Universal value

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A universal value has the same value or worth for all, or almost all, people.


Ethics and Morality[edit]

  • There are other contentions which are more vital, and these Mr. Bradley himself urges. The State of to-day may not be reconcilable with the morality of to-day. The State may be in a confused or decadent condition; short of that, it may, being as it is in a state of development, retain unresolved elements of its past, which are opposed to ideal morality. Again, we have to reckon with cosmopolitan morality in the individual, who may seek to transcend the function allotted to his station in a particular community; we must recognise, for instance, the desire to produce philosophic truth or artistic beauty of a universal value, which can hardly be connected with the duty of a station. Such recognition may serve to drive us, or to lift us, to the conception of a higher organism than that of the State. By faith we may come to believe in the realisation of a society of all humanity as a divine organic whole; or as St. Paul wrote, we may come to see that we are organs, diversely endowed, "unto the building up of the body of Christ," which is "fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth."
  • What morality requires is that the individual in all circumstances shall make his individual interest that of the universal interest. We even censure those who do not succeed in reconciling in their own souls the contradictions between the individual interests of the universal and interests which are merely individual. "Morality triumphs over interests only because it is itself the supreme interest" (Pratica p. 242)
  • The utilitarian controversy has easily shown that there are no disinterested moral actions. The most exalted moral action, that of the hero who dies for his country, that of the saint who suffers martyrdom, has always and must have some aspect of personal utility if it be only the satisfaction it brings to the mind of the hero or saint. Every action is in the first instance a response to an individual desire, for it is always an individual who fulfils it, and the judgment of the universal value of the action is always, and of necessity, the judgment of that individual. The important fact is that the useful action may either remain merely personal or may progress to an action which is universal at the same time that it is personal, moral at the same time that it is useful, and this ethical useful action is a new spiritual category.
  • Religion in general and Christianity in particular are as destructive of morality as of science. Christianity does not exact perfection, but a pathological sanctity; it is anti-social, anti-human; it stifles man's aspirations, arrests his movements, falsifies his mind and conscience, condemns his will. Animals are instinctively moral, but man possesses a sentiment called the moral sense which distinguishes him from the rest of nature. Man does not owe his morality to revelation and dogma, and the passing of dogma will not disturb morality. The old beliefs have crumbled, but morality pure and independent lives in all its grandeur and all its power. Morality should allow free scope for individual development. "All that which is truly individual possesses at the same time a universal value." Morality is not a system to be imposed on man from without; it is free, independent, evolutive. Conscience and reason are the all sufficient moral guides for every man.
    • F. C. French, "Croyance religieuse et croyance intellectuelle. Ossip-Lourié. Paris: Félix Alcan. 1908. Pp. 175" The Journal of Philosophy (January-December, 1908) Vol. 5
  • With a psychological insight as remarkable in Emerson as it is rare, he tells how this morality dependent upon freedom is produced. "But insight is not will, nor is affection will... There must be a fusion of these two to generate the energy of will" (VI, 33). I might well have paused over the metaphysical and psychological significance of this sentence; but I have chosen to give it only its ethical bearing, since it is not an integral part of Emerson's Transcendentalism.
    Of the origin of conscience, Emerson has therefore this account to offer: "I see the unity of thought and of morals running through all animated nature; there is no difference of quality, but only of more and less. ...The man down in nature occupies himself in guarding, in feeding, in warming and multiplying his body, and, as long as he knows no more, we justify him; but presently a mystic change is wrought, a new perception opens, and he is made a citizen of the world of souls; he feels what is called duty; he is aware that he owes a higher allegiance to do and live as a good member of this universe. In the measure in which he has this sense he is a man, rises to the universal life. The high intellect is absolutely at one with moral nature" (X, I78).
    From this account of the origin of the virtues, their classification becomes an easy matter. "There is no virtue which is final" (II, 295). "The same law of eternal procession ranges all that we call the virtues, and extinguishes each in the light of a better" (II, 293). There is, then, a hierarchy in the virtues, the lower and simpler, of course, being the earliest produced. We pass from the individual virtue of physical courage, which is the mere "affection" of love joined with the "insight" of its universal value in opposition to and triumph over the self-conserving instinct of fear; to the personal virtues of chastity and temperance, by which we improve our own natures and make them more effective to universal ends at the expense of and triumph over our natural appetites and inclinations; to the third and final type of virtue, exemplified in justice and love, which are the public virtues, and show the active operation of virtue where it exists at its fullest—in our relation to others. The public virtue, justice, will of course have its own stages of development in the history of civilization. "The civil history of men might be traced by the successive ameliorations as marked in higher moral generalizations;—virtue meaning physical courage, then chastity and temperance, then justice and love;—bargains of kings with peoples of certain rights to certain classes, then of rights to masses,—then at last came the day when, as historians rightly tell, the nerves of the world were electrified by the proclamation that all men are born free and equal" (X, 181).
