QuoteItUp on Facebook

Terry Eagleton quotes

The past can be used to renew the present, not just to bury it.

What's wrong with a bit of nostalgia between friends? I think nostalgia sometimes gets too much of a bad press.

Cynicism and naivety lie cheek by jowl in the American imagination; if the United States is one of the most venal nations on Earth, it is also one of the most earnestly idealistic.

Deconstruction insists not that truth is illusory but that it is institutional.

Universities are no longer educational in any sense of the word that Rousseau would have recognised. Instead, they have become unabashed instruments of capital. Confronted with this squalid betrayal, one imagines he would have felt sick and oppressed.

God chose what is weakest in the world to shame the strong.

Anyone can be tolerant of those who are tolerant.

The role of the intellectual, so it is said, is to speak truth to power. Noam Chomsky has dismissed this pious tag on two grounds. For one thing, power knows the truth already; it is just busy trying to conceal it. For another, it is not those in power who need the truth, but those they oppress.

A truly common culture is not one in which we all think alike, or in which we all believe that fairness is next to godliness, but one in which everyone is allowed to be in on the project of cooperatively shaping a common way of life.

Evil is unintelligible. It is just a thing in itself, like boarding a crowded commuter train wearing only a giant boa constrictor. There is no context which would make it explicable.

In the end, it is because the media are driven by the power and wealth of private individuals that they turn private lives into public spectacles. If every private life is now potentially public property, it is because private property has undermined public responsibility.

One side-effect of the so-called war on terror has been a crisis of liberalism. This is not only a question of alarmingly illiberal legislation, but a more general problem of how the liberal state deals with its anti-liberal enemies.

People do evil things because they are evil. Some people are evil in the way that some things are coloured indigo. They commit their evil deeds not to achieve some goal, but just because of the sort of people they are.

Virtue is something you have to get good at, like playing the trombone or tolerating bores at parties. Being a virtuous human being takes practice; and those who are brilliant at being human (what Christians call the saints) are the virtuosi of the moral sphere - the Pavarottis and Maradonas of virtue.

We face a conflict between civilisation and culture, which used to be on the same side. Civilisation means rational reflection, material wellbeing, individual autonomy and ironic self-doubt; culture means a form of life that is customary, collective, passionate, spontaneous, unreflective and irrational.

Americans use the word 'dream' as often as psychoanalysts do.

Evil is often supposed to be without rhyme or reason.

For Aristotle, goodness is a kind of prospering in the precarious affair of being human.

I attacked Dawkins's book on God because I think he is theologically illiterate.

I say that virtue is really all about enjoying yourself, living fully; but of course it is far from obvious what living fully actually means.