The Seekers

by: Daniel J. Boorstin, read in 2008

41 Thucydides' description of the degradation of a society in revolution
44 Thomas Jefferson's opinion that Plato is nonsense
47 Aristotle's..."father, Nicomachus, was the personal physician to the king of Macedonia, Amyntas, who was the father of Philip of Macedon and grandfather of Alexander the Great."
59 Aristotle's definition and description of God. I agree.
90 Averroes believed "that there is only a single mind in which all souls participated."
134 Francis Bacon's 4 idols: of the tribe, the cave, the marketplace, and the theater.
144 Descartes' conclusion that mind exists apart from body
144 For Descartes, nearer perfection implies the existence of God
144 "Descartes founded his belief in God not in the wondrous order of nature, but in the superiority of God to the imperfect doubting self."
147 "Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end. - Lord Acton, History of Freedom (1907)”
207 "The desperate search for the true past and its clues to the future led ingenious thinkers to turn from the unintelligible to the unknowable."
215 Kierkegaard: "The tedium of life requires the intervening acts of the arbitrary existing self"
215 Kierkegaard's account of how boredom has ruined the world.
215 Kierkegaard: "The task of the subjective thinker is to transform himself into an instrument that clearly and definitely expresses in existence whatever is essentially human."
218 William James coined "the stream of consciousness"
219 William James: "[Free will] is no illusion. My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will." Me: 'consider' or 'accept', but not 'believe'. I don't think one can choose or decide to believe anything.
246 "To explain the processes and products of evolution, Bergson argued, there must have been something more than mindless physical forces." élan vital
247 Bergson: "Finally, consciousness is essentially free; it is freedom itself. For consciousness, corresponds exactly to the living being's power of choice; it is coextensive with the fringe of possible action that surrounds the real action; consciousness is synonymous with invention and with freedom."
247 Bergson: "Reality has appeared to us as a perpetual becoming. It makes itself or unmakes itself, but it is never something made."
249 Bergson: "Evolution is God's undertaking to create creators, that He may have, besides Himself, beings worthy of His love." Or, in a metaphor borrowed from the mechanistic world he distrusted, he concludes his Two Sources, "The a machine for the making of God."
252 Einstein's account of his childhood views of religion.

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