Allan David Bloom Quotes

Science is itself one of the modifications of amour-propre, the love of inequality.

Allan David Bloom

Historicism and cultural relativism actually are a means to avoid testing our own prejudices and asking, for example, whether men are really equal or whether that opinion is merely a democratic prejudice.

Allan David Bloom

Men are likely to bring what are only their prejudices to the judgment of alien peoples. Avoiding that is one of the main purposes of education. But trying to prevent it by removing the authority of mens reason is to render ineffective the instrument that can correct their prejudices.

Allan David Bloom

The regime established here [in the U.S.] promised untrammeled freedom to reasonnot to everything indiscriminately, but to reason, the essential freedom that justifies the other freedoms, and on the basis of which, and for the sake of which, much deviance is also tolerated. An openness that denies the special claim of reason bursts the mainspring keeping the mechanism of this regime in motion.

Allan David Bloom

Every educational system has a moral goal that it tries to attain and that informs its curriculum. It wants to produce a certain kind of human being. ... In some nations the goal was the pious person, in others the warlike, in others the industrious. Always important is the political regime, which needs citizens who are in accord with its fundamental principle. Aristocracies want gentlemen, oligarchies men who respect and pursue money, and democracies lovers of equality. Democratic education, whether it admits it or not, wants and needs to produce men and women who have the tastes, knowledge, and character supportive of a democratic regime.

Allan David Bloom

It is sometimes said that these advantaged youths have less need of our attention and resources, that they already have enough. But they, above all, most need education, inasmuch as the greatest talents are most difficult to perfect, and the more complex the nature the more susceptible it is to perversion.

Allan David Bloom

Most students will be content with what our present considers relevant; others will have a spirit of enthusiasm that subsides as family and ambition provide them with other objects of interest; a small number will spend their lives in an effort to be autonomous. It is for these last, especially, that liberal education exists. They become the models for the use of the noblest human faculties and hence are benefactors to all of us, more for what they are than for what they do. Without their presence (and, one should add, without their being respectable), no societyno matter how rich or comfortable, no matter how technically adept or full of tender sentimentscan be called civilized.

Allan David Bloom

Although it is foolish to believe that book learning is anything like the whole of education, it is always necessary, particularly in ages when there is a poverty of living examples of the possible high human types.

Allan David Bloom

No real teacher can doubt that his task is to assist his pupil to fulfill human nature against all the deforming forces of convention and prejudice.

Allan David Bloom

There is no real education that does not respond to felt need; anything else acquired is trifling display.

Allan David Bloom

When the liberal, or what came to be called the utilitarian, teaching became dominant, as is the case with most victorious causes, good arguments became less necessary; the original good arguments, which were difficult, were replaced by plausible simplifications- or by nothing.

Allan David Bloom

The history of liberal thought since Locke and Smith has been one almost unbroken decline in philosophic substance.

Allan David Bloom

We are like ignorant shepherds living on a site where great civilizations once flourished. The shepherds play with the fragments that pop up to the surface, having no notion of the beautiful structures of which they were once a part.

Allan David Bloom

Education in our times must try to find whatever there is in students that might yearn for completion, and to reconstruct the learning that would enable them autonomously to seek that completion.

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 wise ... specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.

Allan David Bloom

A good education would be devoted to encouraging and refining the love of the beautiful, but a pathologically misguided moralism instead turns such longing into a sin against the high goal of making everyone feel good, of overcoming nature in the name of equality. Love of the beautiful may be the last and finest sacrifice to radical egalitarianism.

Allan David Bloom
Social Media
Our Partners