    • Henry David Gray, "Emerson: A Statement of New England Transcendentalism as Expressed in the Philosophy of its Chief Exponent" (1917) in Publications: University series (1917) Vol. 28-32, Stanford University
  • Every inspirational leader defines and, most importantly, lives by the values he holds dearest. It is in our nature to live by universal values, and generally speaking, we try and uphold them.
    • Iván Mancillas, El Serviazgo As I’ve Experienced It (2014)
  • It will be seen by the discriminating that Nietzsche in... bidding his renaissant aristocrats to ignore morality in favour of their own individual needs was, in reality, allotting them a difficult task, and one that from the moral point of view is often commended. Yet the distinction must be insisted upon that an individually determined adjustment of means to ends is contrary to the very spirit of popular morality, however externally it may appear to be high morality. For the aristocrat in determining his own mode of life specifically repudiates any universal value in it. He not only does not accept the common mode of life, but he has no desire to make his own mode common. That, in fact, is the distinction between the aristocrat and the demagogue turned tyrant. The mark of the plebeian raised to power is that he desires his values to become universal. He desires all men to say, do, think and feel as he says, does, thinks and feels. But the true aristocrat desires that all men shall be like himself free, self-ruling, self-choosing. But this reticence and self-denial are also difficult to maintain in the face of popular sophistry. Nietzsche, however, makes it clear that war against popular sophistry is the normal condition of the aristocrat. To develop individual power there is needed a long purpose and a great resistance; and what resistance can be greater than that offered by the multitude? Hence, in one sense, the multitude with their gods are indispensable to the creation of the powerful man. As a sort of battlefield and place of exercise, the populace serve the needs of the aristocrat.
  • In reviewing the several levels of life which morality defines, we may observe two types of universal value. The lower values in relation to the higher are indispensable. There is no health without satisfaction, no achievement without health, no rational intercourse without achievement, and no true religion except as the perfecting and completing of a rational society. The higher values, on the other hand, are more universal than the lower in that they surpass these in validity, and are entitled to preference. Thus the lower values are ennobled by the higher, while the higher are given body and meaning by the lower. Satisfaction derives dignity from being controlled by the motive of good-will, while the moral kingdom at large derives its wealth, its pertinence to life, and its incentive, from the great manifold of particular interests which it conserves and fosters.
  • The mere economic action, the satisfaction of our immediate pleasure, though it satisfies us in relation to our individual end, yet it leaves constantly unsatisfied that which we are beside and beyond our individual determinations, our deepest and truest being. And this dissatisfaction will last until we succeed in lifting ourselves above the infinite succession of individual ends, and in inserting in them a universal value. This passage or conversion from the purely economic to the ethic, from pleasure to duty, is designed by Croce as the conquest of that peace which is not of a fabulous future, but of the present and real: in every instant is eternity, to him who knows how to reach it. Our actions will be always new, because always new problems are put before us by the course of reality; but in them, if we accomplish them with a pure heart, seeking in them what lifts them above themselves, we shall each time possess the Whole. Such is the character of the moral action...
  • If we are content to accept that it is in Universal Value... that all values meet, that the Universe is one, and that goodness, beauty, and truth, are but aspects of it... then we may begin to understand how it is that in a world of all sorts, all sorts and conditions of men may, if they will but gaze outwards from themselves, see Value in the infinite from the side of the finite, and be strengthened thereby in their own finite lives. It is in that sense that the one Value which before we called by the name "good" may appear to ten thousand men in ten thousand different ways, though mainly by the great avenues, Goodness, Beauty and Truth.
  • Mathematics and ethics have this much in common, if they claim to be sciences they must be based on pure concepts. Experience and history are further from representing the laws of ethics than nature is from the accurate realisation of mathematical ideas; but these laws and ideas are rational forms equally necessary, the one to be the rule of the senses, and the other to guide and form a judgment on life.
  • There are national pursuits which are thought by the nation itself to be of universal significance, which, nevertheless, have no international value. Only what is of universal value can affect the cause of universal history. What seems great, and even of eternal moment at home, may seem contemptibly small and despicably selfish when viewed from a foreign shore. A people may be so absorbed by its own petty world that the world deems that people so little as to be unworthy of notice.
    • J. H. W. Stuckenberg, "Signs of the Times," The Homiletic Review (January-June, 1890) Vol. 19 ed. Isaac K Funk, J. M. Sherwood
  • There are rules of conduct higher than caprice or individual interest. Each man has a knowledge of these rules, and it is sufficient for him to conform himself thereto. He is convinced that so to conform himself, even if it be the cause of serious evils to him, is his duty, and, all considered, is the best he can do.
    ...There is only one means of freeing ourselves from the difficulties indicated, and that is to render our knowledge of the rules explicit, complete, rationally connected and ordered, i.e. to reduce the chaotic aggregate of rules to a system, to make a science of it—Moral Science.

