We are like ignorant shepherds living on a site where great civilizations once flourished. The shepherds play with the fragments that pop up to the surface, having no notion of the beautiful structures of which they were once a part.
The liberally educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers, not because he is obstinate but because he knows others worthy of consideration.
Only Socrates knew, after a lifetime of unceasing labor, that he was ignorant. Now every high-school student knows that. How did it become so easy?
The real community of man . . . is the community of those who seek the truth, of the potential knowers.
Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise . . . specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.
The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency--the belief that the here and now is all there is.
Reason transformed into prejudice is the worst form of prejudice, because reason is the only instrument for liberation from prejudice.
As soon as tradition has come to be recognized as tradition, it is dead.
The spirit is at home, if not entirely satisfied, in America.