Herbert Read

(Sir Herbert Edward Read)

Herbert Read
Herbert Read
  • Born: December 4, 1893
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Poet

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Sir Herbert Edward Read, DSO, MC was an English art historian, poet, literary critic and philosopher, best known for numerous books on art, which included influential volumes on the role of art in education. Read was co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. As well as being a prominent English anarchist, he was one of the earliest English writers to take notice of existentialism.

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A man of personality can formulate ideals, but only a man of character can achieve them.
Art is pattern informed by sensibility. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
But the further step, by means of which a civilization is given its quality or culture, is only attained by a process of cellular division, in the course of which the individual is differentiated, made distinct from and independent of the parent group.
Creeds and castes, and all forms of intellectual and emotional grouping, belong to the past.
Freud has shown one thing very clearly: that we only forget our infancy by burying it in the unconscious; and that the problems of this difficult period find their solution under a disguised form in adult life. Life
I am not going to claim that modern anarchism has any direct relation to Roman jurisprudence; but I do claim that it has its basis in the laws of nature rather than in the state of nature. Nature
I call religion a natural authority, but it has usually been conceived as a supernatural authority. Religion & God
I can imagine no society which does not embody some method of arbitration. Society
I have not the slightest doubt that this form of individuation represents a higher stage in the evolution of mankind.
I know of no better name than Anarchism.
If the individual is a unit in a corporate mass, his life is not merely brutish and short, but dull and mechanical. Life
In the evolution of mankind there has always been a certain degree of social coherence.
It does not seem that the contradiction which exists between the aristocratic function of art and the democratic structure of modern society can ever be resolved. Society ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
It is already clear, after twenty years of socialism in Russia, that if you do not provide your society with a new religion, it will gradually revert to the old one. Society ;Religion & God
It was Nietzsche who first made us conscious of the significance of the individual as a term in the evolutionary process-in that part of the evolutionary process which has still to take place.
Man is everywhere still in chains.
Morality, as has often been pointed out, is antecedent to religion-it even exists in a rudimentary form among animals.
My own early experiences in war led me to suspect the value of discipline, even in that sphere where it is so often regarded as the first essential for success. Success ;War & Peace
Nobody seriously believes in the social philosophies of the immediate past.
Progress is measured by richness and intensity of experience - by a wider and deeper apprehension of the significance and scope of human existence.
Progress is measured by the degree of differentiation within a society. Society
That is why I believe that art is so much more significant than either economics or philosophy. It is the direct measure of man's spiritual vision. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The assumption is that the right kind of society is an organic being not merely analogous to an organic being, but actually a living structure with appetites and digestions, instincts and passions, intelligence and reason. Society
The characteristic political attitude of today is not one of positive belief, but of despair.
The farther a society progresses, the more clearly the individual becomes the antithesis of the group. Society
The modern work of art, as I have said, is a symbol. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The most general law in nature is equity-the principle of balance and symmetry which guides the growth of forms along the lines of the greatest structural efficiency. Nature
The only sin is ugliness, and if we believed this with all our being, all other activities of the human spirit could be left to take care of themselves.
The point I am making is that in the more primitive forms of society the individual is merely a unit; in more developed forms of society he is an independent personality. Society
The principle of equity first came into evidence in Roman jurisprudence and was derived by analogy from the physical meaning of the word.
The sense of historical continuity, and a feeling for philosophical rectitude cannot, however, be compromised.
The sensitive artist knows that a bitter wind is blowing.
The slave may be happy, but happiness is not enough. Happiness & Unhappiness
The worth of a civilization or a culture is not valued in the terms of its material wealth or military power, but by the quality and achievements of its representative individuals - its philosophers, its poets and its artists. Power
There are a few people, but a diminishing number, who still believe that Marxism, as an economic system, off era a coherent alternative to capitalism, and socialism has, indeed, triumphed in one country.
These groups within a society can he distinguished according as to whether, like an army or an orchestra, they function as a single body; or whether they are united merely to defend their common interests and otherwise function as separate individuals. Society
To realize that new world we must prefer the values of freedom and equality above all other values - above personal wealth, technical power and nationalism. Power ;Equality & Equal Opportunity ;Freedom & Liberty
We may be sure that out of the ruins of our capitalist civilization a new religion will emerge, just as Christianity emerged from the ruins of the Roman civilization. Religion & God
What I do deny is that you can build any enduring society without some such mystical ethos. Society
You might think that it would he the natural desire of every man to develop as an independent personality, but this does not seem to be true.