Politics & Law[edit]

  • Universal values are... more acutely needed, in this age of globalization, than ever before. ...In the Universal Declaration, we proclaimed that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”. ...in the Millennium Declaration, all States reaffirmed certain fundamental values... freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature, and shared responsibility. They adopted practical, achievable targets–-the Millennium Development Goals –- for relieving the blight of extreme poverty and making such rights as education, basic health care and clean water a reality for all. We have seen what disastrous consequences... particularist value systems can have: ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism, and the spread of fear, hatred and discrimination. ...this is a time to reassert our universal values. ...we must not allow ...a “clash of civilisations”, in which millions of flesh-and-blood human beings fall victim to a battle between two abstractions –- “Islam” and “the West” –- as if Islamic and Western values were incompatible. ...the validity of universal values does not depend on their being universally obeyed or applied. Ethical codes are always the expression of an ideal and an aspiration, a standard by which moral failings can be judged rather than a prescription for ensuring that they never occur. ...We need to be able to say that certain actions and beliefs... should be rejected by all humanity. ...The function of universal values is not to eliminate all... differences, but rather to help us manage them with mutual respect, and without resorting to mutual destruction. ...traditions survive best, not when they are rigid and immutable, but when they are living and open to new ideas, from within and from without. ...We need to do everything we can to improve the United Nations... to make it more useful to the world’s peoples... and more exemplary in applying the universal values that all its members claim to accept. ...we need to be more effective ...especially in what we do to promote and protect human rights. ...Do we still have universal values? Yes... They need to be carefully thought through. They need to be defended. They need to be strengthened. And we need to find within ourselves the will to live by the values we proclaim –- in our private lives, in our local and national societies, and in the world.
    • Kofi Annan, “Do We Still Have Universal Values?” (Dec 12, 2003) lecture at Tübingen University, Germany
  • Universal values are the values of the people of the world. Hence they should not be confused with imperial values or Western values. The state of diversity recognizes the uniqueness of communities, warning against unnecessary standardization of global life. The state of conflict arises when community practices violate universal values.
    • L. Ali Khan, A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History (2003)
  • The state of consensus is the unanimity of views... regarding the existence and validity of a specific value. Prohibition against genocide, for example, is absolute. ...Absolute unanimity is often an unattainable strict standard... Universal Democracy acknowledges the difficulty of achieving absolute unanimity... Instead, it adopts a more realistic standard. ...Under the extensive consensus standard, no one continent, civilization or legal tradition will be able to successfully claim that its values are universal. And yet no one nation, by withholding its participation or consent, will be able to veto the emergence of a universal value. Even a few nations scattered across the globe cannot...
    • L. Ali Khan, A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History (2003)
  • Despite dissent [such as from the United States] a universal value has come into being, that an International Criminal Court should be established to prosecute and punish the most serious crimes defined in the Rome Statute.
    • L. Ali Khan, A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History (2003)
  • Universal values are created by means of contract. Treaties and customs [are] the two major sources of universal values. ...flexibility allows nations to modify or even repeal universal values. ...Peremptory norms of general international law, also known as jus cogens, share the attributes of "permanent" universal values. ...Universal Democracy does not embrace the notion that all universal values are timeless. ...even a peremptory norm can be modified.
    • L. Ali Khan, A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History (2003)
  • Values contained in a universal treaty are universal values, since no value is placed in a universal treaty if too many nations dispute its legitimacy.
    • L. Ali Khan, A Theory of Universal Democracy: Beyond the End of History (2003)
  • The opposition 'Islam versus the West' appears less relevant if one refers to the other Third World 'cultural areas', which tend to agree with the Muslim countries in their critiques of Western cultural and political encroachments. By identifying democracy with Western culture and reproducing the clash-of-civilizations paradigm, many non-Western regimes of course want to delegitimise democracy as a universal concept. They love Huntington's statement that 'claims that Western values are universally relevant are false, immoral and dangerous'. By contrast, many US 'universalists' firmly believe that democracy is a universal value...
    • Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah (2006) Ref: Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996)
  • President George W. Bush viewed freedom as a universal value, with religious freedom as the preeminent characteristic of free, robust societies. With this assumption, he viewed the post-9/11 conflict with the Taliban and al-Qaeda as a battle over freedom. He believed that repressed Iraqis and Afghans would welcome the U.S. military as liberators bringing greater freedom, to include freedom of religion. President Bush's assumptions were only partially validated. Part of the problem was the dissonance between a Western concept of freedom to choose and worship God over against an Islamic concept to submit to God. Bush's construct of Religion as Freedom did not offer the optimal framework.
  • To win the war against terrorism and help shape a more peaceful world, we must speak to the hundreds of millions of moderate and tolerant people in the Muslim world... who aspire to enjoy the blessings of freedom and democracy and free enterprise. These values are sometimes described as 'Western values,' but, in fact, we see them in Asia and elsewhere because they are universal values borne of a common human aspiration.
    • Paul Wolfowitz, "The Gathering Storm: The Threat of Global Terror and Asia/Pacific Security" (June, 2002) International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) speech for Asia Security Conference: The Shangri-La Dialogue


