Allan David Bloom Quotes

The de-eroticization of the world, a companion to its disenchantment seems to result from a combination of causesour democratic regime and its tendencies toward leveling and self-protection, a reductionist-materialist science that inevitably interprets eros as sex, and the atmosphere generated by the death of God and of the subordinate god, Eros.

Allan David Bloom

We witness a strange inversion: on the one hand, the endeavor to turn the social contract into a less calculating and more feeling connection among its members; on the other hand, the endeavor to turn the erotic relationship into a contractual one.

Allan David Bloom

The old view was that delicacy of language was part of the nature, the sacred nature, of eros and that to speak about it in any other way would be to misunderstand it. What has disappeared is the risk and the hope of human connectedness embedded in eros. Ours is a language that reduces the longing for an other to the need for individual, private satisfaction and safety.

Allan David Bloom

The highest activities are always essentially lonely and private, and these men had a robust sense of their independence and the ultimate self-sufficiency of the mind. In this they were just like Socrates. The only change they operated was to bring philosophy out of the closet into the open, instead of seeking protection behind a little wall like men in a storm. Of course, in so doing they made philosophy, on the one hand, more vulnerable to the public if the hopes of controlling the public are not fulfilled, and, on the other, put at risk that inner intransigence which is the necessary condition of the quest for truth. Not only the rewards but the new responsibilities might prove irresistible temptations to compromise.

Allan David Bloom

In the new order a Locke was freewith almost no danger of being interfered withto think his sublime thoughts, to seek the first causes of all things, to understand the nature of things. He could talk with his friends and teach the young. And there was money enough. The academies and universities satisfied Socrates demand to be fed in the prytaneum.

Allan David Bloom

Bacon, Locke, Descartes, Hume, and all the others knew they were giving rights to vulgarity. But in so doingin addition to caring for mans well-beingthey were providing rights for themselves.

Allan David Bloom

Plato says a multitude can never philosophize and hence can never recognize the seriousness of philosophy or who really philosophizes. Attempted to influence the multitude results in forced prostitution.

Allan David Bloom

The first discipline modernitys originators imposed upon themselves was that of self-restraint, learning to live with vulgarity. Their high expectations for effectiveness were made possible by low expectations of what was to be.

Allan David Bloom

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of property were just what Aristotle did not talk about. They are the conditions of happiness; but the essence of happiness, according to Aristotle, is virtue. So the moderns decided to deal with the conditions and to let happiness take care of itself.

Allan David Bloom

The distinction between the world of commerce and that of culture quickly became the distinction between infrastructure and superstructure, with the former clearly determining the latter.

Allan David Bloom

Intellectuals advertise their superiority to political practice but are absolutely in its thrall. It is no accident that Marxist theory and practice use the intellectuals as tools and keep them in brutal subservience.

Allan David Bloom

The distinction between private and public undermines the unity of spiritual strength, draining the public of the transcendent energies while trivializing them because the merely private life provides no proper stage for their action.

Allan David Bloom

Only when the true ends of society have nothing to do with the sublime does culture become necessary as a veneer to cover over the void. Culture can at best appreciate the monuments of earlier faith; it cannot produce them.

Allan David Bloom

To recognize that some of the things our culture believes are not true imposes on us the duty of finding out which are true and which are not.

Allan David Bloom

I am now even more persuaded of the urgent need to study why Socrates was accused. The dislike of philosophy is perennial, and the seeds of the condemnation of Socrates are present at all times, not in the bosoms of pleasure-seekers, who dont give a damn, but in those of high-minded and idealistic persons who do not want to submit the aspirations to examination.

Allan David Bloom

Socrates way of life is the consequence of his recognition that we can know what it is that we do not know about the most important things and that we are by nature obliged to seek that knowledge.

Allan David Bloom

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