150+ Allan Bloom Quotes to Inspire You

Allan Bloom Quotes

“He argued that the spirit’s bow was being unbent and risked being permanently unstrung.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“There is no real education that does not respond to felt need; anything else acquired is trifling display.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“It may well be that a society’s greatest madness seems normal to itself.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Most writers in older lands despaired of being understood by those who had not lived their language.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“People sup together, play together, travel together, but they do not think together.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Contrary to what is commonly thought, without the book even the idea of the order of the whole is lost.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“One has to have the experience of really believing before one can have the thrill of liberation.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Without the great revelations, epics and philosophies as part of our natural vision, there is nothing to see out there, and eventually little left inside.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Government exists to protect the product of men’s labor, their property, and therewith life and liberty. The notion that man possesses inalienable natural rights, that they belong to him as an individual prior, both in time and in sanctity, to any civil society, and that civil societies exist for and acquire their legitimacy from ensuring those rights, is an invention of modern philosophy. Rights, like the other terms discussed in this chapter, are new in modernity, not a part of the common-sense language of politics or of classical political philosophy.” from “Closing of the American Mind” by Allan Bloom, Saul Bellow, Andrew Ferguson” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“No matter what conservatives may think, traditions had a beginning that was not traditional. They had a founder who was not a conservative or a traditionalist. The fundamental values informing that tradition were his creation.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Cultural relativism destroys both one’s own and the good.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Education is the movement from darkness to light” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Nietzsche said the newspaper had replaced the prayer in the life of the modern bourgeois, meaning that the busy, the cheap, the ephemeral, had usurped all that remained of the eternal in his daily life.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“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.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Education is the movement from darkness to light.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even specially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Error is indeed our enemy, but it alone points to the truth and therefore deserves our respectful treatment.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“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.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contradictory simulacra of community, is the community of those who seek the truth, of the potential knowers…of all men to the extent they desire to know. But in fact, this includes only a few, the true friends, as Plato was to Aristotle at the very moment they were disagreeing about the nature of the good…They were absolutely one soul as they looked at the problem. This, according to Plato, is the only real friendship, the only real common good. It is here that the contact people so desperately seek is to be found…This is the meaning of the riddle of the improbable philosopher-kings. They have a true community that is exemplary for all other communities.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The humanities are like the great old Paris Flea Market where, amidst masses of junk, people with a good eye found cast away treasures…They are like a refugee camp where all the geniuses driven out of their jobs and countries by unfriendly regimes are idling.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Commitment is a word invented in our abstract modernity to signify the absence of any real motives in the soul for moral dedication.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Our Nation, a great stage for the acting out of great thoughts, presents the classic confrontation between Locke’s views of the state of nature and Rousseau’s criticism of them… Nature is raw material, worthless without the mixture of human labor; yet nature is also the highest and most sacred thing. The same people who struggle to save the snail-darter bless the pill, worry about hunting deer and defend abortion. Reverence for nature, mastery of nature- whichever is convenient.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“True openness is the accompaniment of the desire to know, hence of the awareness of ignorance. To deny the possibility of knowing good and bad is to suppress true openness.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

Allan Bloom Quotes on Education

“I do not believe that my generation, my cousins who have been educated in the American way, all of whom are MDs or PhDs, have any comparable learning…I am not saying anything so trite as that life is fuller when people have myths to live by. I mean rather that a life based on the Book is closer to the truth, that it provides the material for deeper research in and access to the real nature of things. Without the great revelations, epics, and philosophies as part of our natural vision, there is nothing to see out there, and eventually little left inside. The Bible is not the only means to furnish a mind, but without a book of similar gravity, read with the gravity of the potential believer, it will remain unfurnished.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Openness used to be the virtue that permitted us to seek the good by using reason. It now means accepting everything and denying reason’s power.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise—-as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The utilitarian behaves sensibly in all that is required for preservation but never takes account of the fact that he must die…His whole life is absorbed in avoiding death, which is inevitable, and therefore he might be thought to be the most irrational of men, if rationality has anything to do with understanding ends or comprehending the human situation as such. He gives way without reserve to his most powerful passion and the wishes it engenders.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“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.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The end result is that there can be no more truth or goodness and no need or even ability to make tough choices. Where the purpose of higher education once was to enable the student to find truth, the modern university teaches that there is no truth, only ‘lifestyle.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“These sociologists who talk to facilely about the sacred are like a man who keeps a toothless old circus lion around the house in order to experience the thrills of the jungle.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Sycophancy toward those who hold power is a fact in every regime, and especially in a democracy, where, unlike tyranny, there is an accepted principle of legitimacy that breaks the inner will to resist…. Flattery of the people and incapacity to resist public opinion are the democratic vices, particularly among writers, artists, journalists and anyone else who is dependent on an audience.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Although the natural rights inherent in our( Constitutional) regime are adequate to the solution of this ( minority) problem…the equal protection of the law did not protect a man from contempt and hatred as a Jew, an Italian or a Black”…” ‘Openness’ was designed to provide a respectable place for those groups or minorities–to wrest respect from those who were disposed to give it–This breaks the delicate balance between majority and minority in Constitutional thought. In such a perspective where there is no common good, minorities are no longer problematic and the protection of them emerges as THE central function of government.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The inflamed sensitivity induced by radicalized democratic theory finally experiences any limit as arbitrary and tyrannical. There are no absolutes; freedom is absolute. Of course the result is that, on the one hand, the argument justifying freedom disappears and, on the other, all beliefs begin to have the attenuated character that was initially supposed to be limited to religious belief.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“students have powerful images of what a perfect body is and pursue it incessantly. But deprived of literary guidance, they no longer have any image of a perfect soul, and hence do not long to have one. They do not even imagine that there is such a thing.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating. Openness— and the relativism that makes it the only plausible stance in the face of various claims to truth and various ways of life and kinds of human beings —is the great insight of our times. The true believer is the real danger. The study of history and of culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past; men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism, and chauvinism. The point is not to correct the mistakes and really be right; rather it is not to think you are right at all.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“I suggest that we need a generation or two not of theory but of an attempt to discover the real phenomena of eros.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“I have no desire … to preach a high-minded and merely edifying version of love” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Shakespeare is to me the purest voice of nature, and he does no meddle with nature. His plays provide us with the greatest variety of erotic expression, and with Shakespeare eros is the proper term to use.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The most striking fact about contemporary university students is that there is no longer any canon of books which forms their taste and imagination…This state of affairs itself reflects the deeper fact of the decay of the common understanding of – and agreement on – first principles that is characteristic of our times.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Here’s a real man!” I said. “It’s been pretty transparent all along that other people’s opinions about these things wouldn’t be enough for you.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

