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Bloom, Allan

  • 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.