Deference

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Moreover, among Women, we use language implying the utmost deference for their Sex; and they fully believe that the Chief Circle Himself is not more devoutly adored by us than they are; but behind their backs they are both regarded and spoken off –- by all except the very young as being better than “mindless organisms":Edwin Abbott Abbott.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:With deference to all nations and followers of divine religions, we are asking if this atrocity is true, then why the people of the region should pay for it by occupation of Palestinian lands and unending suppression of Palestinian people, by homelessness of millions of Palestinians, by destruction of their cities and rural areas and agricultural lands.

Deference (also called submission or passivity) is the condition of submitting to the influence or will of others, often out of respect or reverence, and sometimes with an implicit or explicit yielding to the judgment of a recognized superior. Deference has been studied extensively by political scientists, sociologists, and psychologists.


Alphabetized by author or source
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  • Priests moreover are all the more singular and unclassifiable in that they do not recognize themselves as such and are nearly always dupes of the most gross outward appearances — whether of the irony of some or the servile deference of others.

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  • I desire to sever all connection with the Society of American Artists. In deference to some of its older members, who perhaps from sentimental motives requested me to reconsider my resignation last year, I shall explain... For the last three years my paintings have been rejected by you, one of them the Agnew portrait, a composition more important than any I have ever seen on your walls.

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Elizabeth Gaskell:Gentlemen, be courteous to the old maids, no matter how poor and plain and prim, for the only chivalry worth having is that which is the readiest to to pay deference to the old, protect the feeble, and serve womankind, regardless of rank, age, or color.

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William Hazlitt:The character of a gentleman [I take it] may be explained nearly thus: A blackguard is a fellow who does not care whom he offends; a clown is a blockhead who does not know when he offends; A gentleman is one who understands and shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and exacts it in return from them.

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Tahir squre celebration:Rashid Khalidi:Arab world feel a sense of pride in shaking off decades of cowed passivity under dictatorships that ruled with no deference to popular wishes.
  • ...the dark emotions hiding in very human life, whereas in association with others one easily forgets, so easily evades this, is easily stopped in so many ways get the opportunity to begin afresh - thought alone, conceived with due deference, could, I believe, chastise many a man in our day who believes he has already attained the highest.

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Walter Savage Lander:Great men always pay deference to greater.
Abraham Lincoln: And yet no approach to such unanimity is attainable unless some deference shall be paid to the will of the majority simply because it is the will of the majority. In this case the common end is the maintenance of the Union, and among the means to secure that end such will, through the election, is most clearly declared in favor of such constitutional amendment.

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Mencius:*The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity; the feeling of shame and dislike is the beginning of righteousness; the feeling of deference and compliance is the beginning of propriety; and the feeling of right and wrong is the beginning of wisdom.
Charles Moore introducing George Washington:It is a satisfaction to find that his consideration for others, his respect for and deference to those deserving such treatment, his care of his own body and tongue, and even his reverence for his Maker, all were early inculcated in him by precepts which were the common practice in decent society the world over.
  • When they went down to the bunkhouse for dinner the vaqueros seemed to treat them with a certain deference but whether it was the deference accorded the accomplished or that accorded to mental defectives they were unsure.
  • The monarchy is a political referee, not a political player, and there is a lot of sense in choosing the referee by a different principle from the players. It lessens the danger that the referee might try to start playing... which I usually construct in terms of the way it institutionalises deference, can be expressed much more simply: it rots the brain. ... This romancing about the royal family is, I fear, only a minor symptom of the softening of the brain of socialists ...

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Ethan Nadelmann:If there's one thing the international community should do, if only out of deference because he won the election, is to take seriously his arguments that coca products have a place in the international commodities market.

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Parvez Musharraf with George W. Bush: Great men may make mistakes; and as the book tries show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason.

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Ernest Renan:Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or 'surrender' as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from non-believers into the bargain.

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H. G. Wells: These are salient facts...in Muhammad’s career. He too, founded a great religion, there are those who write of this evidently lustful and rather shifty leader as though he were a man to put beside Jesus of Nazareth or Gautama or Mani. But it surely manifests he was a being of a commoner clay; he was vain egotistical, tyrannous, and self deceiver; and it would throw all our history out of proportion if, out of an insincere deference to the possible Moslem reader, we were to present him in any other light.
  • One performed public duties, for which one was paid in full by deference; one was chaste, refusing to run away from one's husband with other men who for the most part did not ask one to do so, and who in any case had nothing to offer better than one’s own home.
  • You all very well know what deference I always pay, and ever will, to that part of the office of a jury which properly belongs to them. I never did, nor ever will, while I have the honour of executing the office of a judge attempt to control or influence the minds of a jury.

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External links[edit]

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