Ashley Montagu quotes

Ashley Montagu photo
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Ashley Montagu

Birthdate: 28. June 1905
Date of death: 26. November 1999

Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu , previously known as Israel Ehrenberg, was a British-American anthropologist who popularized the study of topics such as race and gender and their relation to politics and development. He was the rapporteur , in 1950, for the UNESCO statement The Race Question. As a young man he changed his name from Ehrenberg to "Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu". After relocating to the United States he used the name "Ashley Montagu". Montagu, who became a naturalized American citizen in 1940, taught and lectured at Harvard, Princeton, Rutgers, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and New York University. He authored over sixty books throughout this lifetime. In 1995, the American Humanist Association named him the Humanist of the Year.

Quotes Ashley Montagu

„The scientist believes in proof without certainty, the bigot in certainty without proof.“

—  Ashley Montagu

The second sentence is often misquoted as “Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.” or “Religion gives us certainty without proof; science gives us proof without certainty.”
Context: Bigotry and science can have no communication with each other, for science begins where bigotry and absolute certainty end. The scientist believes in proof without certainty, the bigot in certainty without proof. Let us never forget that tyranny most often springs from a fanatical faith in the absoluteness of one’s beliefs.

„The ability to play is one of the principal criteria of mental health.“

—  Ashley Montagu

Ashley Montagu (1981, p. 156), cited in: Thomas J. Sweeney (1989), Adlerian counseling: a practical approach for a new decade, p. 54

„The family unit is the institution for the systematic production of mental illness.“

—  Ashley Montagu

Interview on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" promoting the latest edition of his book The Natural Superiority of Women (orig. 1952)
Quoted in David Berg, Run, Brother, Run http://books.google.gr/books?id=FWwXuRNRup8C&dq=, Simon and Schuster, 2013, p. 242.

„The Eskimos live among ice all their lives but have no single word for ice.“

—  Ashley Montagu

Man: His first Million Years, (1957); this quote begins the penultimate chapter of Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

„Among both the Northern and Eastern Hamites are to be found some of the most beautiful types of humanity.“

—  Ashley Montagu

[Ashley, Montagu, An Introduction to Physical Anthropology – Third Edition, 1977/2011, 456]

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