William Barrett Quotes

Enjoy the top 32 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by William Barrett.

William Barrett Quotes

In teaching the young you have to satisfy the schoolchild in yourself and enter the region where all meanings start. That is where, in any case, the philosopher has perpetually to start.
— William Barrett —

If a man has learned to think, no matter what he may think about, he is always thinking of his own death. All philosophers were like that. And what truth can there be, if there is death?

— William Barrett

If science could comprehend all phenomena so that eventually in a thoroughly rational society human beings became as predictable as cogs in a machine, then man, driven by this need to know and assert his freedom, would rise up and smash the machine.
What the reformers of the Enlightenment, dreaming of a perfect organization of society, had overlooked, Dostoevski saw all too plainly with the novelist's eye: namely, that as modern society becomes more organized and hence more bureaucratized it piles up at its joints petty figures like that of the Underground Man, who beneath their nondescript surface are monsters of frustration and resentment.

— William Barrett

The bond that attaches us to the life outside ourselves is the same bond that holds us to our own life.

— William Barrett

We exist within the question of God.

— William Barrett

Our freedom is the way in which we are able to let the world open before us, and ourselves stand open within it.

— William Barrett

Positivist man is a curious creature who dwells in the tiny island of light composed of what he finds scientifically "meaningful," while the whole surrounding area in which ordinary men live from day to day and have their dealings with other men is consigned to the outer darkness of the "meaningless." Positivism has simply accepted the fractured being of modern man and erected a philosophy to intensify it.
Existentialism, whether successfully or not, has attempted instead to gather all the elements of human reality into a total picture of man. Positivist man and Existentialist man are no doubt offspring of the same parent epoch, but, somewhat as Cain and Abel were, the brothers are divided unalterably by temperament and the initial choice they make of their own being.

— William Barrett

The philosopher seeks a generality beyond the boundaries of science; he attempts to frame a comprehensive and coherent framework of ideas within which the partial results of science may become more intelligible.

— William Barrett

To discover one's own spiritual poverty is to achieve a positive conquest by the spirit.

— William Barrett

What emerges from these separate strands of (modern) history is an image of man himself that bears a new, stark, more nearly naked, and more questionable aspect. The contraction of man's horizons amounts to a denudation, a stripping down, of this being who has now to confront himself at the center of all his horizons. The labor of modern culture, whenever it has been authentic, has been a labor of denudation. A return to the sources; "to the things themselves," as Husserl puts it; toward a new truthfulness, the casting away of ready-made presuppositions and empty forms - these are some of the slogans under which this phase in history has presented itself. Naturally enough, much of this stripping down must appear as the work of destruction, as revolutionary or even "negative": a being who has become thoroughly questionable to himself must also find questionable his relation to the total past which in a sense he represents.

— William Barrett

The more severely he struggles to hold on to the primal face-to-face relation with God, the more tenuous this becomes, until in the end the relation to God Himself threatens to become a relation to Nothingness.

— William Barrett

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