quote by Logan Pearsall Smith

When they come downstairs from their Ivory Towers, idealists are very apt to walk straight into the gutter.

— Logan Pearsall Smith

Genuine Ivory Tower quotations

Smooth shapes are very rare in the wild but extremely important in the ivory tower and the factory.

Meaningful Ivory tower quotes
Visualise all those meaningful ivory tower quotes

We look down on our scientists if they engage in outside consultation.

We implicitly promote the ivory tower.

An ivory tower is a fine place as long as the door is open.

Human history has become too much a matter of dogma taught by 'professionals' in ivory towers as though it's all fact. Actually, much of human history is up for grabs. The further back you go, the more that the history that's taught in the schools and universities begins to look like some kind of faerie story.


The artist's life is to be where life is, active life, found in neither ivory tower nor concrete shelter; he must be out listening to everything, looking at everything, and thinking it all out afterward.

I think public intellectuals have a responsibility - to be self-critical on the one hand, to do serious, nuanced work rigorously executed; but to also be able to get off those perches and out of those ivory towers and speak to the real people who make decisions; to speak truth to power and the powerless with lucidity and eloquence.

Policies that emanate from ivory towers often have an adverse impact on the people out in the field who are fighting the wars or bringing in the revenues.

It used to be that readers were relegated because they considered themselves far above society, and so the metaphor of the ivory tower developed. Now there's still this idea that the reader doesn't take part in the social game and in politics, the res publica, but for other reasons: he doesn't do it because he's not making any money.

I don't ascribe to the idea of the ivory tower composer who sits alone in a room composing his masterpieces and then comes down from Mount Sinai with the tablets. It doesn't work like that. The job of a composer is putting something down on a piece of paper that will inspire the person who's playing.


If you shut yourself up disdainfully in your ivory tower and insist that you have your own conscience and are satisfied with its approval, it is because you know that everybody is criticizing you, condemning you, or laughing at you.

It's about communication, no matter how impossibly hard your art is to understand and how much of an ivory tower or high horse you get on, it's still basically communication or why are you doing it?

Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication. If it is true that thought has meaning only when generated by action upon the world, the subordination of students to teachers becomes impossible.

The ivory tower of the artist may be the only stronghold left for human values, cultural treasures, man’s cult of beauty.

Friedmans influence reaches far beyond the academic community and the world of economics. Rather than lock himself in an ivory tower, he has joined the fray to fight for the survival of this great country of ours.


Many live in the ivory tower called reality; they never venture on the open sea of thought.

Even ivory towers need central heating.

I hope I'm not giving the impression of an ivory tower science, but for me science is an attempt to understand, it's an attempt to understand the universe.

The only refuge left to us was the poet's ivory tower, which we climbed, ever higher, to isolate ourselves from the mob.

As much as we sometimes roll our eyes at the ivory-tower isolation of universities, they continue to serve as remarkable engines of innovation.


I'm not a believer in putting designers off in an ivory tower.

They need to have a voice at the table so they can identify where and why design can make a difference. We also need to understand the business issues. If we don't make our numbers this quarter, we don't earn the right to do something cool the next time.

The commonest ivory tower is that of the average man, the state of passivity towards experience.

It's a fallacy that writers have to shut themselves up in their ivory towers to write. I have all these interruptions, three of which I gave birth to. If I was thrown for a loop every time I was distracted I could never get anything done.

Scientists are supposed to live in ivory towers.

Their darkrooms and their vibration-proof benches are supposed to isolate their activities from the disturbances of common life. What they tell us is supposed to be for the ages, not for the next election. But the reality may be otherwise.

Strategy should evolve out of the mud of the marketplace, not in the antiseptic environment of an ivory tower.


Vigny, more secretAs if in his tower of ivory, retired before noon.

N.B.: Vigny refers to Comte de Vigny, who locked himself in an ivory tower to work without the influences of man and desire.

I know everybody. I make friends easily. I'm a gregarious guy, I'm open, I'm easy to get to know - I don't lock myself in an ivory tower. So I like people; I enjoy people.

Scholarship aimed at truly understanding what the biblical writers meant often does not filter down into the church and through the pulpit to folks who show up on Sunday. I think that's just wrong, but scholars rarely make any effort to decipher their own scholarly work for people outside the ivory tower.

I've always been interested in pop culture.

Some of my colleagues think of pop culture as beneath them, or there's the ivory tower and then there's everybody else, and I never could buy into that wall that's been put up by so many people over the decades and even the centuries.

There's an interesting book about that called The Third Reich and the Ivory Tower, written by Stephen H. Norwood. It has a long discussion about Harvard, and indeed the school's president, James Conant, did block Jewish faculty. He was the one who prevented European Jews from being admitted to the chemistry department - his field - and also had pretty good relations with the Nazis.


Chefs who cook in these ivory towers are in control in their own world.

We try to approximate that world as best we can, but ultimately our goal is to please our clients.

Great question in science - questions like the ones Herschel raised about the structure of the universe - are seldom answered by ivory-tower types engaging in pure thought. They are answered by people who are willing to get down into the trenches and grapple with nature. If that means casting your own telescope mirrors, as Herschel did, so be it.

The library is not, as some would have it, a place for the retiring of disposition or faint of heart. It is not an ivory tower or a quiet room in a sanitarium facing away from the afternoon sun. It is, rather, a command center, a power base. A board room, a war room. An Oval Office for all who preside over their own destinies. One does not retreat from the world here; one prepares to join it at an advantage.

As for mathematicians themselves: don't expect too much help.

Most of them are too far removed in their ivory towers to take up such challenges. And anyway, they are not competent. After all, they are just mathematicians-what we need is paramathematicians, like you... It is you who can be the welding force, between mathematicians and stories, in order to achieve the synthesis.

Out in Hollywood, where the streets are paved with Goldwyn, the word "sophisticate" means, very simply, "obscene." A sophisticatedstory is a dirty story. Some of that meaning was wafted eastward and got itself mixed up into the present definition. So that a "sophisticate" means: one who dwells in a tower made of a DuPont substitute for ivory and holds a glass of flat champagne in one hand and an album of dirty post cards in the other.