„When a man is about to build a house, what a power of thinking he has to do, before he can safely break ground!“

The Architecture of Theories (1891)
Kontext: Of the fifty or hundred systems of philosophy that have been advanced at different times of the world's history, perhaps the larger number have been, not so much results of historical evolution, as happy thoughts which have accidently occurred to their authors. An idea which has been found interesting and fruitful has been adopted, developed, and forced to yield explanations of all sorts of phenomena. … The remaining systems of philosophy have been of the nature of reforms, sometimes amounting to radical revolutions, suggested by certain difficulties which have been found to beset systems previouslv in vogue; and such ought certainly to be in large part the motive of any new theory. … When a man is about to build a house, what a power of thinking he has to do, before he can safely break ground! With what pains he has to excogitate the precise wants that are to be supplied. What a study to ascertain the most available and suitable materials, to determine the mode of construction to which those materials are best adapted, and to answer a hundred such questions! Now without riding the metaphor too far, I think we may safely say that the studies preliminary to the construction of a great theory should be at least as deliberate and thorough as those that are preliminary to the building of a dwelling-house.

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Charles Sanders Peirce Foto
Charles Sanders Peirce
Mathematiker, Philosoph und Logiker 1839 - 1914

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„A man should build a house with his own hands before he calls himself an engineer.“

—  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, buch One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962)

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„When an American thinks about the problem of government-building, he directs himself not to be creation of authority and the accumulation of power but rather to the limitation of authority and the division of power.“

—  Samuel P. Huntington American political scientist 1927 - 2008

Political Order in Changing Societies https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/gov2126/files/huntington_political_order_changing_soc.pdf (1968), p. 7

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„Man must not only make himself: the weightiest thing he has to do is to determine what he is going to be. He is causa sui to the second power.“

—  José Ortega Y Gasset Spanish liberal philosopher and essayist 1883 - 1955

As quoted in Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre, p. 155
History as a System (1962)

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Henry George Foto

„If thinking men are few, they are for that reason all the more powerful. Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.“

—  Henry George American economist 1839 - 1897

Quelle: Social Problems (1883), Ch. 21 : Conclusion
Kontext: Many there are, too depressed, too embruted with hard toil and the struggle for animal existence, to think for themselves. Therefore the obligation devolves with all the more force on those who can. If thinking men are few, they are for that reason all the more powerful. Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power. That for every idle word men may speak they shall give an account at the day of judgment, seems a hard saying. But what more clear than that the theory of the persistence of force, which teaches us that every movement continues to act and react, must apply as well to the universe of mind as to that of matter? Whoever becomes imbued with a noble idea kindles a flame from which other torches are lit, and influences those with whom he comes in contact, be they few or many. How far that influence, thus perpetuated, may extend, it is not given to him here to see. But it may be that the Lord of the Vineyard will know.

Alan Paton Foto
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„When a man dies, he has too many other worries to allow any thinking about death.“

—  Italo Svevo, buch Zeno Cosini

Quando si muore si ha ben altro da fare che di pensare alla morte.
Quelle: La coscienza di Zeno (1923), P. 45; p. 55.

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Bertolt Brecht Foto

„General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think.“

—  Bertolt Brecht German poet, playwright, theatre director 1898 - 1956

"General, Your Tank Is a Powerful Vehicle", in "From a German War Primer", part of the Svendborg Poems (1939); as translated by Lee Baxandall in Poems, 1913-1956, p. 289
Poems, 1913-1956 (1976)

Bob Dylan Foto

„Man thinks 'cause he rules the earth, he can do with it as he please. And if things don't change soon, he will.“

—  Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist 1941

Song lyrics, Infidels (1983), License to Kill

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