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Defiance is renunciation or dissolution of bonds of obedience and obligation.
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- The bad man has a multitude of encumbrances, such as love of money or reputation and pleasure, while the good man has none at all. He stands defiant and triumphant.
- Philo, Every Good Man is Free, 21
- Every day that we allow some little physical infirmity or worldly worry to come between us and our obstinate, indignant, defiant exultation, we are weakening our genius for life.
- John Cowper Powys, The Meaning of Culture (1929), p. 134
- To be a philosopher, that is to say, a lover of wisdom (for wisdom is nothing but truth), it is not enough for a man to love truth, in so far as it is compatible with his own interest, with the will of his superiors, with the dogmas of the church, or with the prejudices and tastes of his contemporaries. ... One should love the truth earnestly and with one’s whole heart, and thus unconditionally and unreservedly, above all else, and, if need be, in defiance of all else. Now the reason for this is the one previously stated that the intellect has become free, and in this state it does not even know or understand any other interest than that of truth.
- Arthur Schopenhauer, “Sketch for a history of the doctrine of the ideal and the real,” Parerga and Paralipomena, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, pp. 21-22
- Defence, not defiance.
- Motto adopted by the "Volunteers," when there was fear of an invasion of England by Napoleon (1859).