  • Respect for the values of discrete cultures cannot and should not be equated with the identity politics of self-exclusion that leads to a conflict in the context of the politicization of civilizational worldviews. Ideologies of religious fundamentalism, such as political Islam, undermine cross-cultural bridging. A quest for a convergence of values is an alternative to conflict. In arguing for an education in democracy, I state the conflict and outline a solution for it. Clearly, if the traditional Islamic education were to prevail in the service of an Islamic revolt against the West... then there could be no scenario for cross-cultural bridging. The "revolt" against the West debate, and the collective memories revived with such a claim are in contrast to universal value systems and are not beneficial for the promotion of democracy, human rights and civil society. My fellow reform Muslim Abdullahi An-Na'im and I have engaged in projects establishing cross-cultural foundations for universal values and in reasoning about shari'a reforms. At issue is democratic value-change to overcome exclusive self-assertion through establishing cross-cultural, universally minded standards of cultural change. At issue also is dealing with the gap between the globalization of structures and the universalization of values, creating a simultaneity of the unsimultaneous that determines our age.
    • Bassam Tibi, Political Islam, World Politics and Europe: From Jihadist to Institutional Islamism (2014)
  • The first of the universal factors, the purpose of teaching, has been considered to convince the teacher that in every lesson he should be conscious of the value of the experience produced in terms of the spiritual development of the child; that, for instance, in teaching a lesson in geography, the universal spiritual value of the lesson to the child should be the conscious guide in all that the teacher does; and that thus the utilitarian value of the subject will be more fully realized than if directly sought. In fact, the industrial end can furnish no guidance in the actual process of teaching. The universal value which the teacher is to feel, and by which he is to be guided, is in the experience produced, and not in something external and remote in time and application. The value is imminent in the experience itself; and is here and now and always to the pupil.