Allan Bloom

“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?” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“What poor substitutes for real diversity are the wild rainbows of dyed hair and other external differences that tell the observer nothing about what is inside.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“It’s not easy to go through, you happy man,” I said. “Even more than what we went through before, it admits of many doubts. For, it could be doubted that the things said are possible; and, even if, in the best possible conditions, they could come into being, that they would be what is best will also be doubted. So that is why there’s a certain hestitation about getting involved in it, for fear that the argument might seem to be a prayer, my dear comrade.”​d” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“There is a quest, but ever more hopeless, for arrangements and ways of putting the broken pieces back together. The task is equivalent to squaring the circle, because everyone loves himself most but wants others to love him more than they love themselves. Such is particularly the demand of children, against which parents are now rebelling.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“In us the contempt for the heroic is only an extension of the perversion of the democratic principle that denies greatness and wants everyone to feel comfortable in his skin without having to suffer unpleasant comparisons.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The very fact of their fury shows how much Plato threatens what is dear and intimate to them. They are little able to defend their experience, which had seemed unquestionable until questioned, and it is most resistant to cool analysis. Yet if a student can- and this is most difficult and unusual- draw back, get acritical distance on what he clings to, come to doubt the ultimate value of what he loves, he has taken the first and most difficult step toward the philosophic conversion. Indignation is the soul’s defence against against the wound of doubt about its own; it reorders the cosmos to support the justice of its cause. It justifies putting Socrates to death. Recognizing indignation for what it constitutes knowledge of the soul, and thus an experience more philosophic than the study of mathematics” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Openness used to be the virtue that permitted us to seek the good by using reason.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending. That anyone should regard the proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as though he were calling into question 2 + 2 = 4. These are things you don’t think about. The students’ backgrounds are as various as America can provide. Some are religious, some atheists; some are to the Left, some to the Right; some intend to be scientists, some humanists or professionals or businessmen; some are poor, some rich. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. And the two are related in a moral inten- tion. The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it. They have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Utopianism is, as Plato taught us at the outset, the fire with which we must play because it is the only way we can find out what we are. We need to criticize false understandings of Utopia, but the easy way out provided by realism is deadly.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“The faith in God and the belief in miracles are closer to the truth than any scientific explanation,” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Education is the movement from darkness to light .” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“But nowhere is this a more urgent task than in matters of eros, the first and best hope of human connectedness in a world where all connectedness has become problematic” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“I simply try to act as an honest broker for greater persons and writers than I am … I present no theory, nor do I have one … I have constructed no Schema … in terms of the struggle between Eros and agape and the futility of the former in the face of the latter. I have no aspirations, hoping only to show you what some great writers thought these things are.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“It tried to rescue sex from Christian original sin and to recover the union of body and soule of Platonic eros while guaranteeing the reciprocity missing from the Platonic understanding of love and friendship..” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

“Music, as everyone experiences, provides an unquestionable justification and a fulfilling pleasure for the activities it accompanies: the soldier who hears the marching band is enthralled and reassured; the religious man is exalted in his prayer by the sound of the organ in the church; and the lover is carried away and his conscience stilled by the romantic guitar. Armed with music, man can damn rational doubt.” ~~~ Allan Bloom Quotes

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