Education is the movement from darkness to light.— Allan Bloom
The most thrilling Allan Bloom quotes that will activate your desire to change
Historicism and cultural relativism actually are a means to avoid testing our own prejudices and asking, for example, whether men are really equal or whether that opinion is merely a democratic prejudice.
The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.
Reason cannot establish values, and its belief that it can is the stupidest and most pernicious illusion.
The liberally educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers, not because he is obstinate but because he knows others worthy of consideration.
The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency - the belief that the here and now is all there is.
Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the public authority of the entertainment industry, everything their parents always used to tell them they had to wait for until they grew up and would understand later.
There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.
As soon as tradition has come to be recognized as tradition, it is dead.
Nothing is more singular about this generation than its addiction to music.
Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise... specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.
[Rock and the intellectual Left] must both be interpreted as parts of the cultural fabric of late capitalism. Their success comes from the bourgeois' need to feel that he is not bourgeois.
Education in our times must try to find whatever there is in students that might yearn for completion, and to reconstruct the learning that would enable them autonomously to seek that completion.
The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency --the belief that the here and now is all there is.
Human nature must not be altered in order to have a problem-free world.
Man is not just a problem-solving being, as behaviorists would wish us to believe, but a problem-recognizing and -accepting being.
A serious life means being fully aware of the alternatives, thinking about them with all the intensity one brings to bear on life-and-death questions, in full recognition that every choice is a great risk with necessary consequences that are hard to bear.
We witness a strange inversion: on the one hand, the endeavor to turn the social contract into a less calculating and more feeling connection among its members; on the other hand, the endeavor to turn the erotic relationship into a contractual one.
All literature up to today is sexist.
The Muses never sang to the poets about liberated women. It's the same old chanson from the Bible and Homer through Joyce and Proust.
The spirit is at home, if not entirely satisfied, in America.
Only Socrates knew, after a lifetime of unceasing labor, that he was ignorant.
Now every high-school student knows that. How did it become so easy?
The real community of man is the community of those who seek the truth, of the potential knowers.
I am not a conservative — neo or paleo.
Conservatism is a respectable outlook... I just do not happen to be that animal.
Students now arrive at the university ignorant and cynical about our political heritage, lacking the wherewithal to be either inspired by it or seriously critical of it.
Did Romeo and Juliet have a ... "relationship"? The term "relationship" ... betokens a chaste egalitarianism leveling different ranks and degrees of attachment.
We are like ignorant shepherds living on a site where great civilizations once flourished. The shepherds play with the fragments that pop up to the surface, having no notion of the beautiful structures of which they were once a part.
The most important function of the university in an age of reason is to protect reason from itself.
Self-interest is hostile to the common good, but enlightened self-interest is not. And this is the best key to the meaning of enlightenment.
The distinction between private and public undermines the unity of spiritual strength, draining the public of the transcendent energies while trivializing them because the merely private life provides no proper stage for their action.
Nietzsche said the newspaper had replaced the prayer in the life of the modern bourgeois , meaning that the busy, the cheap, the ephemeral, had usurped all that remained of the eternal in his daily life.
As Western nations became more prosperous, leisure, which had been put off for several centuries in favor of the pursuit of property, the means to leisure, finally began to be of primary concern. But, in the meantime, any notion of the serious life of leisure, as well as men's taste and capacity to live it, had disappeared.
Commitment is a word invented in our abstract modernity to signify the absence of any real motives in the soul for moral dedication.
We are like ignorant shepherds living on a site where great civilizations once flourished.
The self must be a tense bow. It must struggle with opposites rather than harmonize them, rather than turn the tension over to the great instruments of last manhood the skilled bow unbenders and Jesuits of our days, the psychiatrists, who, in the same spirit and as part of the same conspiracy of modernity as the peace virtuosos, reduce conflict.
There is no real teacher who in practice does not believe in the existence of the soul, or in a magic that acts on it through speech.
Professors of Greek forget or are unaware that Thomas Aquinas, who did not know Greek, was a better interpreter of Aristotle than any of them have proved to be, not only because he was smarter but because he took Aristotle more seriously.
Authentic values are those by which a life can be lived, which can form a people that produces great deeds and thoughts.
Reason transformed into prejudice is the worst form of prejudice, because reason is the only instrument for liberation from prejudice.
It may well be that a societys greatest madness seems normal to itself.
There is no real education that does not respond to felt need;
anything else acquired is trifling display.
Education is not the taming or domestication of the soul's raw passions - not suppressing them or excising them, which would deprive the soul of its energy - but forming and informing them as art.
The self is the modern substitute for the soul.
The humanities are like the great old Paris Flea Market where, amidst masses of junk, people with a good eye found cast away treasures...They are like a refugee camp where all the geniuses driven out of their jobs and countries by unfriendly regimes are idling.
The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contradictory simulacra of community, is the community of those who seek the truth, of the potential knowers, that is, in principle, of all men to the extent they desire to know. But in fact this includes only a few, the true friends, as Plato was to Aristotle at the very moment they were disagreeing about the nature of the good.
To recognize that some of the things our culture believes are not true imposes on us the duty of finding out which are true and which are not.
Bacon, Locke, Descartes, Hume, and all the others knew they were giving rights to vulgarity. But in so doing in addition to caring for man's well-being they were providing rights for themselves.
It is easy today to deny God's creativity as a thing of the benighted past, overcome by science, but man's creativity, a thing much more improbable and nothing but an imitation of God's, exercises a strange attraction.
Every age is blind to its own worst madness.
The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contraditory simulacra of community, is the community of those who seek the truth, of potential knowers... of all men to the extent that they know.
Only when the true ends of society have nothing to do with the sublime does "culture" become necessary as a veneer to cover over the void. Culture can at best appreciate the monuments of earlier faith; it cannot produce them.
Culture as art is the peak expression of man's creativity, his capacity to break out of nature's narrow bounds, and hence out of the degrading interpretation of man in modern natural and political science.