Weekend quote – Gian-Carlo Rota


May 26, 2017
Yossi Sheriff

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Behind every question of philosophy there lurks a gnarl of unacknowledged emotional cravings which act as a powerful motivation for conclusions in which reason plays at best a supporting role.

To bring such hidden emotional cravings out into the open, as philosophers have felt it their duty to do, is to ask for trouble. Philosophical disclosures are frequently met with the anger that we reserve for the betrayal of our family secrets.

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From Indiscrete Thoughts (Modern Birkhäuser Classics)

Weekend quote – Wassily Kandinsky


May 19, 2017
Yossi Sheriff

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Thus, the form may seem pleasant, unpleasant, beautiful, harmonious, disharmonious, skillful, awkward, fine, coarse, and so on, and yet, it must neither be accepted nor rejected by virtue of qualities considered to be positive or negative. All these concepts are perfectly relative, which can be observed at first glance in the infinite series of interchange of forms already present.

Equally relative is the form itself. Thus, the form is to be appreciated and understood. One has to place oneself in such a way that the form acts on the soul. And through the form the content (mind, inner sound).

Otherwise, one elevates the relative to the absolute.

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Weekend quote – Julian De Freitas, et al


May 12, 2017
Yossi Sheriff

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When it came to judgments about the true self, however, we found a surprising degree of cross-cultural similarity. Across all four of the cultures tested, we found evidence that participants shared an intuition that, deep down, human beings have a true self that is morally good.

From: “Consistent Belief in a Good True Self in Misanthropes and Three Interdependent Cultures”, Julian De Freitas, Hagop Sarkissian, George E. Newman, Igor Grossmann, Felipe De Brigard, Andres Luco, Joshua Knobe, 2017, link
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Weekend quote – Meir Shalev


April 14, 2017
Yossi Sheriff

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How to determine the size of a tree? According to its height? The diameter of its trunk? Scope of its crown? None of these is an absolute criterion, but when you see a large tree, you know what it’s like, and you hear: the wind’s noise is different and more pleasant than the sound it makes with the branches of its little brothers. And also feel, all the plants emit oxygen, freshness, various aromas. But the great trees also emit calm and confidence and a hard to contain pleasant surprise.

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Image CC Dom Crossley

Holiday quote – Eliezer ben Hurcanus


April 10, 2017
Yossi Sheriff

And Rebecca said to Jakob:
My son, on this night, dew treasures are opened
On this night, heavens sing hymns
Make delicacies for your father, and while he is still here he will bless you.

אָמְרָה רִבְקָה לְיַעֲקֹב: בְּנִי, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה אוֹצְרוֹת טְלָלִים נִפְתְּחוּ בּוֹ,
הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה עֶלְיוֹנִים אוֹמְרִים שִׁירָה
עֲשֵׂה מַטְעַמִּים לְאָבִיךָ, וְעַד שֶׁיְּהֵא בְּעוֹלָמוֹ יְבָרֶכְךָ.
image Susanne Nilsson CC BY-SA 2.0

Image Susanne Nilsson CC BY-SA 2.0