Will Durant

(William James "Will" Durant)

Will Durant
Will Durant
  • Born: November 5, 1885
  • Died: November 7, 1981
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Historian

55

Quotes

15

Citations

97

Concepts

0

Videos

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
"Spinoza did not seek to found a sect, and he founded none"; yet all philosophy after him is permeated with his thought. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Philosophy
… a progressive discovery of our own ignorance Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars. Miscellaneous
Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle. Government ;Miscellaneous
Freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order. Freedom & Liberty
If the average man had had his way there would probably never have been any state. Even today he resents it, classes death with taxes, and yearns for that government which governs least. If he asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous. Miscellaneous
One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say. History
Only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way. Utopias of equality are biologically doomed, and the best that the amiable philosopher can hope for is an approximate equality of legal justice and educational opportunity. Human Nature
Rooted in freedom, bonded in the fellowship of danger, sharing everywhere a common human blood, we declare again that all men are brothers, and that mutual tolerance is the price of liberty Freedom & Liberty
Sixty years ago I knew everything. Now I know nothing. Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Elderly, Aging. Old Age, Social Security & Pensions
That differences of race, color, and creed are natural, and that diverse groups, institutions, and ideas are stimulating factors in the development of man; That to promote harmony in diversity is a responsible task of religion and statesmanship; That since no individual can express the whole truth, it is essential to treat with understanding and good will those whose views differ from our own; That by the testimony of history intolerance is the door to violence, brutality and dictatorship; and That the realization of human interdependence and solidarity is the best guard of civilization. Ethnic Groups ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
The Mohammadan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. Religion & God
There is nothing in Socialism a little age or a little money will not cure. Miscellaneous
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Development & Growth ;Personal Growth, Experience and Development
A statesman cannot afford to be a moralist.
As soon as liberty is complete it dies in anarchy.
Bankers know that history is inflationary and that money is the last thing a wise man will hoard. History ;Money, Coins & Minting
Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty and dies with chaos.
Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.
Civilization is the order and freedom is promoting cultural activity. Freedom & Liberty
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Education is the transmission of civilization. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Every vice was once a virtue, and may become respectable again, just as hatred becomes respectable in wartime.
History is mostly guessing; the rest is prejudice. History
I am not against hasty marriages, where a mutual flame is fanned by an adequate income.
If man asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous.
In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order. Freedom & Liberty
Inquiry is fatal to certainty.
It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country. Time
Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Man became free when he recognized that he was subject to law.
Moral codes adjust themselves to environmental conditions. Environment & Environmentalism
Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand years. Time ;History
Nature has never read the Declaration of Independence. It continues to make us unequal. Nature
Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Philosophy
The ego is willing but the machine cannot go on. It's the last thing a man will admit, that his mind ages.
The family is the nucleus of civilization. Families, Children & Parenting
The love we have in our youth is superficial compared to the love that an old man has for his old wife. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The most interesting thing in the world is another human being who wonders, suffers and raises the questions that have bothered him to the last day of his life, knowing he will never get the answers. Life
The political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority.
The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds. Hope
There have been only 268 of the past 3,421 years free of war. War & Peace
There is nothing in socialism that a little age or a little money will not cure. Money, Coins & Minting
Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory. Time
To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy. Communication & Communications ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves. Nothing is often a good thing to say, and always a clever thing to say.
Truth always originates in a minority of one, and every custom begins as a broken precedent. Truth
We Americans are the best informed people on earth as to the events of the last twenty-four hours; we are the not the best informed as the events of the last sixty centuries.
We are living in the excesses of freedom. Just take a look at 42nd Street and Broadway. Freedom & Liberty
When liberty becomes license, dictatorship is near.
Woe to him who teaches men faster than they can learn.