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Will Durant

Will Durant
William James Durant (November 5, 1885 – November 7, 1981) was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for The Story of Philosophy, written in 1926, which one observer described as "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy."
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This is the essential diagnosis of our time. It is not merely great wars that have plunged us into pessimism, much...
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(Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Will Durant as he examines the importance of history in human character.—W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher)
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A certain tension between religion and society marks the higher stages of every civilization. Religion begins by offering magical aid to harassed and bewildered men; it culminates by giving to a people that unity of morals...
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Morals are soon endowed with religious sanctions because mystery and supernaturalism lend a weight that can never attach to things empirically known and genetically understood; men are more easily ruled by imagination than by science. — Will and Ariel Durant, The...
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Why do we love Plato? Because Plato himself was a lover: lover of comrades, lover of the intoxication of dialectical revelry, passionate seeker of the elusive reality behind thoughts and things. We love...
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Will Durant The very excess of our present paganism may warrant some hope that it will not long endure; for usually excess generates its opposite. One of the most regular sequences in history is that...
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Will Durant A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential cause of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade,...
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"At any moment a comet may come too close to the earth and set our little globe turning topsy-turvy in a hectic course, or choke its men and fleas with fumes or heat; or a fragment of the smiling sun...
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“History” said Henry Ford, “is bunk.” As one who has written history for twenty-five years, and studied it for forty-five, I should largely agree with the great engineer who put half the world on wheels....
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Will Durant “Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Four elements constitute it: economic provision, political organization, moral tradition, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts. It begins where chaos and insecurity...
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Will Durant I find in the Universe so many forms of order, organization, system, law and adjustment of means to ends, that I believe in a cosmic intelligence and I...
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The rise of Rome from a crossroads town to world mastery, its achievement of two centuries of security and peace from the Crimea to Gibraltar and from the Euphrates to Hadrian’s Wall, its spread...
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The Story of Civilization Other studies may tell us how man might behave, or how he should behave; history tells us how he has behaved for six thousand years....
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     To the philosopher, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine. — Emerson      What is wisdom? I feel like a droplet of spray which proudly poised...