Knowledge is what we get when an observer, preferably a scientifically trained observer, provides us with a copy of reality that we can all recognize.
We need to distinguish between nostalgia and the reassuring memory of happy times, which serves to link the present to the past and to provide a sense of continuity. The emotional appeal of happy memories does not depend on disparagement of the The Present hallmark of the nostalgic attitude. Nostalgia appeals to the feeling that the past offered delights no longer obtainable. Nostalgic representations of the past evoke a time irretrievably lost and for that reason timeless and unchanging. Strictly speaking, nostalgia does not entail the exercise of memory at all, since the past it idealizes stands outside time, frozen in unchanging perfection. Memory too may idealize the past, but not in order to condemn the present. It draws hope and comfort from the past in order to enrich the present and to face what comes with good cheer.
Topics: The Past
A growing awareness of the depth of popular attachment to the family has led some liberals to concede that family is not just a buzzword for reaction.
Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.
Once women begin to question the inevitability of their subordination and to reject the conventions formerly associated with it, they can no longer retreat to the safety of those conventions. The woman who rejects the stereotype of feminine weakness and dependence can no longer find much comfort in the cliche that all men are beasts. She has no choice except to believe, on the contrary, that men are human beings, and she finds it hard to forgive them when they act like animals.
Topics: Men and Women, Men & Women
The family is a haven in a heartless world.
The job of the press is to encourage debate, not to supply the public with information.
Information, usually seen as the precondition of debate, is better understood as its by-product.
A society that has made “nostalgia” a marketable commodity on the cultural exchange quickly repudiates the suggestion that life in the past was in any important way better than life today.
It is a tribute to the peculiar horror of contemporary life that it makes the worst features of earlier times—the stupefaction of the masses, the obsessed and driven lives of the bourgeoisie—seem attractive by comparison.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues French Moralist
- Jacques Barzun French-born American Historian
- Daniel J. Boorstin American Historian
- James Harvey Robinson American Historian
- Theodore H. White American Journalist
- James Truslow Adams American Historian
- Alfred Whitney Griswold American Historian
- Will Durant American Historian
- David McCullough American Historian
- E. V. Lucas English Author