Quotes by: Walter Lippmann
The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief... that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.
The study of error is not only in the highest degree prophylactic, but it serves as a stimulating introduction to the study of truth.
In government offices which are sensitive to the vehemence and passion of mass sentiment public men have no sure tenure. They are in effect perpetual office seekers, always on trial for their political lives, always required to court their restless constituents.
No amount of charters, direct primaries, or short ballots will make a democracy out of an illiterate people.
The tendency of the casual mind is to pick out or stumble upon a sample which supports or defies its prejudices, and then to make it the representative of a whole class.
We are all captives of the picture in our head - our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.
Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach.
Success makes men rigid and they tend to exalt stability over all the other virtues; tired of the effort of willing they become fanatics about conservatism.
He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.
Only the consciousness of a purpose that is mightier than any man and worthy of all men can fortify and inspirit and compose the souls of men.
When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute.
Social movements are at once the symptoms and the instruments of progress. Ignore them and statesmanship is irrelevant; fail to use them and it is weak.
The opposition is indispensable. A good statesman, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opposition than from his fervent supporters.
People that are orthodox when they are young are in danger of being middle-aged all their lives.
There is no arguing with the pretenders to a divine knowledge and to a divine mission. They are possessed with the sin of pride, they have yielded to the perennial temptation.
In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.
The time has come to stop beating our heads against stone walls under the illusion that we have been appointed policeman to the human race.
Once you touch the biographies of human beings, the notion that political beliefs are logically determined collapses like a pricked balloon.
Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience.