John Hold


“If nobody loved, the sun would go out.” -Victor Hugo in Les Misérables


“The most valuable of all education Is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.” -Aldous Huxley


“Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.” -Aldous Huxley


“To know psychology, therefore, is absolutely no guarantee that we shall be good teacher.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"There is a stream, a succession of states, or waves, or fields (or whatever you please to call them), of knowledge, of feeling, of desire, of deliberation, etc., that constantly pass and repass, and that constitute our inner life." -William James, Talks to Teachers


"Man, whatever else he may be, is primarily a practical being, whose mind is given him to aid in adapting him to this world's life"
-William James, Talks to Teachers


"No reception without reaction, no impression without correlative expression, --this is the great maxim which the teacher ought never to forget.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"Habit is second nature, or rather . . . ten times nature." -William James, Talks to Teachers


"We must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and as carefully guard against the growing into ways that are likely to be disadvantageous."-William James, Talks to Teachers

"It is astonishing how many mental operations we can explain when we have once grasped the principles of association"
-William James, Talks to Teachers


"The entire routine of our memorized acquisitions is a consequence of nothing but the Law of Contiguity. The words of a poem, the formulas of trigonometry, the facts of history, the properties of material things, are all known to us as definite systems or groups of objects which cohere in an order fixed by innumerable iterations, and of which any one part reminds us of the others.”
-William James, Talks to Teachers


"Any object not interesting in itself may become interesting through becoming associated with an object in which an interest already exists. The two associated objects grow, as it were, together; the interesting portion sheds its quality over the whole; and thus things not interesting in their own right borrow an interest which becomes as real and as strong as that of any natively interesting thing.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"An idea will infect another with its own emotional interest when they have become both associated together into any sort of a mental total.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"The most natively interesting object to a man is his own personal self and its fortunes. We accordingly see that
the moment a thing becomes connected with the fortunes of the self, it forthwith becomes an interesting thing.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"From all these facts there emerges a very simple abstract program for the teacher to follow in keeping the attention of the child: Begin with the line of his native interests, and offer him objects that have some immediate connection with these.”
-William James, Talks to Teachers


"The difference between an interesting and a tedious teacher consists in little more than the inventiveness by which the one is able to mediate these associations and connections, and in the dullness in discovering such transitions which the other shows.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"If, then, you wish to insure the interest of your pupils, there is only one way to do it; and that is to make certain that they have something in their minds to attend with, when you begin to talk. That something can consist in nothing but a previous lot of ideas already interesting in themselves, and of such a nature that the incoming novel objects which you present can dovetail into them and form with them some kind of a logically associated or systematic whole.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"All that we need explicitly to note is that, the more the passive attention is relied on, by keeping the material interesting; and the less the kind of attention requiring effort is appealed to; the more smoothly and pleasantly the classroom work goes on.” -William James, Talks to Teachers

"But when all is said and done, the fact remains that some teachers have a naturally inspiring presence and can make their exercises interesting, whilst others simply cannot. And psychology and general pædagogy here confess their failure, and hand things over to the deeper spring of human personality to conduct the task." -William James, Talks to Teachers

"If the topic be highly abstract, show its nature by concrete examples; if it be unfamiliar, make it figure as part of a story; if it be difficult, couple its acquisition with some prospect of personal gain. Above all things, make sure that it shall run through certain inner changes, since no unvarying object can possibly hold the mental field for long. Let your pupil wander from one aspect to another of your subject, if you do not wish him to wander from it altogether to something else, variety in unity being the secret of all interesting talk and thought.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"An educated memory depends on an organized system of associations; and its goodness depends on two of their peculiarities: first, on the persistency of the associations; and, second, on their number.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"Most men have a good memory for facts connected with their own pursuits.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"In all primary school work the principle of multiple impressions is well recognized.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"The art of remembering is the art of thinking. When we wish to fix a new thing in either our own mind or a pupil's, our conscious effort should not be so much to impress and retain it as to connect it with something else already there. The connecting is the thinking; and, if we attend clearly to the connection, the connected thing will certainly be likely to remain within recall."
-William James, Talks to Teachers


"Be patient and sympathetic with the type of mind that cuts a poor figure in examinations. It may, in the long examination which life sets us, come out in the end in better shape than the glib and ready reproducer, its passions being deeper, its purposes more worthy, its combining power less commonplace, and its total mental output consequently more important.”
-William James, Talks to Teachers


"The process of education, taken in a large way, may be described as nothing but the process of acquiring ideas or conceptions, the best educated mind being the mind which has the largest stock of them, ready to meet the largest possible variety of the emergencies of life.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"In all this process of acquiring conceptions, a certain instinctive order is followed. There is a native tendency to assimilate certain kinds of conception at one age, and other kinds of conception at a later age.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"Feed the growing human being, feed him with the sort of experience for which from year to year he shows a natural craving, and he will develop in adult life a sounder sort of mental tissue, even though he may seem to be 'wasting' a great deal of his growing time, in the eyes of those for whom the only channels of learning are books and verbally communicated information.”
-William James, Talks to Teachers


"The gist of the matter is this: Every impression that comes in from without, be it a sentence which we hear, an object of vision, or an effluvium which assails our nose, no sooner enters our consciousness than it is drafted off in some determinate direction or other, making connection with the other materials already there, and finally producing what we call our reaction. The particular connections it strikes into are determined by our past experiences and the 'associations' of the present sort of impression with them.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"Volition . . . takes place only when there are a number of conflicting systems of ideas, and depends on our having a complex field of consciousness.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"You perceive now, my friends, what your general or abstract duty is as teachers. Although you have to generate in your pupils a large stock of ideas, any one of which may be inhibitory, yet you must also see to it that no habitual hesitancy or paralysis of the will ensues, and that the pupil still retains his power of vigorous action.”  -William James, Talks to Teachers


"Our volitional habits depend, then, first, on what the stock of ideas is which we have; and, second, on the habitual coupling of the several ideas with action or inaction respectively.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"The exercise of voluntary attention in the schoolroom must therefore be counted one of the most important points of training that take place there; and the first-rate teacher, by the keenness of the remoter interests which he is able to awaken, will provide abundant opportunities for its occurrence.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


"Considering the inner fitness of things, one would rather think that the very first act of a will endowed with freedom should be to sustain the belief in the freedom itself.” -William James, Talks to Teachers


“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” –John F. Kennedy

“People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense.”  -Ken Kesey

“That everyone may receive at least a moderate education appears to be an objective of vital importance.” -Abraham Lincoln


“Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.” –Malcolm X


“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”  -Martin Luther King, Jr.


“Love is the flower you've got to let grow.”  -John Lennon


“All you need is love.”  -John Lennon/Paul McCartney


"Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day." -John Milton


“In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.” –Friedrich Nietzsche


“That which is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.”  -Friedrich Nietzsche


“There is always some madness in love. But there is always reason in the madness.”   -Friedrich Nietzsche


“The student is infinitely more important than the subject matter.”  -Nel Noddings, Caring, a Feminite Approach to Ethics and Moral Education


“All learning is in the learner, not the teacher.”   -Plato, Phaedo


“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”   -Gilda Radner


“There are two lost continents….  We are one: the lovers.” -Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker


“Nobody quite knew what to make of the moon anymore.” -Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker


“Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself or not.  Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious questions is whether time has a beginning and an end.  Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of the bed, and Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm.  There is only one serious question: And that is: Who knows how to make love stay?” -Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker


“’Neotenty’ is ‘remaining young,’ and it may be ironic that it is so little known, because human evolution has been dominated by it.”  --Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

“Life is like a stew.  You have to stir it frequently or all the scum rises to the top.” -Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

“This may be said for the last quarter of the twentieth century:  the truism that if we want a better world we will have to be better people came to be acknowledge, if not thoroughly understood, by a significantly large minority.”  --Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.” -Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”  --Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

“If little else, the brain is an educational toy.  Why it may be a frustrating play thing – one whose finer points recede just when you think you are mastering them – it is nonetheless perpetually fascinating, frequently surprising, occasionally rewarding, and it comes already assembled. […]  Alas! the brain is a toy that plays games of its own.  Its very most favorite game is the one-thing-leads-to-another game.”  -Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues


“Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.”
-William Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream (I, i, 234)


"For stony limits cannot hold love out, and what love can do, that dares love attempt"
-William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet


“Education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience, and has little to do with school or college.” –Lillian Smith


“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life; that word is love.” -Sophocles


“You know you're in love when you can't sleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” -Dr. Suess


“It's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.” -Alfred, Lord Tennyson


“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”  -Henry David Thoreau


“All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”  -Leo Tolstoy


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.” -Lao Tzu


“The only ‘good’ learning is that which is in advance of development.”
-Lev Vygotsky, Mind in Society


“Psychology teaches us at every step that though two types of activity can have the same external manifestation, whether in origin or essence, their nature may differ most profoundly." -Lev Vygotsky, Mind in Society


“Childhood is a complex dialectical process characterized by periodicity, unevenness in the development of different functions, metamorphosis or qualitative transformation of one form into another, intertwining of external and internal factors, and adaptive processes which overcome impediments that the child encounters.” -Lev Vygotsky, Mind in Society


“Learning is more than the acquisition of the ability to think; it is the acquisition of many specialized abilities for thinking about a variety of things.” -Lev Vygotsky, Mind in Society