The Jewish people and their fate are the living witness for the absence of redemption. This, one could say, is the meaning of the chosen people; the Jews are chosen to prove the absence of redemption.
Life is too short to live with any but the greatest books.
It is as absurd to expect members of philosophy departments to be philosophers as it is to expect members of art departments to be artists.
All political action aims at either preservation or change. When desiring to preserve, we wish to prevent a change for the worse; when desiring to change, we wish to bring about something better. All political action is then guided by some thought of better or worse.
No bloody or unbloody change of society can eradicate the evil in man: as long as there will be men, there will be malice, envy and hatred, and hence there cannot be a society which does not have to employ coercive restraint.
The clarification of our political ideas insensibly changes into and becomes indistinguishable from the history of political ideas.
By realizing that we are ignorant of the most important things, we realize at the same time that the most important thing for us, or the one thing needful, is quest for knowledge of the most important things or quest for wisdom.
By becoming aware of the dignity of the mind, we realize the true ground of the dignity of man and therewith the goodness of the world, whither we understand it as created or uncreated, which is the home of man because it is the home of the human mind.
Liberal education is liberation from vulgarity. The Greeks had a beautiful word for vulgarity ; they called it apeirokalia, lack of experience in things beautiful. Liberal education supplies us with experience in things beautiful.
Liberal education is the necessary endeavor to found an aristocracy within democratic mass society.
God's reasons for communicating with man must be subsumed under his reason for communicating to him his account of his creation of the world - and man.
If the highest things are unknowable, then the highest capacity or virtue of man cannot be theoretical wisdom.
The silence of a wise man is always meaningful.
Education, they felt, is the only answer to the always pressing question, to the political question par excellence, of how to reconcile order which is not oppression with freedom which is not license.
Philosophizing means, then, to ascend from public dogma to essentially private knowledge.