Will Durant Quotes

Most popular Will Durant Quotes

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
— Will Durant

habit excellence

Inquiry is fatal to certainty.

certainty

Power dements even more than it corrupts.

power

The family is the nucleus of civilization.
— Will Durant

family

Education is the transmission of civilization.
— Will Durant

education

The future never just happened. It was created.
— Will Durant

future

Fundamentalism is the triumph of Paul over Christ.
Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art.

science art science & art

The discipline of desire is the backbone of character.

self-control discipline desire

Science is organized knowledge, wisdom is organized life.

science wisdom

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
— Will Durant

education

To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.
— Will Durant

gossip

Man became free when he recognized that he was subject to the law.
— Will Durant
The health of nations is more important than the wealth of nations.
— Will Durant
Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul.
— Will Durant
Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty and dies in chaos.
— Will Durant
To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy.
— Will Durant

diplomacy socialism

When liberty destroys order, the hunger for order will destroy liberty.
— Will Durant
Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty and dies with chaos.
— Will Durant

civilization

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

excellence

Truth always originates in a minority of one, and every custom begins as a broken precedent.
— Will Durant

originality

The present is the past rolled up for action, and the past is the present unrolled for understanding.

the past

To give life a meaning one must have a purpose larger than one's self, and more enduring than one's life.

purpose of life

It came to me that reform should begin at home, and since that day I have not had time to remake the world.
— Will Durant
Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
— Will Durant

education

Sixty years ago I knew everything.  Now I know nothing.  Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

education

A civilization is not destroyed by barbarian invasion from without; it is destroyed by barbarian multiplication within.
— Will Durant
History smiles at all attempts to force its flow into theoretical patterns or logical grooves; it plays havoc with our generalizations, breaks our rules; history is baroque.

history

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.

civilization

To have a great purpose to work for, a purpose larger than ourselves, is one of the secrets of making life significant, for then the meaning and worth of the individual overflow his personal borders and survive his death.

purpose of life

Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record; while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is what happened on the banks.
— Will Durant
Civilization is a stream with banks.  The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues.  The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks.
— Will Durant Life

civilization