Henry Adams citáty

Henry Adams foto
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Henry Adams

Datum narození: 16. únor 1838
Datum úmrtí: 27. březen 1918
Další jména: 亨利·亞當斯, Henry Brooks Adams

Reklama

Henry Adams byl americký spisovatel-romanopisec, historik, esejista a tvůrce vícerých životopisných děl.

Narodil se ve významné americké rodině Adamsových, která byla známa díky své politické angažovanosti. Jeho praděd John Adams byl 2. prezidentem USA, jeho děd byl John Quincy Adams, což byl 6. prezident USA. Místo toho, aby využil rodinné konexe a vliv, začal se věnovat literatuře.

Působil jako profesor evropských a amerických dějin na Harvardově univerzitě v letech 1870–1877, přispíval do North American Revue. Později se věnoval cestování, literatuře a vědě. Ve svých dílech se kriticky zamýšlel nad současným světem a nad jeho budoucím vývojem. Jeho díla přinášejí svědectví o změně amerického smýšlení, které se od náboženského základu přesouvá ke konfrontaci s novými společenskými problémy. Pro mnohé studie se stal literárním vzorem a zdrojem.

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Citáty Henry Adams

„Morálka je soukromý a nákladný luxus.“

—  Henry Adams
(en) Morality is a private and costly luxury. Source: [Adams, Henry, 1961, The Education of Henry Adams, Forgotten Books, 271, angličtina]

Reklama

„This mental inertia of science lasted through the eighties before showing signs of breaking up; and nothing short of radium fairly wakened men to the fact, long since evident, that force was inexhaustible.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Fifty years ago, science took for granted that the rate of acceleration could not last. The world forgets quickly, but even today the habit remains of founding statistics on the faith that consumption will continue nearly stationary. Two generations, with John Stuart Mill, talked of this stationary period, which was to follow the explosion of new power. All the men who were elderly in the forties died in this faith, and other men grew old nursing the same conviction, and happy in it; while science, for fifty years, permitted, or encouraged, society to think that force would prove to be limited in supply. This mental inertia of science lasted through the eighties before showing signs of breaking up; and nothing short of radium fairly wakened men to the fact, long since evident, that force was inexhaustible.

„Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore the ideally free individual is responsible only to himself.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: No one ever seriously affirmed the literal freedom of will. Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore the ideally free individual is responsible only to himself. This principle is the philosophical foundation of anarchism, and, for anything that science has yet proved, may be the philosophical foundation of the Universe; but it is fatal to all society and is especially hostile to the State. Perhaps the Church of the thirteenth century might have found a way to use even this principle for a good purpose; certainly the influence of Saint Bernard was sufficiently unsocial and that of Saint Francis was sufficiently unselfish to conciliate even anarchists of the militant class.

„Creation was not successive; it was one instantaneous thought and act, identical with the will, and was complete and unchangeabble from end to end, including time as one of its functions.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Creation was not successive; it was one instantaneous thought and act, identical with the will, and was complete and unchangeabble from end to end, including time as one of its functions. Thomas was as clear as possible on that point:— "Supposing God wills anything in effect, he cannot will not to will it, because his will cannot change." He wills that some things shall be contingent and others necessary, but he wills in the same act that the contingency shall be necessary. "They are contingent because God has willed them to be so, and with this object has subjected them to causes which are so." In the same way he wills that his creation shall develop itself in time and space and sequence, but he creates these conditions as well as the events. He creates the whole, in one act, complete, unchangeable, and it is then unfolded like a rolling panorama with its predetermined contingencies.Man's free choice — liberum arbitrium — falls easily into place as a predetermined contingency. God is the First Cause, and acts in all Secondary Causes directly; but while he acts mechanically on the rest of creation,— as far as is known,— he acts freely at one point, and this free action remains free as far as it extends on that line. Man's freedom derives from this source, but it is simply apparent, as far as he is a cause; it is a [... ] Reflex Action of the complicated mirror [... ] called Mind, and [... ] an illusion arising from the extreme delicacy of the machine.

„The effort is as evident and quite as laborious in modern science, starting as it does from multiplicity, as in Thomas Aquinas who started from unity, and it is necessarily less successful, for its true aims as far as it is Science and not disguised Religion, were equally attained by reaching infinite complexity; but the assertion or assumption of ultimate unity has characterised the Law of Energy as emphatically as it has characterised the definition of God in Theology. If it is a reproach to Saint Thomas, it is equally a reproach to Clerk-Maxwell. In truth it is what most men admire in both — the power of broad and lofty generalisation.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: ... the quality that arouses most surprise in Thomism is its astonishingly scientific method. [... ] Avowedly science has aimed at nothing but the reduction of multiplicity to unity, and has excommunicated, as though it were itself a Church, anyone who doubted or disputed its object, its method, or its results. The effort is as evident and quite as laborious in modern science, starting as it does from multiplicity, as in Thomas Aquinas who started from unity, and it is necessarily less successful, for its true aims as far as it is Science and not disguised Religion, were equally attained by reaching infinite complexity; but the assertion or assumption of ultimate unity has characterised the Law of Energy as emphatically as it has characterised the definition of God in Theology. If it is a reproach to Saint Thomas, it is equally a reproach to Clerk-Maxwell. In truth it is what most men admire in both — the power of broad and lofty generalisation.

„Perhaps some day — say 1938, their centenary — they might be allowed to return together for a holiday, to see the mistakes of their own lives made clear in the light of the mistakes of their successors; and perhaps then, for the first time since man began his education among the carnivores, they would find a world that sensitive and timid natures could regard without a shudder.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: It was time to go. The three friends had begun life together; and the last of the three had no motive — no attraction — to carry it on after the others had gone. Education had ended for all three, and only beyond some remoter horizon could its values be fixed or renewed. Perhaps some day — say 1938, their centenary — they might be allowed to return together for a holiday, to see the mistakes of their own lives made clear in the light of the mistakes of their successors; and perhaps then, for the first time since man began his education among the carnivores, they would find a world that sensitive and timid natures could regard without a shudder. The closing lines of the book.

„So little egoistic he was that none of his friends felt envy of his extraordinary superiority, but rather grovelled before it, so that women were jealous of the power he had over men; but women were many and Kings were one. The men worshipped not so much their friend, as the ideal American they all wanted to be.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: p>Whatever prize he wanted lay ready for him — scientific social, literary, political — and he knew how to take them in turn. With ordinary luck he would die at eighty the richest and most many-sided genius of his day.So little egoistic he was that none of his friends felt envy of his extraordinary superiority, but rather grovelled before it, so that women were jealous of the power he had over men; but women were many and Kings were one. The men worshipped not so much their friend, as the ideal American they all wanted to be.</p

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„With the help of these two points of relation, he hoped to project his lines forward and backward indefinitely, subject to correction from any one who should know better. Thereupon, he sailed for home.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Any schoolboy could see that man as a force must be measured by motion, from a fixed point. Psychology helped here by suggesting a unit — the point of history when man held the highest idea of himself as a unit in a unified universe. Eight or ten years of study had led Adams to think he might use the century 1150-1250, expressed in Amiens Cathedral and the Works of Thomas Aquinas, as the unit from which he might measure motion down to his own time, without assuming anything as true or untrue, except relation. The movement might be studied at once in philosophy and mechanics. Setting himself to the task, he began a volume which he mentally knew as "Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres: a Study of Thirteenth-Century Unity." From that point he proposed to fix a position for himself, which he could label: "The Education of Henry Adams: a Study of Twentieth-Century Multiplicity." With the help of these two points of relation, he hoped to project his lines forward and backward indefinitely, subject to correction from any one who should know better. Thereupon, he sailed for home. On the genesis of two of his historical and autobiographical works.

„Mankind could not admit an anarchical,— a dual or multiple — universe. The world was there, staring them in the face, with all its chaotic conditions, and society insisted on its Unity in self-defence. Society still insists on treating it as Unity though no longer affecting logic.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Mankind could not admit an anarchical,— a dual or multiple — universe. The world was there, staring them in the face, with all its chaotic conditions, and society insisted on its Unity in self-defence. Society still insists on treating it as Unity though no longer affecting logic. Society insists on its free will, although free will has never been explained to the satisfaction of any but those who much wish to be satisfied, and although the words in any common sense implied not unity but duality in creation. The Church had nothing to do with inventing this riddle,— the oldest that fretted mankind. "Affecting": making a pretence of

„A period of about twelve years measured the beat of the pendulum.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: A period of about twelve years measured the beat of the pendulum. After the Declaration of Independence, twelve years had been needed to create an efficient Constitution; another twelve years of energy brought a reaction against the government then created; a third period of twelve years was ending in a sweep toward still greater energy; and already a child could calculate the result of a few more such returns. A History of the United States of America During the First Administration of James Madison (1890), Vol. II, Ch. VI: Meeting of the Twelfth Congress; 1921 edition, p. 123

„God, as Descartes justly said, we know! but what is man?“

—  Henry Adams
Context: God, as Descartes justly said, we know! but what is man? The schools answered:— Man is a rational animal! So was apparently a dog, or a bee, or a beaver, none of which seemed to need churches. Modern science, with infinite effort, has discovered and announced that man is a bewildering complex of energies, which helps little to explain his relations with the ultimate Substance or Energy or Prime Motor whose existence both Science and Schoolmen admit; which Science studies in laboratories and Religion worships in churches. The Man whom God created to fill his Church, must be an energy independent of God; otherwise God filled his own Church with his own energy.

„Man is an imperceptible atom always trying to become one with God.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: The art of this poetry of love and hope which marked the mystics, lay of course in the background of shadows which marked the cloister. "Inter Vania nihil vanius est homine." [Among vain things nothing is more vain than man. ] Man is an imperceptible atom always trying to become one with God. If ever modern science achieves a definition of Energy, possibly it may borrow the figure:— Energy is the inherent effort of every multiplicity to become unity. Adam's poetry was an expression of the effort to reach absorption through love, not through fear, but to do this thoroughly he had to make real to himself his own nothingness; most of all to annihilate pride, for the loftiest soul can comprehend that an atom — say, of hydrogen,— which is proud of its personality, will never merge in a molecule of water.

„One of these men was Clarence King on his way up to the camp. Adams fell into his arms. As with most friendships, it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: One of these men was Clarence King on his way up to the camp. Adams fell into his arms. As with most friendships, it was never a matter of growth or doubt. Friends are born in archaic horizons; they were shaped with the Pteraspis in Siluria; they have nothing to do with the accident of space. King had come up that day from Greeley in a light four-wheeled buggy, over a trail hardly fit for a commissariat mule, as Adams had reason to know since he went back in the buggy. In the cabin, luxury provided a room and one bed for guests. They shared the room and the bed, and talked till far towards dawn.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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