"Nothing should be given to a man that does not belong to him, and nothing should be taken from him to which he is entitled."
— Bernal Díaz del Castillo, “The Memoirs of the Conquistador: Containing a True and Full Account of the Discovery and Conquest of Mexico and New Spain”
"To decide that I love my mother by staying beside her, and to play a comedy the upshot of which is that I do so – these are nearly the same thing. In other words, feeling is formed by the deeds that one does; therefore I cannot consult it as a guide to action. And that is to say that I can neither seek within myself for an authentic impulse to action, nor can I expect, from some ethic, formulae that will enable me to act."
— Jean-Paul Sartré, “Existentialism is a Humanism”
"Capacity for the nobler feelings is in most natures a very tender plant, easily killed, not only by hostile influences, but by mere want of sustenance; and in the majority of young persons it speedily dies away if the occupations to which their position in life has devoted them, and the society into which it has thrown them, are not favourable to keeping that higher capacity in exercise. Men lose their high aspirations as they lose their intellectual tastes, because they have not time or opportunity for indulging them; and they addict themselves to inferior pleasures, not because they deliberately prefer them, but because they are either the only ones to which they have access, or the only ones which they are any longer capable of enjoying. It may be questioned whether any one who has remained equally susceptible to both classes of pleasures, ever knowingly and calmly preferred the lower; though many, in all ages, have broken down in an ineffectual attempt to combine both."
— John Stuart Mill, “What Utilitarianism Is”
"This view of philosophy appears to result, partly from a wrong conception of the ends of life, partly from a wrong conception of the kind of goods which philosophy strives to achieve. Physical science, through the medium of inventions, is useful to innumerable people who are wholly ignorant of it; thus the study of physical science is to be recommended, not only, or primarily, because of the effect on the student, but rather because of the effect on mankind in general. Thus utility does not belong to philosophy. If the study of philosophy has any value at all for others than students of philosophy, it must be only indirectly, through its effects upon the lives of those who study it. It is in these effects, therefore, if anywhere, that the value of philosophy must be primarily sought."
— Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy
"He [Robert McNamara] was classically a corporate man; had it been a contest between the United States and Hanoi as to which side could produce the most goods for the peasants of South Vietnam, clearly we would have won… This man, whose only real experience had been in dealing with the second largest automotive empire in the world, producing huge Western vehicles, was the last man to understand and measure the problems of a people looking for their political freedom"
— David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest