Allan David Bloom Quotes

Plato would have united with Rousseau against the bourgeois in his insistence on the essential humanness of longing for the good, as opposed to careful avoidance of the bad. Neither longing nor enthusiasm belongs to the bourgeois. The story of philosophy and the arts under Rousseaus influence has been the search for, or fabrication of, plausible objects of longing to counter bourgeois well-being and self-satisfaction.

Allan David Bloom

Our minds must make an enormous effort to find the natural sweetness of life in its fullness. The way back is at least as long as the one that brought us here. For Hobbes and Locke nature is near and unattractive, and mans movement into society was easy and unambiguously good. For Rousseau nature is distant and attractive, and the movement was hard and divided man.

Allan David Bloom

Americans do not naturally apply the term bourgeois to themselves, or to anyone else for that matter. They do like to call themselves middle class, but that does not carry with it any determinate spiritual content. The term middle class does not have any of the many opposites that bourgeois has, such as aristocrat, saint, hero, or artistall good.

Allan David Bloom

The fact that most of us never would have heard of Oedipus if it were not for Freud should make us aware that we are almost utterly dependent on our German missionaries or intermediaries for our knowledge of Greece, Rome, Judaism and Christianity; that, however profound that knowledge may be, theirs is only one interpretation; and that we have only been told as much as they thought we needed to know. It is an urgent business for one who seeks self-awareness to think through the meaning of the intellectual dependency that has led us to such an impasse.

Allan David Bloom

Nietzsche said, the greatest deeds are thoughts, that the world revolves around the inventors of new values, revolves silently. Nietzsche was such an inventor, and we are still revolving around him. The spectacle consists in how his views have been trivialized by democratic man desirous of tricking himself out in borrowed finery

Allan David Bloom

A value-creating man is a plausible substitute for a good man, and some such substitute becomes practically inevitable in pop relativism, since very few persons can think of themselves as just nothing. The respectable and accessible nobility of man is to be found not in the quest for or discovery of the good life, but in creating ones own life-style, of which there is not just one but many possible, none comparable to another.

Allan David Bloom

People found that Freuds know thyself led them to the couch, where they emptied their tank of the compressed fuel, which was intended to power them on their flight from opinion to knowledge.

Allan David Bloom

The Bible is not the only means to furnish a mind, but without a book of similar gravity, read with the gravity of the potential believer, it will remain unfurnished.

Allan David Bloom

Television enters not only the room, but also the tastes of old and young alike, appealing to the immediately pleasant and subverting whatever does not conform to it.

Allan David Bloom

First radio, then television, have assaulted and overturned the privacy of the home, the real American privacy, which permitted the development of a higher and more independent life within democratic society.

Allan David Bloom

Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wiseas priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.

Allan David Bloom

The family requires a certain authority and wisdom about the ways of the heavens and of men. The parents must have knowledge of what has happened in the past, and prescriptions for what ought to be, in order to resist the philistinism or the wickedness of the present.

Allan David Bloom

The dreariness of the familys spiritual landscape passes belief. The delicate fabric of the civilization into which the successive generations are woven has unraveled, and children are raised, not educated.

Allan David Bloom

Prejudices, strong prejudices, are visions about the way things are. They are divinations of the order of the whole of things, and hence the road to a knowledge of that whole is by way of erroneous opinions about it. Error is indeed our enemy, but it alone points to the truth and therefore deserves our respectful treatment.

Allan David Bloom

They [students] learned to doubt beliefs even before they believed in anything.

Allan David Bloom

Merely methodological excision from the soul of the imagination that projects Gods and heroes onto the wall of the cave does not promote knowledge of the soul; it only lobotomizes it, cripples its powers.

Allan David Bloom

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