„The profundity of truth varies with the seeing power of the spirit which seeks it.“

The Science of Character (1929), as translated by W. H. Johnston, p. 18

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
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Ludwig Klages8
German psychologist and philosopher 1872 - 1956

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„There is only one Art, whose sole criterion is the power, the authenticity, the revelatory insight, the courage and suggestiveness with which it seeks its truth.“

—  Václav Havel playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and 1st President of the Czech Republic 1936 - 2011

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Context: There is only one Art, whose sole criterion is the power, the authenticity, the revelatory insight, the courage and suggestiveness with which it seeks its truth. … Thus, from the standpoint of the work and its worth it is irrelevant to which political ideas the artist as a citizen claims allegiance, which ideas he would like to serve with his work or whether he holds any such ideas at all.

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„The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women“

—  Learned Hand American legal scholar, Court of Appeals judge 1872 - 1961

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Context: What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it… What is this liberty that must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not the freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check on their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few — as we have learned to our sorrow.
What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest.

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„To seek an honest man is, at once, to seek a human being worthy of the name, an honest-to-goodness exemplar of the idea of humanity, a truthful and truth-speaking embodiment of the animal having the power of articulate speech.“

—  Leon R. Kass American academic 1939

Looking for an Honest Man (2009)
Context: Diogenes … refuses to be taken in by complacent popular belief that we already know human goodness from our daily experience, or by confident professorial claims that we can capture the mystery of our humanity in ­definitions. But mocking or not, and perhaps speaking better than he knew, Diogenes gave elegantly simple expression to the humanist quest for self-knowledge: I seek the human being — my human being, your human being, our humanity. In fact, the embellished version of Diogenes' question comes to the same thing: To seek an honest man is, at once, to seek a human being worthy of the name, an honest-to-goodness exemplar of the idea of humanity, a truthful and truth-speaking embodiment of the animal having the power of articulate speech.

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„It is not necessary to seek truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church.“

—  Irenaeus Bishop and saint 130 - 202

Book 3, Chapter 4. From Readings in World Christian History (2013), pp. 58-99.
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„Those who observe the nature of the Universe and the commandments of the Law, and know their purpose, see clearly God's mercy and truth in everything; they seek, therefore, that which the Creator intended to be the aim of man, viz., comprehension. Forced also by claims of the body, they seek that which is necessary for the preservation of the body“

—  Maimónides, book The Guide for the Perplexed

Source: Guide for the Perplexed (c. 1190), Part III, Ch.12
Context: Those who observe the nature of the Universe and the commandments of the Law, and know their purpose, see clearly God's mercy and truth in everything; they seek, therefore, that which the Creator intended to be the aim of man, viz., comprehension. Forced also by claims of the body, they seek that which is necessary for the preservation of the body, "bread to eat and garment to clothe," and this is very little; but they seek nothing superfluous; with very slight exertion man can obtain it, so long as he is contented with that which is indispensable.

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„Minds vary in sensitiveness and in self-power, as bodies do in susceptibility of attraction and repulsion.“

—  James Anthony Froude, book The Nemesis of Faith

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Context: Minds vary in sensitiveness and in self-power, as bodies do in susceptibility of attraction and repulsion. When, when shall we learn that they are governed by laws as inexorable as physical laws, and that a man can as easily refuse to obey what has power over him as a steel atom can resist the magnet?

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„Life is but the spirit's prison,
Where its wings are furl'd,
Stretching to their flight in vain, —
Seeking that eternal home
Which is in a world to come.“

—  Letitia Elizabeth Landon English poet and novelist 1802 - 1838

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„See now the power of truth; the same experiment which at first glance seemed to show one thing, when more carefully examined, assures us of the contrary.“

—  Galileo Galilei Italian mathematician, physicist, philosopher and astronomer 1564 - 1642

Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences (1638); Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, intorno à due nuove scienze, as translated by Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio (1914)
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Source: Discorsi E Dimostrazioni Matematiche: Intorno a Due Nuoue Scienze, Attenenti Alla Mecanica & I Movimenti Locali

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