Culture & Religion[edit]

  • I challenge the multiculturalist attack on personal autonomy as a universal ideal. This attack is often based on forms of cultural relativism. In opposition to relativism, I propose value pluralism—a view associated in particular with Isaiah Berlin—a more satisfactory ethical starting point; one that balances recognition of legitimate cultural diversity with the possibility of intercultural criticism. However, Berlinian pluralism, too, has been used recently as a platform for the multiculturalist attack on personal autonomy in the work of John Gray, Bhikhu Parekh and William Galston. ...this tendency rests on a misunderstanding. ...Berlinian pluralism is primarily about the plurality of goods, not cultures. ...Far from undermining personal autonomy as a universal value, Berlinian value pluralism generates a distinctive argument in its favour. ...cultural relativism holds that cultures are indefeasible moral authorities.
    • George Crowder, "Pluralism and Universalism," Islam Beyond Conflict: Indonesian Islam and Western Political Theory (2008) ed., Azyumardi Azra, Wayne Hudson
  • Cultural and civilizational diversity challenges the Western and particularly American belief in the universal relevance of Western culture. This belief is expressed both descriptively and normatively. Descriptively it holds that people in all societies want to adopt Western values, institutions, and practices. If they seem not to have that desire and to be committed to their own traditional cultures, they are victims of "false consciousness" comparable to that which Marxists found among proletarians who supported capitalism. Normatively the Western universalist belief posits that people throughout the world should embrace Western values, institutions, and culture because they embody the highest, most enlightened, most liberal, most modern, and most civilized thinking of humankind.
    In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous.
  • Rationally there is no means of showing that Religion is not pure illusion; for it does not enter into the intellectual life of the subject. The only demonstration that one can give of its universal value is to show that it alone responds to the aspirations and needs of the moral spirit, and that the pretension of man to raise himself above nature, although rendered legitimate by morality, can be satisfied only by Religion.
  • Universal Values: ...The spirit and teaching of Jesus is ...an exposition of the purposes of His Father in Heaven. They involve a reversal of many of the world's estimates by emphasizing the infinite value of each human soul, the superiority of personal character to anything that a man may own, the greatness of power to serve as contrasted to the power to rule, the supremecy of the law of love. These reversals of standards are challenges to every age. ...Jesus accepted in His own acts the validity of all these estimates. ...Nor did he hesitate to call upon His own nation to abandon the dreams of centuries, because they were contrary to the better purposes of God.
    ...All of this must give pause. The perennial question is, What is the will of God? No scholastic reply will suffice. It is the most practical of all questions, for we must also ask: Are our actions in line with the eternal plan, or are we opposing our narrow human purposes to the rolling destiny of creation?
  • The true purpose of Shari'a, or divine law, can be found in one of the principle purposes of the message of Islam—namely, to set forth a universal value system for interaction among humans and, in that context, to replace brutal and reprehensible tribal laws and customs founded on the tribal bond with new, wider-ranging principles of justice, equity, and compassion founded on the bond of Islam.
    The Holy Qur'an sets forth, unequivocally, the true meaning and purpose of the Shari'a in Verses Q4:26 to 28.
    Allah wants to make clear to you [the lawful from the unlawful] and guide you to the [good] practices of those before you and to accept your repentance. And Allah is knowing and wise (26). Allah wants to accept your repentance, but those who follow [their] passions want you to digress [into] a great deviation (27). And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak (28).
    • Maher Mahmassani, Islam in Retrospect: Recovering the Message (2014)
  • It is good that the great tradition of Islam can add its contribution to the richness of American life.
    To the extent that the Muslims of America exemplify in their lives the Islamic ideals which you have stated here, of the supreme worth and dignity of every human being, brotherhood and love among all mankind, and the absolute equality of all persons before God, you will be strengthening in the American culture qualities that are greatly needed here, as they are in all the world.
    ...I have been going among my own religious fellowship... the Quakers, to suggest an outlook and a policy of action which, I believe, would help in the achievement of the ideals which you have embodied in the preamble to your constitution. It is because I believe that the attitudes and the actions I have suggested to my own religious fellowship are of universal value that I accepted the invitation of your representative to attend this meeting. ...
    With the great present-day movements and interrelations of mankind, isolation of faiths is no longer possible. Yet it still is true that the conviction of having the one true faith is inherently and inevitably among the chief causes of strife and of war.
    Christians, Muslims, Hindus alike, say, and really believe, that they want peace. There is something we can do about it. We can face the fact that there is no one and only true faith. The religions of men have been born in sincere efforts to find truth and value. That tradition of searching for the true and the good is the most priceless inheritance of mankind.
    But that search has been carried on by fallible men. Each faith has in it something that is true, and something that falls short of truth. If men of every faith can see themselves and their faiths as searching for the good and the true, if they can recognize their fallibility and can respect the sincerity and value of other faiths, then one kind of barrier between men will begin to crumble, and the brotherhood of man can be a greater reality.
    ...The truth we can know is larger than it used to be. ...the world as a whole will never be Christian or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu. ...If we can see other faiths and our own as sincere though fallible searchings for the truth, if we can respect each other's faiths, and learn from them as well as from our own, then not only will world brotherhood grow, but a larger and more universal pattern of truth and goodness will begin to emerge.
    • Arthur E. Morgan, "The Only True Faith?" (1954) delivered at a meeting of the Federation of Islamic Associations of the United States and Canada, New Outlook (January, 1954) Vol. 7, No. 1
  • It is fair to conclude that religion is universal in two senses. On the one hand it springs from a universal need. On the other hand, it possesses a universal value, and cannot fail, however much of error or blindness there may be in it, to elevate and dignify life. True religion is better than false, but it is not less certain that religion is better than irreligion.
  • Just as Hillel's actions were not based (even in theory) on any reasoned ethical system, so his moral teaching did not take the form of a systematic treatise, but was expressed in aphorisms, which were, no doubt, occasioned by particular circumstances, but have none the less a universal value. This value, indeed, is not for the doubter, who must needs either find a rational basis for morality, or discard it. They appeal to those who accept, as Hillel accepted, the fundamental postulates of Judaism; and their claim to universality rests, therefore, on the extent to which those postulates are in accord with the root facts of human nature. They are interpretative, not speculative. The moral sayings of Hillel recorded in the Talmud are few in number, but they embody with sufficient fulness the point of view which was expressed no less fully in his conduct. They are contained almost exclusively in the first two chapters of the "Ethics of the Fathers."


