„The books to be read should not be limited to those written in English…. Instead it should be devoted to the great works of history, biography, philosophy, theology, natural science, social science, and mathematics, as well as the… tradition of Western literature -- in English translation… Its aim should not be a survey of Western civilization, but an effort to understand the basic ideas and issues in Western thought.“

Source: Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind (1990), p. 316

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update Sept. 9, 2021. History
Mortimer J. Adler photo
Mortimer J. Adler31
American philosopher and educator 1902 - 2001

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Rachel Carson photo

„The aim of science is to discover and illuminate truth. And that, I take it, is the aim of literature, whether biography or history or fiction. It seems to me, then, that there can be no separate literature of science.“

—  Rachel Carson American marine biologist and conservationist 1907 - 1964

Acceptance speech of the National Book Award for Nonfiction (1952) for The Sea Around Us; also in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1999) edited by Linda Lear, p. 91

Geert Wilders photo
Arthur C. Clarke photo

„One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to prepare people to accept the future without pain and to encourage a flexibility of mind. Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.“

—  Arthur C. Clarke British science fiction writer, science writer, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host 1917 - 2008

As quoted in The Making of Kubrick's 2001 (1970) by Jerome Agel, p. 300
1970s
Context: One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to prepare people to accept the future without pain and to encourage a flexibility of mind. Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories. Two-thirds of 2001 is realistic — hardware and technology — to establish background for the metaphysical, philosophical, and religious meanings later.

Robert J. Marks II photo

„There is no foundational mathematical or physical reason the relationship between Pythagorean and tempered western music should exist. It just does. The rich flexibility of the tempered scale and the … bountiful archives of western music are a testimonial to this wonderful coincidence provided by nature.“

—  Robert J. Marks II American electrical engineering researcher and intelligent design advocate 1950

"Handbook of Fourier Analysis and Its Applications" (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 623, Robert J. Marks II, 2009, 2011-04-29 http://books.google.com/books?id=Sp7O4bocjPAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Handbook+of+Fourier+Analysis+and+Its+Applications&hl=en&ei=wcm5TaPvJYba0QHYi7nRDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false,

William Montgomery Watt photo

„Islam is now Wrestling with Western thought as it once wrestled with Greek philosophy, and is as much in need as it was then of a 'revival of the religious sciences.'“

—  William Montgomery Watt Scottish historian 1909 - 2006

Deep study of al-Ghazali may suggest to Muslims steps to be taken if they are to deal successfully with the contemporary situation. Christians, too, now that the world is in a cultural melting-pot, must be prepared to learn from Islam, and are unlikely to find a more sympathetic guide than al-Ghazali.

The Deliverance from Error https://www.amazon.com/Al-Ghazalis-Path-Sufism-Deliverance-al-Munqidh/dp/1887752307, Introduction

Walter Rauschenbusch photo

„Western civilization is passing through a social revolution unparalleled in history for scope and power.“

—  Walter Rauschenbusch United States Baptist theologian 1861 - 1918

Source: Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907), Introduction, p. xi
Context: Western civilization is passing through a social revolution unparalleled in history for scope and power. Its coming was inevitable.... By universal consent this social crisis is the overshadowing problem of our generation.

Daniel J. Boorstin photo

„The history of Western science confirms the aphorism that the great menace to progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.“

—  Daniel J. Boorstin American historian 1914 - 2004

This "aphorism" was expressed in different forms by Josh Billings and Socrates. note: Often misquoted as, "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge," and often misattributed to Stephen Hawking.
Source: Cleopatra's Nose: Essays on the Unexpected (1995).

Gary Snyder photo

„In Western Civilization, our elders are books.“

—  Gary Snyder American poet 1930

Source: The Practice of the Wild: Essays

Norbert Wiener photo
David Eugene Smith photo

„In 1673 he wrote his great work De Algebra Tractatus; Historicus & Practicus, of which an English edition appeared in 1685. In this there is seen the first serious attempt in England to write on the history of mathematics, and the result shows a wide range of reading of classical literature of the science.“

—  David Eugene Smith American mathematician 1860 - 1944

This work is also noteworthy because it contains the first of an effort to represent the imaginary number graphically by the method now used. The effort stopped short of success but was an ingenious beginning.
History of Mathematics (1923) Vol.1

Marilyn Ferguson photo

„It is impossible to understand the graveness of the Western crisis unless we realize that the cultivation of values beyond Littré's formula of civilization as the dominion of man over nature and himself by means of science is considered by broad sectors of Western society to be a kind of mental deficiency.“

—  Eric Voegelin American philosopher 1901 - 1985

Source: "From Enlightenment to Revolution" (1975), p. 139
Context: The criterion of integral sanity [for Littré] is the acceptance of Positivism in its first stage. The criteria of decadence or decline are (1) a faith in transcendental reality, whether it expresses itself in the Christian form or in that of a substitute religion, (2) the assumption that all human faculties have a legitimate urge for public expression in a civilization, and (3) the assumption that love can be a legitimate guiding principle of action, taking precedence before reason. This diagnosis of mental deficiency is of an importance which can hardly be exaggerated. It is not the isolated diagnosis of Littré; it is rather the typical attitude toward the values of Western civilization which has continued among "intellectual positivists" from the time of Mill and Littré down to the neo-Positivistic schools of the Viennese type. Moreover, it has not remained confined to the schools but has found popular acceptance to such a degree that this variant of Positivism is today one of the most important mass movements. It is impossible to understand the graveness of the Western crisis unless we realize that the cultivation of values beyond Littré's formula of civilization as the dominion of man over nature and himself by means of science is considered by broad sectors of Western society to be a kind of mental deficiency.

Matthew Arnold photo
John Burroughs photo

„Science has done more for the development of Western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred.“

—  John Burroughs American naturalist and essayist 1837 - 1921

Source: The Light of Day (1900), Ch. X: Religious Truth

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