„In every remodelling of the present, the existing condition of things must be supplanted by a new one. Now every variety of circumstances in which men find themselves, every object which surrounds them, communicates a definite form and impress to their internal nature. This form is not such that it can change and adapt itself to any other a man may choose to receive; and the end is foiled, while the power is destroyed, when we attempt to impose upon that which is already stamped in the soul a form which disagrees with it.“

Source: The Limits of State Action (1792), Ch. 16

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
Wilhelm Von Humboldt photo
Wilhelm Von Humboldt35
German (Prussian) philosopher, government functionary, dipl… 1767 - 1835

Related quotes

Patrick Matthew photo

„What nevertheless subsists is the desire of an absolute ideal form, a form which can adapt itself to any setting and to any scale.“

—  Fritz Wotruba Austrian sculptor (23 April 1907, Vienna – 28 August 1975, Vienna) 1907 - 1975

Source: The Human Form: Sculpture, Prints, and Drawings, 1977, p. 7.

Edith Stein photo

„Every profession in which woman's soul comes into its own and which can be formed by woman's soul is an authentic woman's profession.“

—  Edith Stein Jewish-German nun, theologian and philosopher 1891 - 1942

Essays on Woman (1996), The Ethos of Woman's Professions (1930)

George Fitzhugh photo
Aristotle photo
Sathya Sai Baba photo
Cora L. V. Scott photo
Teal Swan photo
David Hume photo
Margaret Fuller photo

„There is another mode which enters into the natural history of every thing that breathes and lives, which believes no impulse to be entirely in vain, which scrutinizes circumstances, motive and object before it condemns, and believes there is a beauty in natural form, if its law and purpose be understood.“

—  Margaret Fuller American feminist, poet, author, and activist 1810 - 1850

"Poets of the People" in Art, Literature and the Drama (1858).
Context: There are two modes of criticism. One which … crushes to earth without mercy all the humble buds of Phantasy, all the plants that, though green and fruitful, are also a prey to insects or have suffered by drouth. It weeds well the garden, and cannot believe the weed in its native soil may be a pretty, graceful plant.
There is another mode which enters into the natural history of every thing that breathes and lives, which believes no impulse to be entirely in vain, which scrutinizes circumstances, motive and object before it condemns, and believes there is a beauty in natural form, if its law and purpose be understood.

George Santayana photo
Margaret Fuller photo

„Every relation, every gradation of nature is incalculably precious, but only to the soul which is poised upon itself, and to whom no loss, no change, can bring dull discord, for it is in harmony with the central soul.“

—  Margaret Fuller, book Woman in the Nineteenth Century

Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845)
Context: Every relation, every gradation of nature is incalculably precious, but only to the soul which is poised upon itself, and to whom no loss, no change, can bring dull discord, for it is in harmony with the central soul. If any individual live too much in relations, so that he becomes a stranger to the resources of his own nature, he falls, after a while, into a distraction, or imbecility, from which he can only becured by a time of isolation, which gives the renovating fountains time to rise up. With a society it is the same.

Wassily Kandinsky photo
George MacDonald photo
Wilhelm Von Humboldt photo
Alexander Hamilton photo
Isadora Duncan photo

„To seek in nature the fairest forms and to find the movement which expresses the soul of these forms — this is the art of the dancer.“

—  Isadora Duncan American dancer and choreographer 1877 - 1927

As quoted in Modern Dancing and Dancers (1912) by John Ernest Crawford Flitch, p. 105.
Context: To seek in nature the fairest forms and to find the movement which expresses the soul of these forms — this is the art of the dancer. It is from nature alone that the dancer must draw his inspirations, in the same manner as the sculptor, with whom he has so many affinities. Rodin has said: "To produce good sculpture it is not necessary to copy the works of antiquity; it is necessary first of all to regard the works of nature, and to see in those of the classics only the method by which they have interpreted nature." Rodin is right; and in my art I have by no means copied, as has been supposed, the figures of Greek vases, friezes and paintings. From them I have learned to regard nature, and when certain of my movements recall the gestures that are seen in works of art, it is only because, like them, they are drawn from the grand natural source.
My inspiration has been drawn from trees, from waves, from clouds, from the sympathies that exist between passion and the storm, between gentleness and the soft breeze, and the like, and I always endeavour to put into my movements a little of that divine continuity which gives to the whole of nature its beauty and its life.

Max Beckmann photo
William Stanley Jevons photo

Related topics