image by Immanuel Kant

translated by J. M. D. Meiklejohn

Immanuel Kant  April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was an 18th-century German philosopher from the Prussian city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe and of the late Enlightenment.

"Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life."

"Reason has insight only into that which it produces after a plan of its own."

 

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image Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

April 26, 121 – March 17, 180)

was Roman Emperor from 161 until 180.

It has been said that the Stoic philosophy first
showed its real value when it passed from Greece to
Rome. The doctrines of Zeno and his successors were
well suited to the gravity and practical good sense
of the Romans; and even in the Republican period we
have an example of a man, M. Cato Uticensis, who
lived the life of a Stoic and died consistently
with the opinions which he professed. He was a man,
says Cicero, who embraced the Stoic
philosophy from
conviction; not for the purpose of vain discussion,
as most did, but in order to make his life
confortable to the Stoic precepts. In the wretched times from the death of
Augustus to the murder of Domitian, there was nothing but the Stoic
philosophy which could console and support the followers 
of the old religion under imperial tyranny and amidst universal
corruption. There were even then noble minds that could dare and endure,
sustained by a good conscience and an elevated idea of the purposes of
man's existence. Such were Paetus Thrasae, Helvidius Priscus, Cornutus,
C. Musonius Rufus,[A] and the poets Persius and Juvenal, whose energetic
language and manly thoughts may be as instructive to us now as they might
have been to their contemporaries. Persius died under Nero's bloody reign;
but Juvenal had the good fortune to survive the tyrant Domitian and to see
the better times of Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian.[B] His best precepts are
derived from the Stoic school, and they are enforced in his finest verses
by the unrivalled vigor of the Latin language.

 

image by

Karl Marx

From the English edition of 1888, edited by Friedrich Engels

A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of Communism.

All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance

to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Czar, Metternich and

Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried

as Communistic by its opponents in power?  Where is the

Opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of Communism, against the

more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

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Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.

Ethics, by Aristotle

Every art, and every science reduced to a teachable form, and in like manner every action and moral choice, aims, it is thought, at some good: for which reason a common and by no means a bad description of the Chief Good is, "that which all things aim at."

 

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image

Plato (428/427 BC– 348/347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle.

Ethics, by Aristotle

I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston, that I might offer up my prayers to the goddess (Bendis, the Thracian Artemis.); and also because I wanted to see in what manner they would celebrate the festival, which was a new thing. I was delighted with the procession of the inhabitants; but that of the Thracians was equally, if not more, beautiful.

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Socrates was a Classical Greek philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known only through the classical accounts of his students like Plato.

 

The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates

by Xenophon
Edited by Henry Morley

BOOK I. CHAPTER I. 

SOCRATES NOT A CONTEMNER OF THE GODS OF HIS COUNTRY, NOR AN INTRODUCER OF NEW ONES.

I have often wondered by what show of argument the accusers of Socrates could persuade the Athenians he had forfeited his life to the State.  For though the crimes laid unto his charge were indeed great–"That he did not acknowledge the gods of the Republic; that he introduced new ones"–and, farther, "had debauched the youth;" yet none of these could, in the least, be proved against him.

 

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imageMarcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. Cicero is widely considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. Cicero is generally perceived to be one of the most versatile minds of ancient Rome. He introduced the Romans to the chief schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin philosophical vocabulary, distinguishing himself as a linguist, translator, and philosopher. An impressive orator and successful lawyer, Cicero probably thought his political career his most important achievement. Today, he is appreciated primarily for his humanism and philosophical and political writings.

 

The Academic Questions

I was not ignorant, Brutus, when I was endeavouring to add to Latin literature the same things which philosophers of the most sublime genius and the most profound and accurate learning had previously handled in the Greek language, that my labours would be found fault with on various grounds. For some, and those too, far from unlearned men, are disinclined to philosophy altogether; some, on the other hand, do not blame a moderate degree of attention being given to it, but do not approve of so much study and labour being devoted to it. There will be others again, learned in Greek literature and despising Latin compositions, who will say that they would rather spend their time in reading Greek; and, lastly, I suspect that there will be some people who will insist upon it that I ought to apply myself to other studies, and will urge that, although this style of writing may be an elegant accomplishment, it is still beneath my character and dignity. And to all these objections I think I ought to make a brief reply; although, indeed, I have already given a sufficient answer to the enemies of philosophy in that book in which philosophy is defended and extolled by me after having been attacked and disparaged by Hortensius.

 

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image Nicolo Machiavelli, born at Florence on 3rd May 1469. From 1494 to 1512
held an official post at Florence which included diplomatic missions to
various European courts. Imprisoned in Florence, 1512; later exiled and
returned to San Casciano. Died at Florence on 22nd June 1527.

All states, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been
and are either republics or principalities.

Principalities are either hereditary, in which the family has been long
established; or they are new.

The new are either entirely new, as was Milan to Francesco Sforza, or
they are, as it were, members annexed to the hereditary state of the
prince who has acquired them, as was the kingdom of Naples to that of
the King of Spain.

Such dominions thus acquired are either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom; and                                                                                        are acquired either by the arms of the prince himself, or of others, or else by fortune or by ability.

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The credit for our modern definition of innovation came to us in 1939 when an Austrian born economist defined invention as “an act of intellectual creativity undertaken without any thought given to its possible economic import, while innovation happens when firms figure out how to craft inventions into constructive changes in their business model.” Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950), now known as the prophet of innovation, described capitalism as an evolutionary process. This capitalistic process by its very nature cannot remain static. This process is discontinuous rather than smooth due to the very nature of economic successes and failures. Capitalism requires an economy to continually grow. However Schumpeter knew that growth did not occur equally in all sectors nor with each company within a sector. It is through the mini-revolutions of innovations that resulted in that economic growth. This is caused by what Schumpeter coined in 1942 as “creative destruction;” an essential fact of capitalism and innovation economics. Creative destruction is the incessant innovation mechanism (of products and processes) by which new production units replace outdated ones. This is progress and identified innovation by Schumpeter as the driving force of our economy.

Read the entire post “Innovation Heretics” here.

 

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