A commonplace book related to learning:
When it is interpreted, written tradition is brought back out of the alienation in which it finds itself and into the living present of conversation, which is always fundamentally realized in question and answer.”
– Hans-Georg Gadamer
The writer has chosen to reveal the world and particularly to reveal man to other men so that the latter may assume full responsibility before the object which has been thus laid bare. . . . Similarly, the function of the writer is to act in such a way that nobody can be ignorant of the world and that nobody may say that he is innocent of what it’s all about.”
– Jean-Paul Sartre
For Shakespeare is writing, it seems, not with the whole of his mind mobilized and under control but with feelers left flying that sort and play with words so that the trail of a chance word is caught and followed recklessly. From the echo of one word is born another word, for which reason, perhaps, the play seems as we read it to tremble perpetually on the brink of music.”
– Virginia Woolf
For as in a body, when the blood is fresh, the spirits pure and vigorous, not only to vital, but to rationall faculties, and those in the acutest, and the pertest operations of wit and suttlety, it argues in what good plight and constitution the body is, so when the cherfulnesse of the people is so sprightly up, as that it has not only wherewith to guard well its own freedom and safety, but to spare, and to bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of controversie, and new invention, it betok’ns us not degenerated, nor drooping to a fatall decay, but casting off the old and wrincl’d skin of corruption to outlive these pangs and wax young again, entring the glorious waies of Truth and prosperous vertue destin’d to become great and honourable in these latter ages. Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant Nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks: Methinks I see her as an Eagle muing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazl’deyes at the full midday beam; purging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain it self of heav’nly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amaz’d at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticat a year of sects and schisms.
– John Milton
“The political core for any movement of freedom in the society has to have the political imperative to protect free speech. Time and again, radicals have seen that censorship is used to silence progressive voice rather than those who take the conservative stand that free speech must be suppressed in specific instances. . . . The covert silencing of dissenting voices and opinions undermines free speech and strengthens the forces of censorship within and outside radical movements.
– Bell Hooks
“If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder. And it is no true wisdom that you offer your disciples, but only its semblance, for by telling them of many things without teaching them you will make them seem to know much, while for the most part they know nothing, and as men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, they will be a burden to their fellows.
“The ignorant man is not free, because what confronts him is an alien world, something outside him and in the offing, on which he depends, without his having made this foreign world for himself and therefore without being at home in it by himself as in something his own. The impulse of curiosity, the pressure for knowledge, from the lowest level up to the highest rung of philosophical insight arises only from the struggle to cancel this situation of unfreedom and to make the world one’s own in one’s ideas and thought.”
– G.W.F. Hegel