Quotations From LEWIS MUMFORD


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  • By his very success in inventing labor-saving devices, modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. "The Challenge of Renewal," The Conduct of Life (1951).

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  • Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. The Brown Decades, p. 3 (1931).
  • War is the supreme drama of a completely mechanized society.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. Technics and Civilization, ch. 6, sct. 11 (1934).

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  • However far modern science and technics have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson: Nothing is impossible.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. Technics and Civilization, ch. 8, sct. 13 (1934).
  • Sport in the sense of a mass-spectacle, with death to add to the underlying excitement, comes into existence when a population has been drilled and regimented and depressed to such an extent that it needs at least a vicarious participation in difficult feats of strength or skill or heroism in order to sustain its waning life-sense.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. Technics and Civilization, ch. 6, sct. 11 (1934).

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  • The clock, not the steam-engine, is the key-machine of the modern industrial age.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. Technics and Civilization, ch. 1, sct. 2 (1934).
  • Whereas Freud was for the most part concerned with the morbid effects of unconscious repression, Jung was more interested in the manifestations of unconscious expression, first in the dream and eventually in all the more orderly products of religion and art and morals.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. "Revolt of the Demons," Interpretations and Forecasts, Harcourt, Brace (1967).

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  • The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. The City in History, ch. 18 (1961).

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  • The settlement of America had its origins in the unsettlement of Europe. America came into existence when the European was already so distant from the ancient ideas and ways of his birthplace that the whole span of the Atlantic did not widen the gulf.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. repr. In The Lewis Mumford Reader (1986). "The Origins of the American Mind," The Golden Day (1926).

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  • The vast material displacements the machine has made in our physical environment are perhaps in the long run less important than its spiritual contributions to our culture.
    Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), U.S. social philosopher. repr. In Technics and Civilization, introduction (1934, rev. edition 1962). "The Drama of the Machines," Scribner's (Aug. 1930).

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