Henry Adams citáty

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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

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„Science affirmed that choice was not free,— could not be free,— without abandoning the unity of force and the foundation of law. Society insisted that its choice must be left free, whatever became of science or unity.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Experience proved that man's power of choice in action was very far from absolute, and logic seemed to require that every choice should have some predetermining cause which decided the will to act. Science affirmed that choice was not free,— could not be free,— without abandoning the unity of force and the foundation of law. Society insisted that its choice must be left free, whatever became of science or unity. Saint Thomas was required to illustrate the theory of liberum arbitrium by choosing a path through these difficulies, where path there was obviously none.

„Most persons of a deeply religious nature would tell you emphatically that nine churches out of ten actually were dead-born, after the thirteenth century, and that church architecture became a pure matter of mechanism or mathematics“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Every day, as the work went on, the Virgin was present, directing the architects, and it is this direction that we are going to study, if you have now got a realising sense of what it meant. Without this sense, the church is dead. Most persons of a deeply religious nature would tell you emphatically that nine churches out of ten actually were dead-born, after the thirteenth century, and that church architecture became a pure matter of mechanism or mathematics; but that is a question for you to decide when you come to it; and the pleasure consists not in seeing the death, but in feeling the life.

„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.

„The proper study of mankind is woman“

—  Henry Adams
Context: p>The twelfth and thirteenth centuries, studied in the pure light of political economy, are insane. The scientific mind is atrophied, and suffers under inherited cerebral weakness, when it comes in contact with the eternal woman,— Astarte, Isis, Demeter, Aphrodite, and the last and greatest deity of all, the Virgin. Very rarely one lingers, with a mild sympathy, such as suits the patient student of human error, willing to be interested in what he cannot understand. Still more rarely, owing to some revival of archaic instincts, he rediscovers the woman. This is perhaps the mark of the artist alone, and his solitary privilege. The rest of us cannot feel; we can only study. The proper study of mankind is woman, and, by common agreement since the time of Adam, it is the most complex and arduous. The study of Our Lady, as shown by the art of Chartres, leads directly back to Eve, and lays bare the whole subject of sex.If it were worthwhile to argue a paradox, one might maintain that nature regards the female as the essential, the male as the superfluity of her world.</p

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„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

„Among other general rules he laid down the paradox that, in the social disequilibrium between capital and labor, the logical outcome was not collectivism, but anarchism; and Henry made note of it for study.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Loving paradox, Brooks, with the advantages of ten years' study, had swept away much rubbish in the effort to build up a new line of thought for himself, but he found that no paradox compared with that of daily events. The facts were constantly outrunning his thoughts. The instability was greater than he calculated; the speed of acceleration passed bounds. Among other general rules he laid down the paradox that, in the social disequilibrium between capital and labor, the logical outcome was not collectivism, but anarchism; and Henry made note of it for study.

„Theist or atheist, monist or anarchist must all admit that society and science are equally interested with theology in deciding whether the Universe is one or many, a harmony or a discord.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: p>Where, then,— in what mysterious cave outside of creation — could Man, and his free-will, and his private world of responsibilities and duties, lie hidden? Unless Man was a free agent in a world of his own beyond constraint, the Church was a fraud, and it helped little to add that the State was another. If God was the sole and immediate cause and support of everything in his creation, God was also the cause of its defects, and could not,— being Justice and Goodness in essence,—hold Man responsible for his own omissions. Still less could the State or Church do it in his name.Whatever truth lies in the charge that the schools discussed futile questions by faulty methods, one cannot decently deny that in this case the question was practical and the method vital. Theist or atheist, monist or anarchist must all admit that society and science are equally interested with theology in deciding whether the Universe is one or many, a harmony or a discord. The Church and State asserted that it was a harmony, and that they were its representatives. They say so still. Their claim led to singular but unavoidable conclusions, with which society has struggled for seven hundred years, and is still struggling.</p

„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.

Reklama

„At the rate of progress since 1800, every American who lived into the year 2000 would know how to control unlimited power. He would think in complexities unimaginable to an earlier mind. He would deal with problems altogether beyond the range of earlier society. To him the nineteenth century would stand on the same plane with the fourth — equally childlike — and he would only wonder how both of them, knowing so little, and so weak in force, should have done so much.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: For this new creation, born since 1900, a historian asked no longer to be teacher or even friend; he asked only to be a pupil, and promised to be docile, for once, even though trodden under foot; for he could see that the new American — the child of incalculable coal-power, chemical power, electric power, and radiating energy, as well as of new forces yet undetermined — must be a sort of God compared with any former creation of nature. At the rate of progress since 1800, every American who lived into the year 2000 would know how to control unlimited power. He would think in complexities unimaginable to an earlier mind. He would deal with problems altogether beyond the range of earlier society. To him the nineteenth century would stand on the same plane with the fourth — equally childlike — and he would only wonder how both of them, knowing so little, and so weak in force, should have done so much.

„An economic civilisation troubles itself about the universe much as a hive of honey-bees troubles about the ocean, only as a region to be avoided. The hive of Saint Thomas sheltered God and Man, Mind and Matter, The Universe and the Atom, the One and the Multiple, within the walls of a harmonious home.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: Saint Thomas is still alive and overshadows as many schools as he ever did; at all events as many as the Church maintains. He has outlived Descartes and Leibnitz and a dozen other schools of philosophy more or less serious in their day. He has mostly outived Hume, Voltaire and the militant sceptics. His method is typical and classic; his sentences, when interpreted by the Church, seem, even to an untrained mind, intelligible and consistent; his Church Intellectual remains practically unchanged, and, like the Cathedral of Beauvais, erect although the storms of six or seven centuries have prostrated, over and over again, every other social or political or juristic shelter. Compared with it, all modern systems are complex and chaotic, crowded with self-contradictions, anomalies, impracticable functions and out-worn inheritances; but beyond all their practical shortcomings is their fragmentary character. An economic civilisation troubles itself about the universe much as a hive of honey-bees troubles about the ocean, only as a region to be avoided. The hive of Saint Thomas sheltered God and Man, Mind and Matter, The Universe and the Atom, the One and the Multiple, within the walls of a harmonious home.

„At the same time we had best try, as innocently as may be, to realise that no final judgement has yet been pronounced, either by the Church or by Society or by Science, on either or any of these points; and until mankind finally settles to a certainty where it means to go, or whether it means to go anywhere,— what its object is, or whether it has an object,— Saint Francis may still prove to have been its ultimate expression. In that case, his famous Chant,— the Cantico del Sole,— will be the last word of religion, as it was probably its first.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: The schoolmen saw their duty in one direction; Francis saw his in another; and [... ] the two paths seem to be the only roads that can exist, if man starts by taking for granted that there is an object to be reached at the end of his journey. The Church embracing all mankind, had no choice but to march with caution, seeking God by every possible means of intellect and study. Francis, acting only for himself, could throw caution aside and trust implicitly in God [.... ] He carried to its last point the mystical Union wth God, and its necessary consequence of contempt and hatred of human intellectual processes. Even Saint Bernard would have thought his ideas wanting in that mesure which the French mind so much prizes. At the same time we had best try, as innocently as may be, to realise that no final judgement has yet been pronounced, either by the Church or by Society or by Science, on either or any of these points; and until mankind finally settles to a certainty where it means to go, or whether it means to go anywhere,— what its object is, or whether it has an object,— Saint Francis may still prove to have been its ultimate expression. In that case, his famous Chant,— the Cantico del Sole,— will be the last word of religion, as it was probably its first.

„Every individual that has existed or shall exist was created by the same instantaneous act, for all time.“

—  Henry Adams
Context: In any case God's act was the union of Mind with Matter by the same act or will which created both. No intermediate cause or condition intervened; no secondary influence had anything whatever to do with the result. Time had nothing to do with it. Every individual that has existed or shall exist was created by the same instantaneous act, for all time. "When the question regards the universal agent who produces beings and time, we cannot consider him as acting now and before, according to the succession of time." God emanated time, force, matter, mind, as he might emanate gravitation, not as a part of his substance but as an energy of his will, and maintains them in their activity by the same act, not by a new one. Every individual is a part of the direct act, not a secondary outcome.

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