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Lewis Mumford

Date de naissance: 19. octobre 1895
Date de décès: 26. janvier 1990
Autres noms:Льюїс Мамфорд

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Lewis Mumford est un historien américain, spécialisé dans l’histoire de la technologie et de la science, ainsi que dans l’histoire de l’urbanisme.

Citations Lewis Mumford

„If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will — and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements — we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: If we are to create balanced human beings, capable of entering into world-wide co-operation with all other men of good will — and that is the supreme task of our generation, and the foundation of all its other potential achievements — we must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent. And values do not come ready-made: they are achieved by a resolute attempt to square the facts of one's own experience with the historic patterns formed in the past by those who devoted their whole lives to achieving and expressing values. If we are to express the love in our own hearts, we must also understand what love meant to Socrates and Saint Francis, to Dante and Shakespeare, to Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti, to the explorer Shackleton and to the intrepid physicians who deliberately exposed themselves to yellow fever. These historic manifestations of love are not recorded in the day's newspaper or the current radio program: they are hidden to people who possess only fashionable minds. Values for Survival (1946)

„Nothing is permanent: certainly not the frozen images of barbarous power with which fascism now confronts us.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: Nothing is permanent: certainly not the frozen images of barbarous power with which fascism now confronts us. Those images may easily be smashed by an external shock, cracked as ignominiously as the fallen Dagon, the massive idol of the heathen; or they may be melted, eventually, by the internal warmth of normal men and women. Nothing endures except life: the capacity for birth, growth, and renewal. As life becomes insurgent once more in our civilization, conquering the reckless thrust of barbarism, the culture of cities will be both instrument and goal. Introduction

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„Now life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: Now life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner. In life, we must begin to give a public performance before we have acquired even a novice's skill; and often our moments of seeming mastery are upset by new demands, for which we have acquired no preparatory facility. Life is a score that we play at sight, not merely before we have divined the intentions of the composer, but even before we have mastered our instruments; even worse, a large part of the score has been only roughly indicated, and we must improvise the music for our particular instrument, over long passages. On these terms, the whole operation seems one of endless difficulty and frustration; and indeed, were it not for the fact that some of the passages have been played so often by our predecessors that, when we come to them, we seem to recall some of the score and can anticipate the natural sequence of the notes, we might often give up in sheer despair. The wonder is not that so much cacophony appears in our actual individual lives, but that there is any appearance of harmony and progression.

„Bloodshed kept pace with iron production“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: Bloodshed kept pace with iron production: in essence, the entire paleotechnic period was ruled, from beginning to end, by the policy of blood and iron. The brutal contempt for life was equalled only by the the almost priestly ritual it developed for inflicting death. Its "peace" was indeed the peace that passeth understanding: what was it but latent warfare. Ch. 4, sct. 5

„When the organism dies, the brain dies, too, with all its lifetime accumulations. But the mind reproduces itself by transmitting its symbols to other intermediaries, human and mechanical, than the particular brain that first assembled them.“

— Lewis Mumford
Context: The relation between psyche and soma, mind and brain, are peculiarly intimate; but, as in marriage, the partners are not inseparable: indeed their divorce was one of the conditions for the mind's independent history and its cumulative achievements. But the human mind possesses a special advantage over the brain: for once it has created impressive symbols and has stored significant memories, it can transfer its characteristic activities to materials like to stone and paper that outlast the original brain's brief life-span. When the organism dies, the brain dies, too, with all its lifetime accumulations. But the mind reproduces itself by transmitting its symbols to other intermediaries, human and mechanical, than the particular brain that first assembled them. "The Mindfulness of Man", p. 424

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„It is our utopias that make the world tolerable to us: the cities and mansions that people dream of are those in which they finally live.“

— Lewis Mumford
The Story of Utopias, [http://books.google.com/books?id=846mSPr_kaUC&q=%22It+is+our+utopias+that+make+the+world+tolerable+to+us+the+cities+and+mansions+that+people+dream+of+are+those+in+which+they+finally+live%22&pg=PA11#v=onepage Chapter One] (1922).

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„Modern industrial design is based on the principle of conspicuous economy [but] the bourgeois culture which dominates the Western World is founded... on the principle of conspicuous waste.“

— Lewis Mumford
Lewis Mumford (1930) Modern American design. R.L. Leonard, & ‎C.A. Glassgold (eds.), ‎American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen. p. 9; As cited in: V.T. Clayton et al. Drawing on America's Past, p. 28

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