The Human Search for the Elusive Truth
"In our time, what is at issue is the very nature
of man, the image we have of his limits and possibilities as a man.
History is not yet done with its exploration of the limits and meanings
of 'human nature'."
C. Wright Mills
"A man of clear ideas errs grievously if he imagines
that whatever is seen confusedly does not exist; it belongs to him,
when he meets with such a thing, to dispel the midst, and fix the outlines
of the vague form which is looming through it."
"Truth is a shining goddess, always veiled, always
distant, never wholly approachable, but worthy of all the devotion
of which the human spirit is capable."
"But whoever is a genuine follower of Truth, keeps his eye steady
upon his guide, indifferent whither he is led, provided that she is
A Vindication of Natural Society
"...truth is much more than a means
to expose the malevolent. It is the great creative force of civilization.
For truth is knowledge; and a civilized man is one who, in Hobbes' words,
has a "perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation
of knowledge." Hobbes also writes: "Joy, arising from imagination of
a man's own power and ability, is that exaltation of mind called glorying." And
so it is; for the pursuit of truth is our civilization's glory, and the
joy we obtain from it is the nearest we shall approach to happiness,
at least on this side of the grave. If we are steadfast in this aim,
we need not fear the enemies of society."
"Enemies of Society"
Civilization and Truth
"'Hell.' wrote Thomas Hobbes, 'is truth seen too late.' Survival
is falsehood detected in time."
"The essence of civilization is the orderly quest for truth, the rational
perception of reality and all its facets, and the adaptation of man's
behaviour to its laws. So long as we follow the path of reason we shall
not move far from the lighted circle of civilization. Its enemies invariably
lie among those who, for whatever motive, deny, distort, minimize, exaggerate
or poison the truth, and who falsify the processes of reason. At all
times civilization has its enemies, though they are constantly changing
their guise and their weapons. The great defensive art is to detect and
unmask them before the damage they inflict becomes fatal. 'Hell.' wrote
Thomas Hobbes, 'is truth seen too late.' Survival is falsehood detected
"Civilization... is the rational pursuit of truth within a framework
of order. The discovery of truth, of course, is part of this ordering
process, the way by which man located himself in the universe. This
is a very long, complicated and cumulative process. Man needs to
orientate himself in time, by discovering and perfecting chronology;
in space, by acquiring geographical and astronomical knowledge; in
nature, by discovering its laws and using them to master his environment.
He is also engaged in a continuous effort of moral and social orientation,
reflected in his attempts to improve his designs for civil government,
for legal and ethical codes, and his image of what a just society
should be. There is, likewise, a process of moral ordering, in which
man seeks to discover his worth in relation to other men, and to
the potentialities of his surroundings. Human beings need to know
where they stand in all these matters, for such knowledge is an essential
element in their security, and... their happiness..."
"Enemies of Society"
Inspiration, hard work, a burning desire to know,
and the neverending pursuit of truth.