„He strives after that which we translate 'virtue' but is in Greek aretê, 'excellence' …“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten

Quelle: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Ch. 29
Kontext: "What moves the Greek warrior to deeds of heroism," Kitto comments, "is not a sense of duty as we understand it—duty towards others: it is rather duty towards himself. He strives after that which we translate 'virtue' but is in Greek aretê, 'excellence' … we shall have much to say about aretê. It runs through Greek life."
There, Phædrus thinks, is a definition of Quality that had existed a thousand years before the dialecticians ever thought to put it to word-traps. Anyone who cannot understand this meaning without logical definiens and definendum and differentia is either lying or so out of touch with the common lot of humanity as to be unworthy of receiving any reply whatsoever.

Übernommen aus Wikiquote. Letzte Aktualisierung 3. Juni 2021. Geschichte
Robert M. Pirsig Foto
Robert M. Pirsig1
US-amerikanischer Autor 1928 - 2017

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Robert M. Pirsig Foto

„Lightning hits!
Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine "virtue." But aretê. Excellence. Dharma!“

—  Robert M. Pirsig, buch Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten

Quelle: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Ch. 29
Kontext: Lightning hits!
Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! Not ethical relativism. Not pristine "virtue." But aretê. Excellence. Dharma! Before the Church of Reason. Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those first teachers of the Western world were teaching Quality, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric.

John Lancaster Spalding Foto
Robert M. Pirsig Foto
Rudolf Pannwitz Foto

„Translations [into the German language], even the best ones, proceed from a mistaken premise. They want to turn Hindi, Greek, English into German instead of turning German into Hindi, Greek, English. … The basic error of the translator is that he preserves the state in which his own language happens to be instead of allowing his language to be powerfully affected by the foreign tongue.“

—  Rudolf Pannwitz German writer and philosopher 1881 - 1969

Unsere übertragungen, auch die besten, gehen von einem falschen grundsatz aus, sie wollen das indische, griechische, englische verdeutschen, anstatt das deutsche zu verindischen, vergriechischen, verenglischen. ... Der grundsätzliche irrtum des übertragenden ist, daß er den zufälligen stand der eigenen sprache festhält, anstatt sie durch die fremde gewaltig bewegen zu lassen.
Die Krisis der europäischen Kultur (1917), as translated in Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings: Volume 1, 1913-1926 (1996), pp. 261-262

David Brin Foto

„How can we set up a system which encourages individuals to strive and excel, and yet which shows some compassion to the weak, and weeds out madmen and tyrants?“

—  David Brin, buch The Postman

Quelle: The Postman (1985), Section 3, “Cincinnatus”, Chapter 14 (p. 266)

Alhazen Foto

„He moved to Egypt and supported himself by teaching and by copying Arabic translations of Greek mathematical classics such as Euclid’s Elements and Ptolemy’s Almagest.“

—  Alhazen Arab physicist, mathematician and astronomer 965 - 1039

Abdelhamid I. Sabra, in “Ibn al-Haytham Brief life of an Arab mathematician: died circa 1040 (September-October 2003)”

Plautus Foto

„Drink! live like the Greeks! eat! gorge!. (translator unknown)“
Bibite ! pergraecamini ! Este ! effercite vos !

—  Plautus, Mostellaria

Mostellaria, Act I, scene 1, lines 61-62
Mostellaria (The Haunted House)

John Erskine Foto
Ibn Khaldun Foto
Ivan Illich Foto

„Friendship in the Greek tradition, in the Roman tradition, in the old tradition, was always viewed as the highest point which virtue can reach.“

—  Ivan Illich austrian philosopher and theologist 1926 - 2002

We the People interview (1996)
Kontext: Friendship in the Greek tradition, in the Roman tradition, in the old tradition, was always viewed as the highest point which virtue can reach. Virtue, meaning here, "the habitual facility of doing the good thing," which is fostered by what the Greeks called politaea, political life, community life. I know it was a political life in which I wouldn't have liked to participate, with the slaves around and with the women excluded, but I still have to go to Plato or to Cicero. They conceived of friendship as a supreme flowering, of the interaction which happens in a good political society.

Will Durant Foto

„The Greeks treated Homer as their Scripture par excellence, much as the Jews regarded the Bible.“

—  Cyrus H. Gordon American linguist 1908 - 2001

Footnote: Strictly speaking, "canonical" is not quite exact for the Greeks; and anachronistic even for the Jews...
Ch.VIII Further Observations on the Bible
The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations (1965 [1962])
Kontext: Only two people in East Mediterranean antiquity developed [parallel tendecies towards] "canonical" Scripture: the Greeks and the Jews. The Greeks treated Homer as their Scripture par excellence, much as the Jews regarded the Bible.... Hebrew and pagan Greek scriptures were each considered the divinely inspired guide for life.

Philo Foto
Don Soderquist Foto

„Striving for excellence means never being satisfied—always doing things to keep improving, even if it means changing everything we do. It means we never feel that we have arrived. We don’t believe our press clippings. We don’t get complacent and pat ourselves on the backs. We talk about what we could have done better. We believe that we can achieve extraordinary results when we strive for excellence in all we do.“

—  Don Soderquist 1934 - 2016

Don Soderquist “ The Wal-Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World's Largest Company https://books.google.com/books?id=mIxwVLXdyjQC&lpg=PR9&dq=Don%20Soderquist&pg=PR9#v=onepage&q=Don%20Soderquist&f=false, Thomas Nelson, April 2005, p. 33.
On Striving for Excellence

Sallust Foto

„For the fame of riches and beauty is fickle and frail, while virtue is eternally excellent.“
Nam divitiarum et formae gloria fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur.

—  Sallust Roman historian, politician -86 - -34 v.Chr

For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and perishable; that of the mind is illustrious and immortal.
Quelle: Bellum Catilinae (c. 44 BC), Chapter I; Variant translation:

Ernst Thälmann Foto

„Translated After Hitler, our turn.“

—  Ernst Thälmann leader of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) during much of the Weimar Republic 1886 - 1944

Nach Hitler kommen Wir.
Ernst Thälmann (1931), cited in: Michelle Goldberg. " After Trump, Our Turn! http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/03/29/susan_sarandon_is_perfect_spokeswoman_for_neverhillary.html" at slate.com, March 29, 2016.
Quote is about Thälmann's refusal to oppose the Nazis in the 1932 German election helped bring them to power. It was quoted by Goldberg (2016) as historical precedent for leftists refusing to oppose Donald Trump as US President.
The English quote is mentioned in over 30 publications, mostly as a communist slogan around 1930, yet only 4 publications actually attributed the quote to Ernst Thälmann. The original quote is mentioned in numerous publications.
Disputed

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