Whilst all the world is in pursuit of power, culture corrects the theory of success.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).
Stanley Cavell has argued that Emerson is here referring to Kant's philosophical problem of succession. That is, how can we come to know a world that appears to be a mere surface succession of images that constantly flow by us and are ever changing. As Emerson says in the opening poem to "Culture": "And the world's flowing fates in/his own mould recast." The "mould" may refer to Kant's mental categories with which he argues we organize and order the world. Emerson's response to Kant is founded, in essence, on a pun on "success" and "succession" where worldly material success has also to do with the epistemological play of phenomena.)
(Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist. Trans. by Lorenzo O'Rourke. "Utility of the Beautiful," Postscriptum de ma vie, in Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography, Funk and Wagnalls (1907).)
Anyone who has ever constructed a "new heaven" has discovered the power to do it nowhere but in his own hell.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 5, p. 360, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). On the Genealogy of Morals, "Third Essay," section 10 (1887).)
If Paris lived now, and preferred beauty to power and riches, it would not be called his Judgment, but his Want of Judgment.
(Horace Walpole (1717-1797), British author. Horace Walpole's Miscellany 1786-1795, p. 60, ed. Lars E. Troide, Yale University Press (1978).
Originally written in 1787; in Greek mythology, the Judgment of Paris is the story of Paris's awarding the prize of beauty to the Goddess Aphrodite (over the Goddesses Hera and Pallas Athena) in return for the bribe of the fairest woman in the world, Helen.)