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Matthew Stover

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Anyone who is of a thoughtful, philisophical cast of mind will occasionaly be struck by the appearance of certain organizing principles of history. The forms these principles seem to take inevitably depends upon one's specific obsession. For a mornachist, history is a struggle of classes of economic civil war. An agriculturalist sees the dynamic of populations, land, and availability of food; a philosopher might speak of the will to power or the will to sythesis; a theologian of the will of God.
(II.2) Del Rey, p. 100

Matthew Stover

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Reason is to the philosopher what grace is to the Christian.
Grace causes the Christian to act, reason the philosopher. Other men are carried away by their passions, their actions not being preceded by reflection: these are the men who walk in darkness. On the other hand, the philosopher, even in his passions, acts only after reflection; he walks in the dark, but by a torch.
The philosopher forms his principles from an infinity of particular observations. Most people adopt principles without thinking of the observations that have produced them, they believe the maxims exist, so to speak, by themselves. But the philosopher takes maxims from their source; he examines their origin; he knows their proper value, and he makes use of them only in so far as they suit him.
Truth is not for the philosopher a mistress who corrupts his imagination and whom he believes to be found everywhere; he contents himself with being able to unravel it where he can perceive it. He does not confound it with probability; he takes for true what is true, for false what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is only probable. He does more, and here you have a great perfection of the philosopher: when he has no reason by which to judge, he knows how to live in suspension of judgment...
The philosophical spirit is, then, a spirit of observation and exactness, which relates everything to true principles...

Denis Diderot

History moves in contradictions. The skeleton of historic existence, the economic structure of society, also develops in contradictions. Forms eternally follow forms. Everything has only a passing being. The dynamic force of life creates the new over and over again such is the law inherent in reality.

Nikolai Bukharin

I wish to guard the Principle of Vision from certain misconceptions which might arise on a simple statement of it. The principle insists on the artist assuring himself that he distinctly sees what he attempts to represent. What he sees, and how he represents it, depend on other principles. To make even this principle of Vision thoroughly intelligible in its application to all forms of Literature and Art, it must be considered in connection with the two other principles Sincerity and Beauty, which are involved in all successful works.

George Henry Lewes

There is no history of mankind, there is only an indefinite number of histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world. But this, I hold, is an offence against every decent conception of mankind. It is hardly better than to treat the history of embezzlement or of robbery or of poisoning as the history of mankind. For the history of power politics is nothing but the history of international crime and mass murder (including it is true, some of the attempts to suppress them). This history is taught in schools, and some of the greatest criminals are extolled as heroes.

Karl Popper

The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation's history the very ring-bolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny. Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation's destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.

Frederick Douglass
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