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Quotations About / On: NATURE

  • 41.
    All nature's creatures join to express nature's purpose. Somewhere in their mounting and mating, rutting and butting is the very secret of nature itself.
    (Graham Swift (b. 1949), British novelist, short-story writer. Shuttlecock, ch. 11 (1981).)
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  • 42.
    Nature is a self-made machine, more perfectly automated than any automated machine. To create something in the image of nature is to create a machine, and it was by learning the inner working of nature that man became a builder of machines.
    (Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition, aph. 6 (1973). Also see Hoffer's comment under "animals.")
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  • 43.
    We mention nature and forget ourselves in it: we ourselves are nature, quand même—. As a result, nature is something entirely different from what comes to mind when we invoke its name.
    (Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 696, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). The Wanderer and His Shadow, aphorism 327, "Forgotten Nature," (1880). The French words quand même mean "nonetheless.")
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  • 44.
    Physical nature lies at our feet shackled with a hundred chains. What of the control of human nature? Do not point to the triumphs of psychiatry, social services or the war against crime. Domination of human nature can only mean the domination of every man by himself.
    (Johan Huizinga (1872-1945), Dutch historian. In the Shadow of Tomorrow, ch. 4 (1936).)
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  • 45.
    The moral virtues, then, are produced in us neither by nature nor against nature. Nature, indeed, prepares in us the ground for their reception, but their complete formation is the product of habit.
    (Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), Greek philosopher. The Ethics of Aristotle, bk. 3, ch. 1 (1953).)
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  • 46.
    Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.
    (Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. letter, Aug. 18, 1763. The Letters of Samuel Johnson, vol. 1, no. 157, ed. R.W. Chapman (1952).)
    More quotations from: Samuel Johnson, power, women, nature
  • 47.
    In the planting of the seeds of most trees, the best gardeners do no more than follow Nature, though they may not know it.
    (Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "The Succession of Forest Trees" (1860), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 5, p. 197, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
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  • 48.
    The imagination, give it the least license, dives deeper and soars higher than Nature goes.
    (Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. Walden (1854), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 2, p. 318, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
  • 49.
    This house was designed and constructed with the freedom of stroke of a forester's axe, without other compass and square than Nature uses.
    (Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Chesuncook" (1858) in The Maine Woods (1864), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 3, p. 139, Houghton Mifflin (1906). Thoreau refers to a log cabin in the Maine woods.)
  • 50.
    As a means of contrast with the sublime, the grotesque is, in our view, the richest source that nature can offer.
    (Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist. Trans. by William G. Allen. Cromwell, preface (1827).)
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