Intellect

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Intellect needs to be understood not as some kind of claim against the other human excellences for which a fatally high price has to be paid, but rather as a complement to them without which they cannot be fully consummated. ~ Richard Hofstadter
With pragmatists and instrumentalists it has sunk so low that it is dressed in livery and sent to live in the servant's quarters. ~ Ralph Barton Perry

Intellect is a term used in studies of the human mind, and refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true or real.

See also:
Intelligence

Quotes[edit]

  • Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
  • Whoever prefers the material comforts of life over intellectual wealth is like the owner of a palace who moves into the servants’ quarters and leaves the sumptuous rooms empty.
  • Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as strong to think.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 353
  • Thou living ray of intellectual fire.
  • Intellectual life has a certain spontaneous character and inner determination. It has also a peculiar poise of its own, which I believe is established by a balance between two basic qualities in the intellectual’s attitude toward ideas—qualities that may be designated as playfulness and piety.
  • Intellect needs to be understood not as some kind of claim against the other human excellences for which a fatally high price has to be paid, but rather as a complement to them without which they cannot be fully consummated.
  • The inherent contradiction between condemning the intellect as invalid and incapable of reaching truth, and using that same intellect to make the condemnation, seems, strangely, not to occur to those who hold this derogatory view of the intellect.
    • Norah Michener, Maritain on the Nature of Man. Hull, Canada: Éditions "L'Éclair", 1955, p. 2
  • Psychology, speaking for emotion and instinct, has reduced intellect to impotence over life. Metaphysics has subordinated it to will. Bergson and his followers have charged it with falsehood and issued a general warning against its misrepresentations; while with pragmatists and instrumentalists it has sunk so low that it is dressed in livery and sent to live in the servant's quarters. It is against this last indignity in particular that I wish to speak a word of protest, to the end that the intellect may be accorded full rights within the community of human activities and interests.
    • Ralph Barton Perry, "The Integrity of the Intellect," Harvard Theological Review, vol. 13, no. 3, July 1920, pp.220-221
  • The worst of what is called good society is not only that it offers us the companionship of people who are unable to win either our praise or our affection, but that it does not allow us to be that which we naturally are; it compels us, for the sake of harmony, to shrivel up, or even alter our shape altogether. Intellectual conversation, whether grave or humorous, is only fit for intellectual society; it is downright abhorrent to ordinary people, to please whom it is absolutely necessary to be commonplace and dull. This demands an act of severe self-denial; we have to forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to become like other people. No doubt their company may be set down against our loss in this respect; but the more a man is worth, the more he will find that what he gains does not cover what he loses, and that the balance is on the debit side of the account; for the people with whom he deals are generally bankrupt—that is to say, there is nothing to be got from their society which can compensate either for its boredom, annoyance and disagreeableness, or for the self-denial which it renders necessary.


External links[edit]

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