Exclusively of the abstract sciences, the largest and worthiest portion of our knowledge consists of aphorisms: and the greatest and best of men is but an aphorism.
The ABC of our profession is to avoid these large abstract terms in order to try to discover behind them the only concrete realities, which are human beings.
I would admit that poetry is something more than mere communication and that if that ‘something more’ could be abstracted from the whole, it might well prove to be that which makes the whole a poem.
In the abstract conception of universal wrong, all concrete responsibility vanishes.
O reason, reason, abstract phantom of the waking state, I had already expelled you from my dreams, now I have reached a point where those dreams are about to become fused with apparent realities: now there is only room here for myself.
Northern white people love the Negro in a sort of abstract way, as a race; through a sense of justice, charity, and philanthropy, they will liberally assist in his elevation.
I’ve said this before – and I mean it strongly – an abstract concept or a moral issue has to be connected to feeling. If we don’t believe it somehow viscerally, we don’t really take it in.