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 Arthur Koestler Quotes
39 Famous Quotes by Arthur Koestler
9/5/1905 - 3/1/1983
Also Known As:  
A. Costler     Dr. A. Costler
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About Arthur Koestler

The collective matrix of a science at a given time is determined by a kind of establishment, which includes universities, learned societies, and, more recently, the editorial offices of technical journals. Like other establishments, they are consciously or unconsciously bent on preserving the status quo- partly because unorthodox innovations are a threat to their authority, but also because of the deeper fear that their laboriously erected an intellectual edifice might collapse under the impact.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The individual is not a killer, but the group is, and by identifying with it the individual is transformed into a killer.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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When reality becomes unbearable, the mind must withdraw from it and create a world of artificial perfection. Plato's world of pure Ideas and Forms, which alone is to be considered as real, whereas the world of nature which we perceive is merely its cheap Woolworth copy, is a flight into delusion.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...the cosmology of a given age is not the result of unilinear, "scientific" development, but rather the most striking, imaginative symbol of its mentality- the projection of its conflicts, prejudice and specific ways of double-think onto the graceful sky.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...in the course of the last century science has become so dizzy with its successes, that it has forgotten to ask the pertinent questions- or refused to ask them under the pretext that they are meaningless, and in any case not the scientists concern.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...the self-assertive tendency is the dynamic expression of the holon's wholeness, the integrative tendency, the dynamic expression of its partness.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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Wherever we find orderly, stable systems in Nature, we find that they are hierarchically structured, for the simple reason that without such structuring of complex systems into sub-assemblies, there could be no order and stability- except the order of a dead universe filled with a uniformly distributed gas.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...man has an irrepressible tendency to read meaning into the buzzing confusion of sights and sounds impinging on his senses; and where no agreed meaning can be found, he will provide it out of his own imagination.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The integrative tendencies of the individual operate through the mechanisms of empathy, sympathy, projection, introjection, identification, worship- all of which make him feel that he is a part of some larger entity which transcends the boundaries of the individual self. This psychological urge to belong, to participate, to commune is as primary and real as its opposite. The all-important question is the nature of that higher entity of which the individual feels himself a part.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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Some tribes [of monkeys] have taken to washing potatoes in the river before eating them, others have not. Sometimes migrating groups of potato-washers meet non-washers, and the two groups watch each other's strange behavior with apparent bewilderment. But unlike the inhabitants of Lilliput, who fought holy crusades over the question at which end to break the egg, the potato-washing monkeys do not go to war with the non-washers, because the poor creatures have no language which would enable them to declare washing a diving commandment and eating unwashed potatoes a deadly heresy.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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...one of the tests of a theory is that, once grasped, it appears self-evident.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The process of evolution may be described as differentiation of structure and integration of function. The more differentiated and specialized the parts, the more elaborate co-ordination is needed to create a well-balanced whole. The ultimate criterion of the value of a functional whole is the degree of its internal harmony or integratedness, whether the "functional whole" is a biological species or a civilization or an individual. A whole is defined by the pattern of relations between its parts, not by the sum of its parts; and a civilization is not defined by the sum of its science, technology, art and social organization, but by the total pattern which they form, and the degree of harmonious integration in that pattern.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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Modern man lives isolated in his artificial environment, not because the artificial is evil as such, but because of his lack of comprehension of the forces which make it work- of the principles which relate his gadgets to the forces of nature, to the universal order. It is not central heating which makes his existence 'unnatural,' but his refusal to take an interest in the principles behind it. By being entirely dependent on science, yet closing his mind to it, he leads the life of an urban barbarian.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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The 'missing link' between ape and man will probably never be found- because it was an embryo.

Society Quotes, by Arthur Koestler

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