  • Money does not derive its value from the stamp of the government. Gold and silver were valuable before they were coined into money. It was their value, their universal value, a value less changeable than that of other articles of trade, which induced governments to coin them. They had value in every trading country, and in part of it, and their beauty made them precious, even with the barbarian and the savage. They were and are still a species of Universal Merchandize. Coining is measuring them. It facilitates trade in them, but does not their value otherwise than by increasing the for them.
  • It is this universal value which utterly unfits gold for an internal money. Our currency must not be "concerned in foreign commerce," for foreign commerce is barter—manufactured articles in exchange for raw material,—and even if gold enters into the transaction, it is as a commodity, and not as a money, for our mint coinage is not recognised by the foreigner.
    The very first essential of a money is, that it shall have no value in the eyes of other nations, for its prime object is, that it shall remain at home, to fructify trade, facilitate exchanges, furnish the till and the purse, pay wages and housekeeping expenses, and, finally, to give the subject the wherewithal to pay the taxes the State and the Municipality demand of him.
  • I maintain that Congress is bound to take care, by some proper means, to secure a good currency for the people; and that, while this duty remains unperformed, one great object of the Constitution is not attained. If we are to have as many different currencies as there are States, and these currencies are to be liable to perpetual fluctuation, it would be folly to say that we had reached that security and uniformity in commercial regulations, which we know it was the purpose of the Constitution to establish.
    The banks may all of them resume to-morrow—I hope they will; but how much will this resumption accomplish? It will doubtless afford good local currencies; but will it give the country any proper and safe paper currency, of equal and universal value? Certainly it cannot, and will not. Will it bring back, for any length of time, exchanges to the state they were in, where there was a National currency in existence? ...it will not. We may heap gold bags upon gold bags, we may create what securities, in the constitution of local banks, we please, but we cannot give to any such bank a character that shall insure the receipt of its notes, with equal readiness, everywhere throughout the valley of the Mississippi, and from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the St. Lawrence. Nothing can accomplish this, but an institution which is National in its character. The people desire to see, in their currency, the marks of this nationality. They like to see the spread eagle, and where they see that, they have confidence.
    • Daniel Webster, A Discourse, Delivered at Plymouth, December 22, 1820: In Commemoration of the First Settlement of New-England Vol. 45, Issue 4 (1821)


