Philosophical Meandering

Literary and philosophical quotes

I loved the dark gorgeousness of his mind, and the utter, quite palpable, almost hallucinatory loneliness of it.

—on Edgar Allan Poe, “Cosmology” by Marilynne Robinson

The experience of any generation is inevitably a warped lens through which to view the thought and the actions of any previous generation.

—"Who Was Oberlin?" by Marilynne Robinson

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Christina Rossetti, “A Better Resurrection”

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Christina Rossetti, “A Better Resurrection”

I have felt for a long time that our idea of what a human being is has grown oppressively small and dull. I am persuaded as well that we educate ourselves and one another to think in terms that are demeaning to us all.

—"The Human Spirit and the Good Society" by Marilynne Robinson

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Albert Goldbarth, “The Sciences Sing a Lullaby”

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Albert Goldbarth, “The Sciences Sing a Lullaby”

There is much that is miraculous in a human being, whether that word “miraculous” is used strictly or loosely. And to acknowledge this fact would enhance the joy of individual experience and enhance as well the respect with which we regard other people, those statistically almost-impossible fellow travelers on our profoundly unlikely planet. There is no strictly secular language that can translate religious awe, and the usual response to this fact is that awe is misdirected, an effect of ignorance or superstition or the power of suggestion and association. Still, to say that the universe is extremely large, and that the forces that eventuate in star clusters and galaxies are very formidable indeed, seems deficient - qualitatively and aesthetically inadequate to its subject.

—"The Human Spirit and the Good Society" by Marilynne Robinson