  • The common but erroneous belief is that military discipline only has a military value. The fallacy of this belief was strikingly demonstrated a short time since when the steamer Plymouth was run down by the City of Taunton. Seventy-five soldiers [Marines] were on board the Plymouth and they were the heroes of the accident. They behaved splendidly and rendered valuable assistance in preventing the loss of life. It is not however as an exhibition of the courage of individuals that the performance of the soldiers appeals to the reflecting mind. These men responded not to any daring impulse of the occasion, but to the prompting of what has become a constant, every-moment factor in their lives—the habit of discipline. The Plymouth incident, then, so far as the soldiers are concerned becomes one of the many illustrations of the universal value of that habit.
    Courage is a quality that makes men ready to do any dare. Discipline imparts unity, method and strength to the doing and daring. In such an emergency as that on the Plymouth not the least of the strength lies in the example of coolness and precision set by the disciplined.


  • The true artist... is never satisfied to merely reproduce his own impressions, or even his liveliest fancies; he will use them; but they will be recreated, purged of their dross, and reproduced in a form adequate to the revelation of his idea of the perfection of beauty. In so doing, he will be loyal to nature and truth; for that also is a law of art; he will also obey the imperious technical laws of form; yet the highest worth of his work will be derived from the ideal which he impresses on the finished product.
    It is this principle... which underlies the long controversy between the three leading 'isms of art—impressionism, realism (or naturalism), and idealism. In the somewhat tedious dispute between the representatives of these theories the fact has often been obscured that they are only three different ways of interpreting the final purpose of art, its universal value, its perfection. ...each contains an essential element of the whole truth; though when taken by itself each is an exaggeration.
  • Some masterpieces will ever have a universal meaning for all mankind. The European can find keen pleasure in Japanese art, and Shakespeare's plays have long been translated into Chinese and acted in China.
    Yet if art can transcend space, can it also transcend time? The modes of art vary from age to age no less than the modes of human thought.
  • An ideal founded wholly on worldly ambitions and passions necessarily partakes of their transitory, material nature, and is devoted to presenting them in every possible variety as the ultimate of human desire. Its forms may be legitimate and wholesome. They are apt to be selfish, sensual, or foolish; but the moment human aspirations rise above a mundane level into an ideal atmosphere of the godlike, be it of Olympus or Paradise, it lifts Art bodily into a more elevated sphere. However greatly the virtue of Pagan may differ from the virtue of Christian Art proper, both seek to exalt humanity by presenting to it examples of an ideal perfection, and eliminating whatever corrupts and makes a lie. We may have an agreeable Art speaking to the sensations, or an intellectual one to the mind, on the plane of the ideal; but no Art can be profoundly great, beautiful, and good, unless its aspirations are stimulated by hopes and visions that have not their exact counterpart and fruition in our earthly being. In its largest sense, religion is that state of the soul which ardently craves ideal goodness, beauty, and felicity. Art that ignores it has no permanent, universal value.


  • The commercial part should be non-technical, and be a clear statement of the results of the year, in so far as they may be of value to the farmer, gardener, stock-raiser, etc. The scientific part should state with equal clearness and brevity the facts and deductions of permanent and universal value, and point out their relation to what has been previously established. Some such plan of making the material of these reports more available would add to the good reputation of the institutions and to their usefulness.
    • John Merle Coulter, M.S. Coulter, Charles Reid Barnes, Joseph Charles Arthur, ed., The Botanical Gazette (1886) Vol. 1-11
  • No doubt every scientific application assumes certain philosophic postulates which criticism has readily discovered: for instance, that there are laws of nature; that the principle of causality is of universal value, and of necessary application to phenomena, etc. This is used to prove—poor victory—that every philosopher and moralist alike does the same without hesitation, so that neither science nor ethics is independent of philosophic criticism.

Data Management[edit]

  • The authors define a data type (following Scott's work) as "a set of operations specifying an interpretation of values of a universal value space." These data types are themselves elements of a universal domain. Variables are not considered. Data types are treated as arguments to procedures, functions, and data types.
    • Michael L. Brodie, Data Abstraction, Databases, and Conceptual Modelling: An Annotated Bibliography (1980) Issues 500-559, Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards

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